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Chair construction, for "large people"4/3
So My wife is a big girl. After a few kids, she weighs in at 330 lbs.
I want to make her a chair, for her 35th birthday.
Obviously the design considerations differ, a bit from chairs we would build for smaller individuals. Really not sure how to test these sorts of things, since I weigh about 165 lbs myself.
Considerations are totally different. Concerned that even stout mortise and tenon joinery, might not hold up to well long term.
Anyone have experience building chairs for larger people?
Maybe select a Mission or Stickley style
That would be nice. the chair is going to be used for the weekly bible studies she hosts.
I make woven seat style seating. The seat rails are 1" to 1 1/4" hard maple dowels depending on the span. I use 1 3/4" to 2" leg and back stock. 1" deep 1" round mortise and tenon joinery.
I have made chairs for 'large' people. Up to 375# and 6'8". I have a rocker I made for myself (290#, 6') 17 years ago that is my daily 'user'.
I have only had one part fail on a large Settle and that was not the joinery. The 1" hard maple dowel side rail had a green stick crack. The way the seat is woven prevented full failure. The Settle was repaired and now 15 years later still in use.
Take a look at my pieces on the web page. Photos go to Albums and then Rockers.
Walt , that is a beautiful chair and I love the pattern you wove , well done .
Hard maple dowel side rail had a green stick crack. The way the seat is woven prevented full failure.
One of the 'dynamics' you need to consider is how a person gets out of and into their chair. The seat height needs to be tall enough for them to stand up not have to 'climb' out. The worst furniture is that soft 'crap' that you sink down into. Make the seat firm enough but still flexible for comfort.
Second, make the seat to fit their seat depth, back of knee to their back. I typically make the seats 2 inches less than the measured length on the person.
Make the chair for your wife and only as a secondary point consider some particular 'style'. Since it is for her to teach, do not make the back more than 15 degrees angle to the seat. Make the front edge rounded to minimize pressure on the backs of her legs. Soft padded edges are not the solution.
The failure point in the typical chair is where the stretchers meet the flared legs. For a chair like this I would avoid flared legs unless they are captured at the bottoms similarly to on a rocker.
I agree with B. H. Davis. I use pegged M-T's on the stretchers of all my pieces. In the design process, I had the stretchers pull out during the weaving process or shortly after a piece was done and in use.
I would build it to hold between 500 and 600 pounds. Plan for what the future holds.
I built the straight arm morris chair for myself. I'm a pretty big boy and the chair is rock solid. Fairly large mortise and tenons were use. I'm a wide fellow also and I have room in this chair.