Contemporary Dining Chair

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Simplified geometry with a woven seat

Last May, we had the good fortune of teaching a chairmaking class together at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Warren, VT. As we were putting the class together, we knew we wanted a chair that was: comfortable, contemporary yet classic, and relatively easy to build for woodworkers with limited experience. But we also wanted to include some sound chairmaking techniques to give the students a solid foundation upon which to advance their skills. As we put the class together, we developed the chair presented here, which seems to tick all those boxes. The chair’s comfort stems from the angles incorporated into its pattern-routed back legs. The woven seat and back are easier on the backside than solid wood, and the design is light and airy but still fits in well with many decors. The 1-1/2"-wide webbing for the upholstery is available in a variety of colors; each chair requires 25 yards. Construction can be accomplished almost entirely with 90° joinery but also incorporates pattern-routing, a powerful technique for creating identical parts. The class went well: In just five days, we had gone from rough lumber to folks weaving their seats. If you have a need for a dining chair or four, we think you’ll enjoy building this design. 

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