There are many ways to make a sculpted seat - and I've probably tried most of them. I find the easiest way is to take a large carving gouge, maybe a #5/30 and gouge out the major part (using a mallet to hit the gouge). I then come back with a ROS and coarse sandpaper to smooth out the wood. The trick is to make both sides of the seat the same and to get the wood smooth (no ripples as you run your hand over it), but that's a problem no matter what tool you use.
Originally Posted by Frank Fusco
A chairmaker's plane can also be used but it's a bit slower (but you'll make less mistakes than with a carving gouge). The scorp is really only good on softwood. It's slow and hard to use on hardwood - at least it is for me.
As far as making the chair comfortable, I find that the shape and angle of the back has the most to do with it. I can't tell you how to do it (I could show you) but the most comfortable is with shaped backslats that provide support for the back. I laminate bend my back slats.
A lot of what Brian Boggs teaches is what I call "country chairs" which is a lot different in technique than what I'd call "city chairs". Both are good but you have to decide which you want to make because the techniques are different.
Chairs ARE NOT that difficult to make. As someone suggested, make your first one from cheap wood and learn from that. If it's not comfortable, ask yourself why and make another one. Ask for help here and many people will offer advice. You *will* learn and improve. Most people are afraid of making chairs until they make one - then they wonder why they were afraid.
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