H30"xW17.5"xL20" Cherry | Maple
This chair was inspired by the concept of a 10% or minimal material chair that supports over 250 pounds. My original concept is based on the zig-zag chair designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1934. I wanted to avoid the traditional four legged chair look and instead have use a triangle design for support.
The chair is constructed almost entirely of cherry hardwood with a touch of white maple to accent the grain found in the middle of the seat pan. Polyurethane finished was applied in to enrich the characteristics of the wood.
The chair appears rigid and uncomfortable but is in fact very comfortable. Everyone who has sat in the chair comments that it is far more comfortable than it looks. A well designed chair follows the standards of the human body: seat height from the ground, seat width, seat depth, back support height and most important the angle between seat pan and backrest. This chair excels in all aspects of a well designed chair based around the standards for the human body.
Construction of the main base joint looks simple but was extremely difficult to achieve. The two base legs had to be cut at the exact degree to create the angle desired and a section also had to be precisely removed to fit the main support structure that projects upwards from the base. Behind the main structure is a trapezoid piece which is the main stress plate. This trapezoid piece has two extending tenons that fit into mortises cut into the base legs. Additionally the trapezoid piece has a through dovetail extending to the main support structure. For this to happen I had to router the dovetail before I could proceed to shape it into the desired trapezoid shape. Accomplishing the precision and alignment necessary was a challenge.
Once this chair was finished I was surprised that it had a sitting capacity over 250 pounds. The initial full scale model using screws instead of joints was supportive, but I was truly amazed by the ability of the joinery to hold such strength.