How do you bend the wood?
Steam is used to bend the hickory used for the hoops, crest rails, and arms. The wood is steamed for about an hour for each of thickness, and then the wood is bent around a pattern. When the wood is taken from the steam box, it must be bent and clamped in about 30 seconds. After 24 hours it will retain the shape and is ready to be hand worked into the final shape.
Are these authentic copies of period chairs?
Many of the patterns are exact copies, but some of have been modified to increase the comfort of the chair.
What finishes are available?
Most of the chairs are finished with a home brewed milkpaint to simulate the period finishes. The colors include red, mustard, salmon, green, and black. By layering the colors (for example, black over red milkpaint), the chairs take on the appearance of having survived many generations, and multiple re-paintings. Some other finishes can be accommodated.
What woods are used in the chairs?
The wood selected for each part of the chair is based on the properties of the wood and the application. The seats are one piece of tulip popular, a full two inches (or 8 quarter) thick. This provides a strong seat and yet is soft enough to be carved to provide a comfortable saddled seat. The legs and stretchers (the pieces between the legs) are hand turned from hard maple (sugar maple) to provide crisp turnings and strong support to the chair. The spindles are hand turned from hickory to provide the strength and flexibility required to handle the leverage of a person leaning against the chair. Many of the arms are also hickory, and have been steam bent from one piece of wood. In the case of the writing arm chair, the writing surface and the drawers are made of tulip poplar.
Is the seat one piece of wood?
The seats are one piece of tulip popular, a full 2 inches (or 8 quarter) thick. This provides a strong seat and yet is soft enough to be carved to provide a comfortable saddled seat.
Can the seat height be changed?
Because each chair is custom made, adjustments to the seat height can be accommodated. Antique tables and antique desks typically require the adjustment of the seat height to accommodate sliding the chair under the table or desk.