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• Connecticut Chippendale Chairs •
24 5/8" W (arm chair) 20 3/8" W (side chair) x 39" T x 20 1/4" D
62 hr. arm chair, 48 hr. side chair


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The lumber for this set of eight chairs all came from the same tree.  The clean, linear grain allowed me to orient the patterns that result when shaping wood.  This is on display here with a perfectly centered oval on the top of the crestrails. 
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The splat and rear posts follow a smooth curve.  This not only adds plenty of comfort when seated, but reflects light in a beautiful way. It's also a trick to make.
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The arms are another exercise in shaping wood.  The curves and rounds are constantly changing from the rear to the front of the arm.  They are joined to the chair on the side rail with a sliding dovetail, and notched into the rear post and screwed from the back, then capped.
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The joinery in these chairs is such that they will hold up to centuries of use and abuse.  The joint that most often comes loose in a chair is this rear side rail joint.  Here I've cut a through tenon, which is then wedged from the back to create a locking dovetail shape.  This will hold tight for generations.

 

The Connecticut Chippendale Chairs are made of Black Cherry, with Ash seat frames, and a traditional horsehair stuffed upholstery. 

They are an updated version of the Chippendale chair I made while a student at North Bennet Street School.

The chairs are finished with boiled linseed oil, Waterlox varnish and paste wax.  My signature and the date of completion are carved on the underside of the rear seat rail.

Photos of the building process can be found here.

 

 

 

PETE E. MICHELINIE, FURNITURE MAKER
PETE@MICHELINIE.COM 802.245.4765