Busy chairmaker and all-round good bloke, Glen Rundell, dropped off the elm slabs for the chair seats last Thursday morning. Glen was also kind enough to collect a new spokeshave for me en route, so I thought I might be stretching the friendship a bit if I asked him to tarry a while and do a bit of planing.
Virginia regularly enquires if my arms are painted on; well, after reducing the two 2″ (52mm) thick elm slabs to six 20″ x 17″ x 1-5/8″ (500mm x 430mm x 41mm) seat boards, they may as well be.
With all the seat boards flat, I drilled the leg and spindle holes and then cut the seats to shape (fig. 2).
The glory of using thick boards is that they provide plenty of scope for deeply hollowed (and ultimately comfortable) seats. However, the seats can still be on the weighty side, so to reduce the bulk as much as possible, the bottom edges of the seats are relieved, which can also have the effect of making the seats appear impossibly thin and delicate (fig. 3).
Under-cut (fig. 4), under-cut-and-chamfered (fig. 5) and rounded (fig. 6) bottom edges are common variations on many Windsor seats.
The seat of the chair I am basing my chairs on transitions from a rounded edge at the front to a chamfer beneath the bob-tail at the rear – a common feature of bob-tail seats.