Making Spindle-back Side Chairs

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Spindle-back Side Chairs or Dining Chairs

Modern spindle-back side chairs are a traditional-looking chair which is based on the primitive ‘stick chair’ design of many centuries ago. The ‘stick chair’ was named as such due to its apparent simplicity of construction and appearance.

It is thought the ‘sticks’ or spindles were made by early wheelwrights. The design can incorporate a varied number of spindles, although the maximum I have used is 9 in a spindle-back side chair design, and is suited to all styles of home interior from contemporary to country-style homes.  

The making and assembly of the chair in the Rustic Ash Chairs workshop is all carried out in a traditional manner – utilising hand tool skills and traditional green woodworking ‘wet wood-dry wood’ mortise and tenon pressure joint techniques to secure the frame. Any joint which can’t be made using the wet-dry technique is secured with small squared oak pegs.

This traditional design is still a popular choice for many customers and here you can see a few photographs taken of a recent commission for a pair of spindle-back chairs – which are now enjoyed and used every day.

spindle-back side chairs at the Rustic Ash Chairs workshop
The finished pair of 7 spindle-back side chairs with natural Danish cord woven seats.
chair legs in jigs on the Rustic Ash Chairs workbench
The chair legs are in setting jigs as part of the steam-bending process.
the components for a pair of spindle-back side chairs
These are all of the components needed to make a pair of 7 spindle-back chairs
2 spindle-back side chair frames on the workbench
The chair frames are complete and waiting to be oiled before weaving the seats.
aerial view of chair seats woven with danish cord
Seat weaving - the seats are woven using natural Danish cord in a modified Irish weave pattern.

If you are interested in commissioning one or more of the Spindle-back Side or Dining Chairs then please do get in touch. The design can be adapted to suit your requirements in terms of seat height, number of spindles and seat weaving material used.

Offcuts and discarded wood from the chair making process in the Rustic Ash Chairs workshop are used to make smaller items such as my ‘waste knot’ buttons.
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