It is quite the undertaking to make 8 dining chairs! Selecting the wood is the very important first step. I always try to select rough boards cut from the same log, for matched colour and grain.
Below is a picture of the 48 back slats, cut and ready to sand. Notice the back-forming curve to these slats, which is harder to see in pictures of the completed chairs.
The top rail, or head rest, with 1" deep mortises for the back slats. This style of joinery gives incredible strength to the back of the chair. A tight fit, along with a little glue, holds the slats firmly in place.
Front legs and seats cut and ready for sanding and assembly. The locking joint gives these legs incredible strength, making additional support unnecessary. This lets me design the chair with simple lines for a clean look.
The back legs, with 3/4" deep mortises for the back rails. The extra effort required to make these joints ensure the chair will last for generation.
All the pieces shaped, roughly sanded, and ready for assembly. The front legs are attached to the seat first, then the back is assembled, and finally the back legs are attached to the seat.
Front leg joint.
Back leg joint.
Ready for final sanding and finishing.
And the finished chairs. These were given a few coats of pure tung oil, which was allowed to soak in and set for a few weeks. This brings depth to the grain, and provides a long-lasting base. A couple coats of hard wax oil finishes them off.