How It’s Made: Bubinga Veneer Double Arch Chair
Introduction & Inspiration
The StudioRossi Arches collection needed a versatile chair that could work in a living room, at the foot of the bed, as a stand-alone statement piece and even as a dining chair. A tall order for a chair. Additionally, the arch geometry had to be central to the design as in our console, side and coffee tables. After some sketches we arrived on a design.
Even a simple, clean design requires specialized tools. Arched forms for the seat and base were created for the vacuum press. The forms had to withstand the massive pressure generated by a vacuum. Reinforcing ribbing fills each form and a final layer of packing tape is applied to the outer surface ensuring any waste adhesive does not glue the chair part to the form.
These images show the arched form with layers of bendable plywood in the vacuum bag with a vacuum pulled. The vacuum press is from Quality VAKuum Products www.qualityvak.com. The adhesive sets more quickly when heated hence the gray heating blanket draped across the form.
Detailing & Geometry
A full-scale model was built using heavy cardboard and hot glue. Quick, “down and dirty” materials remind us of being kids and having more fun with “the box than the toy”!
Shaping & Testing
Once the prototype part comes out of the vacuum press it is trimmed to length, edges are cleaned and mating flats are milled allowing the two pieces to nest properly. Here is the final chair base prototype resting on and off the form. The same process was performed for the chair seat part.
With the prototype complete veneers from Certainly Wood www.certainlywood.com and edging design followed.
Solid walnut and bubinga were resawn on the bandsaw into 1/8” veneers. These veneers (walnut pieces shown) edge the sides and ends of the chairs creating a finished look. No raw plywood edges were left exposed.
The “real thing” came next. Bases and seats vacuum formed with either walnut or bubinga veneers were ready for solid edging and assembly. We were careful to select veneer widths to span the entire part leaving no seams to interrupt the design.
Chairs complete in bubinga, walnut, raw plywood and cardboard!