Wingback Chair

Learning how to build a wingback chair is a great way to save money on an elegant looking piece of furniture.  These chairs are often associated with luxury, sometimes having elaborate patterns of fabric stitched to them.  Others are made out of high quality leather products.  Either way, buying a wingback is pretty expensive, so many do it yourselfers like to try and build their own.

Wingback chairs are a great addition to your living room.  Since they come in so many different colors and patterns, you can easily get one to match your house.  Whether you have carpet, wood, or tile floors, you can find or make a chair that will match your house.

To kit or not to kit

When considering the addition of a wingback chair, it’s important to note the difficulty that comes with making your own.  Sure, anyone can probably build a simple one.  However, wingbacks are commonly seen with carved wood with intricate designs and curves carved in.  Many of the legs will have carvings, patterns, and other decorations that a novice woodworker couldn’t complete on their own.

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If you have some family or friends that is able to assist you, that’s great.  You should be able to do most of it on your own; you may need some help with the legs, and applying the fabric to the chair.  If you’re unfamiliar with attaching fabric or leather, this assistance becomes valuable.

Other than that, building it yourself is probably the way to go.  You have full choice of what patterns and colors you use to better match your house.  You can use woods and stains that match the trim or wood floors in your house as well.  Lastly, there’s always the price advantage, obviously buying the chair from the store is going to be far more expensive than constructing it yourself.

Tips

The best way to start building a wingback chair is to just draw it out.  You may want to start with plans or pictures of existing chairs to get an idea of what you want.  Begin to draw the pieces out on paper.  Once you have all the pieces drawn out, you can cut them out and trace over them with pencil on to the wood.  Using a jig saw, cut the wood to the appropriate shapes that you’ve created.

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The last step is pretty straight forward.  Using wood screws assemble the rest of the chair carefully.  Use pocket holes to attach the pieces together, and later fill them with wood filler.  You can also use a dab of wood glue for each piece for added security.

The last part is to stain the frame that you’ve created.  You can use a rub on stain which is pretty easy to apply.  Dip a rag into the stain and move it over the wood in circular motions so that it evenly coats the wood.  I suggest matching the stain color to existing wood products in your house.

What we’ve learned

If you follow plans carefully, building your own wingback chair is a synch.  With careful preparations, the proper materials, and a little elbow grease, you should have just made some beautiful furniture that is sure to last through the ages.  Remember, if you’re unsure of something, don’t hesitate to ask your local DIY store, or a woodworking forum.