This is what I've decided on for the back slats, which will probably be 'carved' from solid ash.
After several weeks of driving screws and sabotaging every scrap of MDF I could get my hands on, I have an ‘arm chair’ design that I am happy to go ahead with at college [See this post, if you haven’t already]. I’m pleased with how it looks, I find it comfortable to sit in and I look forward to the challenge that all the shaping will bring. As I’m making this at college, it makes sense to use as much of the available equipment as possible and also to explore any new techniques I can.
Note the "deliberate" curve now added to the inside of the arms. They look less uniform and parallel, this way.
Ring-fence work on the spindle moulder, shaping with a compass plane and a couple of Sam Maloof-inspired joints to join the seat to the legs. Unfortunately, I can’t find an excuse to do a bit of steam-bending on this one. Although it looks straight-forward, it would’ve be good one to experience while I’m still in education. The back rail will be laminated (possibly with a vacuum bag-press) so, at least that’s something else new to try.
Ash is what it’s all about, as far as timber is concerned. This project shouldn’t require a lot of wood but, that kind of foresight has never stopped me from buying far too much in the past!! The relatively small quantity I require (1½in. and 2in. thick, sawn) should allow me to keep material costs low. No special hardware required, excluding for a handful of steel screws. Even if I do opt for Miller Dowels, I already own one of the drill bits so, still, my outlay should be minimal. That’s not to suggest that I’ve ruled out the idea of using English walnut for the seat! I cannot see how well the contrast will work, right now. It would give me an excuse to use contrasting dowels and wedges, elsewhere! Sourcing locally-grown walnut would be the problem although, I don’t require much more than 0.5ft³ to make this seat… I’ll let you know what happens!
Shimming the front legs to give the chair more a reclinining position for relaxation.
I've curved the 'sides' of the main seat so that it follows the progression from front to back leg.
I’m not expecting an ‘official’ start on this project until some time in the new year, as the timber I purchase will need time to acclimatise and settle, which requires care with most timbers – that shouldn’t take long in the moisture-free college workshops, though!
Finally for today, some shots of the completed mock-up for your viewing pleasure. It’s one thing to visualize this in pine and MDF, it could look completed different in ash, with or without walnut! Thanks for looking. All feedback and comments are welcome, as usual.