The legs and stretchers of this chair are turned from English Walnut in a style common to the Thames Valley region from the early eighteenth-century.
The seat is a single piece of elm with the grain running east-west, into which I bored the holes for the legs and the back and arm spindles. The leg tenons were kerfed before gluing the undercarriage together and then wedges were hammered into the kerfs to expand the tenons thereby locking the legs into the seat.
The seat shaping, by the way, wasn’t accidentally overlooked: on occasions I find it easier to saddle the seat with the undercarriage assembled because I then have a choice of three heights at which to work on it at the bench (standing on it’s feet; resting on its stretchers on a plank cramped to the bench, or with said plank supporting the underside of the seat). The uninterrupted upper plane of the seat is an altogether more accommodating surface to work off while constructing the back and arm.
Sometimes I’m impatient and I shave the seat first to watch the elm’s swirling figure unfold (as was the case with the seat of my recent Double Bow Windsor). I will also shape the seat beforehand if I have concerns about knots or bark inclusions within the wood – I don’t want to make half a chair only to find a fault in the seat when I begin carving it away. There was a reasonably sized bark inclusion in this seat, but I have already poked it out to ascertain its extent.
The arm bow is made from English Ash (as will be the back bow) and the spindles and arm posts are again, of walnut.