I love a good challenge and I certainly found it with this chair. I knew it was a bit complicated going in but when I drew the plans, I had a pretty good idea how I would be going about the build. I also knew that this could well be a prototype build, but I didn't really expect to abandon the build after pours hours and hours of work into it.

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Wl1U1fYzaAo

Everyone makes woodworking mistakes and today I'll show you one of my woodworking fails in a wooden chair design I made. Hopefully, you can help me with this failed woodworking project and post your ideas in the comments section of this YouTube Video.

To start off with, I began by drawing full size plans of the chair and even making a template for the curved arm of the chair. I also made my version of this chair a bit more complicated by angling the seat towards the back of the chair which I don't believe the chair I photographed had that feature. Not a big issue, but still adds another dimension to the build.

Wood chair

The most complicated part of the chair are the 2 sides, and they came together fairly easily and matched the plans as they should have. The first issue that came up with me was adding the 4 little vertical balusters that go between the arm and the lower rail. In an ideal world we would assemble these pieces of the side of the chair all together at the same time using a slow drying glue, then clamp. But I was having trouble trying to figure out how to mount them as the arm is hard drill vertical holes into. I finally decided to use dowels to bride the the top and bottoms but was still having trouble with alignments. I spent a LOT of time on this small detail.

Wooden Chair

I finally decided to go ahead with the rest of the assembly of the sides and ignore the balusters for the time being and come  back to them later. 

I then went ahead and glued all the components of the sides together and when I removed the clamps they looked amazing, but right off I was suspect that I might have to change my ideas of how the back would be because the chair seemed a bit shallow in depth.

Wooden chair fail

I decided to clamp the sides together to see where the back would be when you actually sat in it and from that I thought I would get a better idea what to do with the back.

As I sat in the chair as it was clamped up, I realized that the chair was really quite narrow in it's depth and the back would not have enough room to put a padded back into. Then as I sat in the chair I also found it was too narrow in it's width, and it was really not very comfortable to sit in. 

I thought that one fix would be to make the front and back rails wider but when did this just using clamped wood and again sitting in the chair, it still was not right ... still to shallow in depth and still uncomforable to sit in.

Wood Chair Project

I left the chair sitting in my workshop, all clamped up and for 2 days, I thought about fixes and sat in the chair again and again and finally ... decided that I just wasn't going to work. The chair is just plain uncomfortable in it's present for and although it may look nice, it does not sit nice and that ... to me .... for this build was the priority, a nice comfortable chair that also looks good. 

Curved chair


After 2 days of agonizing ... looking at the plan and trying figure out what to change, with some urging from others, I decided to go ahead and release the video even though it did not work out the way I wanted and call on the woodworking community for your help in suggestions of what to do next with this chair ... or ??? everything is on the table ...  I will look at every idea and suggestion, after all that is what a woodworking community is all about and what the vision of this YouTube Channel and website is all about.

Wooden chair plans

So ... give me your ideas and suggestions in the comments ... I am looking forward to see what ideas are given

Colin Knecht