Easy Chair

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Loose tenons and tapered parts combine for easy-to-build elegance

All-wood chairs are great, but sometimes you want to settle into something a little cozier. I designed this cushioned easy chair to serve for comfortable reading or TV viewing. For the wood, I used sapele, a beautiful mahogany substitute. (See “WoodSense: Sapele,” on page 64.) The green cushion covers provide the perfect complementary color to the reddish wood. That said, by carefully choosing your fabric and wood species, you can suit your version to almost any décor. Because the cushions are separate, there’s no expensive fixed upholstery involved. If you don’t have a local upholstery shop, you can custom order the cushions and covers online.

As with most good chairs , part of the comfortability stems from thoughtful details: the angles of the back and seat frame put your body into a relaxed, but attentive lean, and the perfectly sized cushions ensure that you won’t be trying to squirm into a better position. Even the ends of the arms are tapered to match the angle of your palm as you wrap your fingers around the end of the arm, which is literally a nice touch. Finally, the rocksolid mortise-and-tenon joinery ensures that this heirloom will be comforting family and friends for a long, long time.

A seat with all the right angles

Although there are a few non-90° joints in this chair, it has none of the compound angles that often make chairs really tricky to build. The primary shaping is done with tapering jigs on the table saw, with a little router work to finish things off . Loose tenons hold all the main components together, while integral tenons on the back slats better suit that thin stock.

Opening photo: Larry Hamel-Lambert; Illustrations: Christopher Mills

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