How To Make A Roman Chair

In making this roman chair, as well as other articles of mission furniture, the materials can be ordered from the mill with much of the hard work completed. Order the stock to make this chair as follows:

  • 4 posts, 1-7/8 by 1-7/8 by 30 in.

  • 2 top rails, 7/8 by 2-3/4 by 20 in.

  • 2 bottom rails, 7/8 by 2-1/4 by 20 in.

  • 2 rails, 7/8 by 4 by 16 in.

  • 2 side rails, 7/8
    by 4 by 28 in.

  • 1 stretcher, 7/8 by 3 by 30 in.

The Roman Chair

Have all these pieces mill planed on the four sides straight and square, also have them sandpapered on the four sides of each. Plain sawed white or red oak finishes nicely and is easily obtained. The sizes are specified exact as to thickness and width, but the lengths are longer than is needed. This is to allow for cutting and fitting.

Begin by squaring one end of each post; measure the length 28 in. and, placing all of them side by side, square a line across the four, saw, then plane these ends square. The top and bottom side rails are treated in a similar manner, their length being 19-1/8 in. each. These pieces extend right through the posts projecting 5/8 in. beyond the surface. The mortises in the posts must be cut smoothly and of exact size. Wood pins fasten these rails and posts together. The other rails have tenons 1/2 by 3 in. shouldered on the two edges and one side. The mortise in the post is placed central. On the ends of the chair the shouldered side is turned in (see photograph), while on the front and back they are turned out. Miter the ends of these tenons. These tenons are to be glued and clamped—the ends of the chair being put together first. When this is dry the sides are clamped. The stretcher should have its ends shouldered on the two edges so as to make a 2-1/2-in. tenon. Allow the tenons to extend 1-1/8 in. beyond the cross rail and cut mortises in these tenons for the keys.

All projecting tenons, as well as the tops and bottoms of the posts, should be chamfered about 1/8 in. For the seat, screw cleats to the insides of the rails and place a platform of thin boards so that its top surface is 1/2 in. below the top of the rails.

A cushion can be made, as shown in the photograph, by lacing with leather thongs two pieces of Spanish leather cut to proper length and width. When nearly laced fill with any of the common upholsterer's fillings.

Details of Parts of Chair

For a brown stain, dissolve by boiling in 4 oz. of water, extract of logwood the size of a walnut. Apply hot and repeat until the desired color is obtained. Stains can be bought ready prepared, however, and are quite satisfactory. Finish by applying several coats of wax.