Forum: Furniture-making

This is my first post. I’ve enjoyed woodworking since the early 70’s. I’ve made and discarded a lot of pieces of furniture. I learn by trial and error, because I know very few people who enjoy woodwork like I do. I freely admit that I’m not a great woodworker. I have very little artistic ability. I worked at a woodwork installer (carpenter has come to mean handyman more that woodworker). I now have a business that installs and work around guys that really are talented. It’s humbling. In 2015 people weren’t paying for high end woodwork and I built 15 library style chairs. I’ve always considered quality chairs to be one of the most difficult projects and stayed away from them. My chairs are very comfortable and heavy (I seem to make everything heavy). Scooping the chair bottoms out of oak was the most challenging.

Tags: quartersawn white oak chair

Mark Nels


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11 Replies

David A Sylvester ...

Awesome job

MsDebbieP ...

I love the story – and I love “heavy” – to me, that means sturdy and long-lasting.

David A Sylvester ...

I’ve been making chairs for years and you have a great chair in the making. Looks strong. Nice mortise And tenon joinery What are you going to do for the seat ?

Jack ...

Beautiful work Mark.

Bob Ruane ...

I would say you are quite the woodworker Mark,I’ve been building cabinets , and furniture for almost 40 yrs (retiree ) and those chairs look nice to me from what I can see.I’ve made some trickier things in my day but sometimes chairs can be real tricky . Keep up the great work!! May we ask what all these are for ?

oldrivers ...

Great looking chairs you did well!

mark@woodworkinstallation ...

Thanks, I did forget to post the seats. They were the toughest part. I did some on the table saw with a dado blade, some with a grinder, and the rest with an orbital sander. The joints were all mortise and tenon, screwed, pegged, and glued. I’ve had to many joints self distructed over the years. Also, I drilled 1" holes in the bottom of the legs and put a piece of Delrin on all the legs. This allows the chairs to slide and not scratch the hardwood floors.

kiefer ...

No your are not a carpenter but a good *furniture maker *.
These chairs a so well done that they reek of quality something that is becoming rare nowadays .
Hope to see more of your work soon .


Brian ...

They are beautiful. Great work.

Manitario ...

Very nice looking chairs. Fine chairmaking seems like a different sort of woodworking; a higher attention to detail and a patience to make multiple copies of something. These are really well done, great job!

a1jim ...

Great looking Chairs.
I agree chair making is quite challenging.Depending on how deep you scoop out the seats I used a jig from popular Woodworking written by
Mario Rodriguez for more shallow scooping of seats or using a table saw and Dado blade approach taught by Charles Neil for deeper scooping .