Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

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rscrawford
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Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by rscrawford »

I watched a video on Hans Wegner's famous Round Chair being made from 200 year old danish oak in the PP Mobler factory. Decided to try to make a copy of it (not an exact copy, as I've never seen this chair in person, just a few pictures of it).

Here is the nearly finished chair. Just need to apply an oil finish and upholster the seat in leather (1" firm foam and a soft leather).

I'll post more pictures of the design and build later. The chair was entirely designed and toolpathed in Aspire. A little more complex than it looks due to the compound angles of the legs and seat.
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Russell Crawford
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rscrawford
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by rscrawford »

I started out with the turned legs. I have an indexer on my Cobra, but it isn't working at the moment and I don't really like it for turning projects. So I moved my variable speed lathe over beside my Cobra, lined it up exactly, and put a little epoxy around the feet to hold it in exactly in position. Now turning exact copies is pretty simple. I set the lathe to spin at 30rpm (reverse direction), with a feed speed of 10ipm and 16000rpm I rounded the blank in a single pass with a 1/2" end mill and cut the tenon.
IMG_4511.jpg
Then I used a 1/2" bullnose to create the shape of the leg (same feed and speeds)

I needed to cut two mortises at angles of 83.5 and 96.5 degrees apart (front and back legs had different angles). So I build an indexing jig to hold the lathe firmly in position at those angles. Then I cut the mortises in the leg (just manually turning to the new angle and locking in place with my jig). This jig just sits on the outer side of the lathe spindle, and is locked using a 1/4" rod into a hole in the spindle casing.
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I left the tenons 2" long because I wasn't sure how long I would eventually need them.
IMG_4517.jpg
The seat stringers were also cut on the CNC. The front leg sits at a 3 degree angle, the back leg 4.5 degrees, and the seat angles down at 7 degrees. The front and back stringers are curved in both planes. Tenons fit snugly into the mortises in the legs.
IMG_4523.jpg
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Russell Crawford
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rscrawford
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by rscrawford »

Since the bottom of the seat will be exposed after it is upholstered, I made the seat out of cherry as well. Took a 1.75" thick blank to make the 5/8" thick seat.
IMG_4556.jpg
The rabbet to hold the seat had to be cut using the same 'model' that the seat was made with, and projecting the cut onto the model. The stringers had to be positioned at the angle they were going to be on the completed chair in order to cut these rabbets, so the seat would fit perfectly in place. I used a jig for this (forgot to take a picture of it).
IMG_4533.jpg
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Russell Crawford
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by rscrawford »

Then the top of the chair was the most challenging to model.

Since this is just a prototype, I used 8/4 stock and glued up the blank. I used a cove and bead set (for making canoes) to make the joint between the back and the arm rest portions. This isn't as nice as the joint Wegner uses, but I don't have a 5 axis cnc and I didn't feel like hand cutting these joints.
IMG_4537.jpg
This gave me a blank about 3.5" thick, which I then cut the underside of the model first. I cut a profile first, using a 1/2" end mill, 2" deep. This just makes it easier for the ballnose bit to carve. I skipped a roughing tool path and just went straight to the finish tool path, which cut 2.5" deep in some spots. I ran this at 400ipm, 18000rpm, with 8% stepover in a raster. I then drilled 4 indexing holes so I could position it with dowels for the second side cut. I held the blank in place with pocket screws in the sides of the waste.
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I flipped and cut the second side using the same profile pass (only 1.5" deep this time), and a finish tool path with a 1/2" ballnose. I set up different flat models around the real model so the finish tool path is limited to 2.5" depth of cut. Then I had to glue on another 1.75" piece to carve the top of the back rest. I didn't glue this up in the beginning because my ballnose bit isn't long enough to carve the full depth!
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Removed the waste and bandsawed off the tabs, then sanded the completed assembly
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I had to make a little jig to cut the mortise holes, because they are at different angles.
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Then carefully glued and pressed the top onto the chair. This was difficult and had to be careful because the legs are angled.
IMG_4560.jpg
Russell Crawford
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by mtylerfl »

Fantastic! Thank you for letting us in on the build with your photos and descriptions!
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by garylmast »

Extraordinary! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by Fleming »

Thanks Russell for the photos and information. A really nice build :D

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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by LittleGreyMan »

Thanks for sharing Russel.

Excellent work.
Best regards

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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by scottp55 »

Beautiful design, but Stunning execution Russell! :D
Thank you for the walk-through.
She'll age gracefully!
LOVING it:)
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by SteveNelson46 »

I have seen many chairs cut on a CNC. From plywood slot together to masterpieces such as this and each time I am truly amazed at what can be accomplished on these machines. Especially when accompanied by the hands of a master. Nice work Russell.
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by Tailmaker »

Just impressed...
Creative use of the CAD/CAM tools and skilled execution!
As for the armrest joints, have a look at the Fingermaker :mrgreen:
Not sure but it may do the job.

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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by martin54 »

Thanks for the insight Russell, nice to see a master craftsman embrace technology to help with workflow :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by TReischl »

Nicely done Russ!

Building furniture with all sorts of decorations is easier than building something like Russ has shared with us. Those coves, rounds, etc hide all sorts of sins. On a chair like this, it has to be right, no exceptions.

That simplicity will show every little nit picking issue like it is under a 10X magnifying lens. Simple is hard to do, fancied up is easy.

Really well done!
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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by LittleGreyMan »

Ted, I was not able to express that correctly in English so thanks for reading in my mind! :D
Best regards

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Re: Round Chair, copy of Hans Wegner's classic chair

Post by TReischl »

LittleGreyMan wrote:Ted, I was not able to express that correctly in English so thanks for reading in my mind! :D
Well, I am not so sure I did a very good job of it myself! But thank you.

When I think of "simple" I also start thinking "elegant", graceful lines, well executed, and so on.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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