Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: Best Seat in the House — 7 Comments

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  2. Hi bob. I built the 369 chair from the mag article you wrote great project and so much fun . Thanks for sharing your skill and passion.

  3. I am planing to do a spindle version of this chair. Is there any tricks to be incorporated to make the design work.

    • I believe that the spindle version simply replaces the wider slats with a number of square spindles. It’s more complicated but doable. I would make mortise and tenon joints for each spindle, not plow a groove in the rail and insert little spacers between the spindles as you often see. That’s one of the techniques you often see published but it doesn’t look right, the spindles will likely rattle and it doesn’t save any time over doing it right.

      For what it’s worth, I’m not a fan of the spindles. In the original time period the spindles were only produced for a short period of time. Because magazine authors and editors tend to throw the spindles in everywhere most people think it is a defining detail. There are good reasons for it not catching on. For the maker, finishing the spaces in between the spindles can be a nightmare. For the end user, dusting those same spaces is an unwelcome chore. It does look cool, but there are consequences to consider.

      Bob Lang

  4. We are in the process of working through the design and quoting stage in our shop here for a customer who is requesting 3 (!) of these chairs and we are struggling with estimating the hours involved as we dont do as much custom furniture as we would like.. we have the talent and the know how but are unfortunately lacking the real world experience for this piece. Would you mind sharing how long this piece took you? Much appreciated!

    • Hi Becky,
      This is a tough question to answer. Part of me wonders if you should be quoting 3 of these chairs if you don’t have the experience to estimate the hours it will likely take. But another part realizes that it is a good opportunity to get that experience. I taught this chair as a class at Marc Adams a few years ago, and will be repeating that class in the spring. My time budget for building one of these, without the distractions of teaching or documenting the build is about 40 hours. The class is 5 days and most folks get close to completing the joinery, but there is then additional time for finishing. I recommend that your “guesstimate” be on the high side, and that you compare prices from other makers. Subtract your cost of materials and divide what’s left by your hourly shop rate and see if the result seems reasonable. Most of the time in this is in the mortise and tenon work so it might be worth while to practice a few of the joints, see what goes well and what bogs you down.

      Hope this helps,

      Bob Lang

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