My dad's dining chair design

When I built these chairs based on my dad's dining chair design, I remember at some point my dad saying that he really didn't like making chairs for people, but since he came up with this design, he didn't mind so much. But I didn't remember when that was. So I started looking through old photos from the 1980s to find the first of one of these chairs.

This one is still in the old shop before it burned down, so this could not have been after November 1986.

The chair in the background at right is the oldest photo I could find of such a chair, just in front of it you can see a corner of a different design of chair.

The photo is actually one my mom took of a "servierwagen", essentially a serving wagon, for bringing food from the kitchen. My mom had this habit of consistently mis-framing the photos so the subject of the photo was far to the left, occasionally she missed it entirely!

A "servierwagen" is a sort of thing a lot of German households had, but changing cultures, Canadian culture, and Canadian houses with eat in kitchens meant such a "servierwagen" had no demand. My guess is this picture was from around 1983 or 1984. It must have been relatively early after we moved to Canada, because those serving wagons didn't sell. I think he made maybe two of them.

The chair in the back is an older version of the design, no turned front legs, and the back rungs are a different style from ones he made later too.

Another photo I found was this one, which I took of my first Lego domino machine and I'm quite certain this was early 1985.

Decades later, visiting my parents for a week for Christmas 2008, my dad was working on another batch of chairs, which turned out to be the last batch. I had already started this website, so I figured how he made these chairs would be an interesting article for it. But by this time, my dad was already physically and mentally declined a fair bit, so progress was slow and the chairs didn't progress far enough to make much of an article at the time.

Here he is using a big shaper cutter head that work much like a router flush trim bit to shape the legs to their final size. The nice thing about such a huge cutter head instead of a flush trim bit is t hat it doesn't follow every bump of the template like a 1/2" router bit would, so the finished surface doesn't have bumps in it.

This is on my dad's Felder table saw / shaper combination

Back parts marked for where the mortises need to go.

Preparing the front legs. My dad is using a 3/4" roundover bit to route the edges off the leg pieces before putting them on the lathe for turning.

And this is as far as he got with the chairs while I was there.

In 2015 I made a video exploring my dad's shop attic. The quality of the chairs he worked on wasn't up to his old standards, and those chairs all ended up in the attic under a plastic tarp. Still there to this day.

More of my dad's furniture designs

To my Woodworking website.