Structural Flaws of a Frank Lloyd Wright Dining Chair
I don’t have any furniture projects going on right now, but that didn’t prevent me from stopping in to Midwest Woodworking at lunch today. Frank David called me up last week and let me know that a chair that they had repaired a few decades ago had made it’s way back in for another repair. He told me it was a custom designed original Frank Lloyd Wright dining chair that was designed specifically for the original home owner’s interior decor.
I’m not too familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright designs, but it has some of the characteristics of the rectangular angles and square joinery of many of the chairs I have seen before. A Google search yielded something similar produced by Heritage Henredon in the mid 1950’s, but most of what I found was mahogany, and the mitered back rest was more intricately carved than this set. It looked like this set was made from either maple or beech.
Based on my limited knowledge of chair construction principles, the fabrication and design of this chair was destined to have a few visits to a repair shop in it’s lifetime. Shallow mortises, narrow rails, splitting miter joints, etc. all the hallmarks of poor construction at the expense of Prairie Modern Design. Although I have to admit, I liked the wide tapering back legs cut at an angle to accommodate the back rest.