The Chair Challenge (Part III): Assembling the Chair

In small scale, assembly can be one of the most challenging steps.   A crooked leg or stile can easily destroy the illusion that you have worked so hard to create.  Assembling this chair had two particularly challenging aspects: (1) making sure the various pieces were cut to length correctly so that there were no visible gaps between the pieces and (2) getting the legs at the same angle–about 10 degrees off the vertical from the front and side.

Oh yes–by far the biggest challenge came from pieces trying to fly away/  A pair of tweezers with ridges helped there.

Use tweezers with ridges

Use tweezers with ridges


The two stiles for the back were attached first.  A small bur in the shape of a ball, held in a pin vise, made small indentations on the seat where the stiles would go.  These indentations served several purposes:  hiding some of the glue, covering any raw ends of the stiles,  and making sure the stiles are attached in the right place.

11.  Assembly - back  - 2

A side view, showing the angle back of the stiles.

10.  Assembly - back - 1

The seat is held on a little pedestal with double stick tape, to aid in assembly.






The legs were next.  I was aiming for a 10 degree angle.  The legs were rounded on one end, and sanded lightly to an angle where they would hit the seat.

8.  The Angle of the legs

The angle of the legs

7. Rounding and shaping the legs

Two of the spindles for the legs



As it turned out, the easiest approach was just to flip the chair over and attach the legs by eye, rotating frequently as it dried to make sure the legs were in the right place.

A bit of sticky tape holds the chair in place while the legs are attached

A bit of sticky tape holds the chair in place while the legs are attached

When everything was dry, the last steps were to attach the rail on the back, the additional spindles on the back, and the spindles between the legs.

I would try to improve on one or two things if I make it again, but overall I’m pleased.  I hope the person I made it for is, too!

13.  Finished chair

Front view

14.  Finished back

Back view


One response

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s