Preparing an unbuilt chair design for construction

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peterm
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Post by peterm »

Nice work! And what is the baby's due date? :-)

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I don't know -- we'll have to ask Stafford. Better him than me ! I'm glad to have been booted upstairs, to the Plans and Speculations Department . . .

I still keep my hand in. My first big table is coming this spring. I'm sure I'll never tire of drawing, though -- with a pencil. I pity those who are stuck with its replacement.

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

The drawings are beautiful. Are these full scale? What's your paper and lead?
(I'm taking a intro cabinet making semester at the local community college. May graduate to making furniture in about 20 years. Would love to keep this thread going and pester your experience for knowledge, eh?)

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Happy to help, Tom. In the meantime, I've been using a .5mm HB lead for all drawing and sketching, for many years. I finally found a reliable lead-holder (automatic pencil): Papermate Logo II. It has a twist-out eraser with large capacity (I've always done a lot of erasing !), a lot of extension at the working end, and it never seems to break down. Cheap and reliable.

Paper is almost always white bond -- ordinary copier paper, 8 1/2 x 11 so that I can copy and scan at home. (Sheet 6 of the current set is 11 x 17.) I sketch in a 9 x 12 Strathmore (or equal) sketchbook, 60 lb recycled stock. I also use 8 1/2 x 11 gridded pads, 1/8" squares, for scaled sketching and composing.

SDR

KevinW
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Post by KevinW »

"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs except the pushbutton finger." FLW
KevinW

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

When working on the Barnsdall furniture, I found no two drawings (all of which were rough pencil done hurriedly) that matched. I relied almost entirely on period photographs with a fish-eye lens and very little light, which also varied from the drawings.

I would disagree on one detail: The side panel framing should definitely be uniform. The back frame should not extend beyond the front. The perspective is wrong, which is not unusual for FLW's work. Since a lot of the ASB drawings were made by Lloyd, I suspect this was as well. He drew very fast, and often erred. (Ausge if full of mistakes.) Look closely at Mossberg, which is as close as anything I can think of to this chair; the panel is the same type of design. According to Mrs. Mossberg, the chair as designed was unstable, tending to fall backward. Lautner added to the design to stabilize it.

As to "A" on your drawing, I think that, too, is an error, a line that was extended a bit too far.

While using built works as a model is a good thing, don't assume that since FLW spindled the Little chair as he did, that the same pattern was used for ASB.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks, Roderick. For you, and Jeff, here are the chairs we have referred to as Mossberg type:

Image Taliesin III (1925 ?)

Image Mossberg (1948)

Image Jacobs I (presumably not original to the house)

Image Palmer (1950)

I feel these chairs, while closer to our subject chairs (especially 0519.001) than other Wright designs, are still only superficially like them.

And, just for the heck of it, a chair by Purcell & Elmslie, from 1913:

Image


I appreciate your comments on the C3 chair. The side panel is shown with two possible corner joints to the frame -- for the choice of the client and/or maker (the broken line is to indicate "either/or"). I'm glad to have your input on the rear configuration. Do you read the drawing as having an up-sloping bottom plate ?

I'm not sure what is meant by "The back frame should not extend beyond the front." Can you amplify ? I have the bottom plate, upon which the spindles rest, connecting to the inside of the forward structural panel, for obvious reasons. I'm showing 1" of plywood there, as the piece -- a complicated cut-out with narrow portions at various points -- would be unreliable structurally in solid material, in my estimation -- and because ample 1/2" walnut ply is available to the maker after the seat shell and panels are cut. I'd edgeband it on the inside radius with 1/16 or 3/32 solid banding. On the outside it's dressed with ample solid-stock pieces.

My first thought on this chair was to the stability, considering the placement of the rear legs. I've moved them rearward as much as I could, consistent with the drawing. It was necessary to introduce an extra inter-spindle space behind the middle leg; otherwise the spindles and spaces would have had to grow unacceptably, I thought.


Image 1

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

I built the Taliesin III aka Mossberg Chair in CAD and have used it since 2010 as an example for furniture placement. Interesting to now see that the back support I thought was decorative is actually leg, how could I have missed that after this many years is beyond me.

I am tempted to build the ASB Chair in CAD just for the fun and joy of the design to see how it would work if it were built.
JAT
Jeff T

SDR
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Post by SDR »

That would be nice to see. Almost all straight lines ! If you do, I won't have to draw a perspective which (in a rash moment) I offered if needed.

The four views (1,2,3,4) presented here are all at the same scale . . .


SDR

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Well I got nothing to do on this snowed in day in Tulsa and I needed a project so I am game :)
JAT
Jeff T

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

SDR, how deep is the seat? Shouldn't be more than 17" - 20". Since it is apparent that, unlike Little, the interior sides and curved back are upholstered, possibly the back is not perfectly vertical. If the back of the seat is above the back legs, there would not be much of a stability problem. The upholstery also brings up the question of how the spaces between the slats in the back are treated.

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

SDR,
I believe that John Eifler build the Mossberg chairs seen in the photo of Jacobs I.

He may be interested in sharing his drawings of that chair with you if you think they would help you understanding of the panels, etc.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The seat is 18 1/2" deep. As the seat is level and the back is plumb, I'd suggest a pillow be placed vertically at the rear of the seat. Perhaps it could be integrated with the chair scarf shown in the rendering. I mocked-up the seating position prior to drawing, mostly to judge the seating height (with a loose or fixed firm-foam cushion of 1 1/2 or 2 inches) vs the arm height. The arm (to match the table height) is a couple of inches higher than would be ideal, but it works. This is not, however, a lounge chair, I'd say, but a dining or side chair. Form (as we see again and again in Wright's chairs) definitely trumps function . . .

Life is hard enough; I wouldn't ask anyone to make that seat with a canted cylindrical back. For comfort's sake, if a dining chair has a canted back it should also have a slightly sloped seat. I'd be very surprised if that was the architect's intention, here.

(There seem to be two sorts of dining/side chairs: those whose back is meant to be used, and those whose back is merely decorative (or would keep the sitter from tumbling backward in some sort of hideous dining-room accident). I have little use for the latter sort -- but, here we are. So, I would do something to make it at least marginally more comfortable, while retaining Wright's form.)


I chose to keep the spindle section open ("transparent") rather than backing the spindles with a panel. As a result, the back of the kerf-bent walnut-ply seat shell is exposed and would need to be finished before assembly of the chair was completed. I think the trouble would be worth it; the view through the spindles from front or back would be a pleasant feature, and the silhouette of the seat "bucket" would be a nice plus.

SDR

sjnorris
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Post by sjnorris »

Thank You Steve for all your help.

You are to be commended for your willingness to take on such a project and for making my job easier.

Stafford

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I assure you the pleasure was mine. Thanks for the assignment, and keep 'em coming !


SDR

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