Friday, November 9, 2007


A while back I got a couple of inquires about the birdcage side chair. This is a very tough chair because every part of the top it curved. Whenever I work on designs like this, I find it best to make a "Frankenchair" out of old parts and new ideas. They generally end up as ugly constructions of copper, tape and plywood. Without the help of a CAD program (I spend enough time at the computer) getting the right curves to intersect at the right places can be a real challenge. The visual and comfort aspect of the chair need to be refined simultaneously to get the desired result. I usually try to use enough quick joinery and tape to make the chair stable enough to sit on. Granted, you may not want to be too rough, but it's enough to give me and idea of the comfort level.

Here is a chair that I am currently working on. It is going to use curved stiles, crest rail, and spindles as well as arms. I plan to use simple joinery in the first solid prototype figuring that changing out some parts is probably in the cards. I will post progress as it comes.


Herman Veenendaal said...

Are you using a double crest rail on this chair? I agree the bird cage windsor is the toughest of all to build, I've done two and spent too much time agonizing about fitting a two curved crest rails onto a curved stile and achieving a duckbill joint along with it. Woody Scoville generously shared his design with me 16 years ago.

Peter Galbert said...

This version will only have a single crest. It will be a very "stick" looking chair, but hopefully with a bit more grace than the english variety. I am trying to decide if I want the stiles to go into the crest (as shown) or whether to have the crest go into the sides of the stiles. I am curious as to how flexible I can get the top to be by thinning out the stiles to enter the crest. We'll see.

Carl Jara said...

I'm curious, is that sign foam I see as the seat?
I had some lying around and am currently using it as a seat blank for my mock-up. Nice to see I'm not the only weirdo woodworker guy with a foam chair:)

Peter Galbert said...

the seat is pine, so you might be the only guy with the foam seat after all! But it sounds like a good idea, I'm always looking for ways to try new things simply, thanks for the tip.