Failure Is Just Another Word

Everything seemed to running smoothly enough. Our initial steps were taken; we lived up a capable CNC mill that could overwhelm our more traditional Luddite-ness as we would speak to them with our hands in a form of unknown sign language as we tried to make motions and sounds to stand into the vacancies for words we could not find. Figuring out the deeper groove for the seat back was easy enough. I always knew making the back itself was going to be the hardest part of this entire process but I wasn't ready to face that directly.

I chose the leg scenario next. I had the legs turned by my friend and that was easy enough. The production of this chair wasn't so much about woodworking for me as much as it was a management of contiguous forces that really needed to converge at a happy point. Managing this, the seat parts, the leg parts, the laminations and the material prep, all of this is the beauty of this chair, compressed into a story never to be understood by anyway. Just sat upon like any other chair to be sat in that succeeds in keeping one's bottom free from the indignation of such close proximity to the ground.


Leg production = Easy. Straight, tapered legs with a tenon. But how to attach them? The original chair had tapered mortises for the legs. Not exactly easy as I continuously set my gaze towards the future and a production run. Each leg had a splay angle as well so there were two angles to fight with for each leg. I tried catching one of the angles with a shim leaving the splay to simply be aimed in it's particular direction. The shims failed along the line of the screw which was no surprise. It was really more of an experiment to at least catch a break creating one of the angles and allowing for a straight plunge for the mortise rather than eyeing it, a surefire way to make it impossible and embarrassing down the line.

I flipped over a chair we have at home which did not have as much complexity to the legs as the ones we were grappling with. That chair had metal mounts that the legs screwed into via threaded studs. I told our CNC boys about this and how I wanted to figure out how to translate that method to our chair. More sign language conversations, even some paper this time and we had the conception of a plan. Their brilliance lead to our own custom puck mount with a angle applied to it and then dialed in towards the splay and viola, beautiful.