I was considering posting the plans for my perch as a holiday gift to ChairNotes readers, but as with so many thoughts, time seemed to run short and other priorities took hold. But then someone contacted me the other day to request the plans, and put it right back at the top of the list.
I designed this perch with Galen Cranz and Curtis Buchanan a few years back when we were teaching a class on body conscious seating. Galen, an expert in The Alexander Technique and now head of the Architecture Department at UC Berkely, set the goals:
To use windsor technology to create a seat that would make sitting upright easier and encourage proper alignment of the vertebrae.
The perch does this by keeping the pelvis rolled forward, similar to when you are standing. This way, the natural spring S curve of the back is maintained.
I love watching people faces as they sit on the perch for the first time. It's near effortless and nothing like they expect.
This is also a great project to undertake as an introduction to windsors. The legs can be turned from dry wood, as long as it is straight grained, and the seat isn't deeply scooped, so you can forgo some of the coarser carving tools.
My one warning is that your friends and family will line up for theirs, so either be prepared to make a lot of them or keep it hidden when they are around!
Below is the pattern for the seat. I hope that you can make out the numbers. Obviously, the exact shape of the seat can vary a bit.
Perhaps the strangest part of the perch, especially to experienced chairmakers, will be that the legs all rake towards the front. The front leg is quite a bit shorter than the rear and causes the forward tilt in the seat. It tilts so far forward in fact, that the legs take on an even rake, both forward and back. I've drawn a quick sketch of the perch and then one next to it that shows the legs when the seat is resting horizontally. Odd isn't it! So take a moment to get used to it and start gathering materials.
I'll post the leg patterns next as well as a video of the turning process. Then I'll continue to post on it until it's done.