As a woodworker who loves to make chairs, I always try to use components that are as light and strong as possible. Thin spindles look better and can help a chair conform to the body of the sitter.
But wood has its limits.
Today I started assembling some folding campaign stools that were based off an original that had 1”-diameter legs. The original had a thin 5/8”-diameter ankle and 7/8”-diameter foot. They looked fantastic, so I decided to build the project as-is.
Unfortunately, we moderns are lard-butts.
In comparing the new stools to my old ones (which had a 1-1/8”-diameter legs and chunkier ankles), I definitely preferred the feel of the chunkier stools.
I weigh 185 pounds, and the stool with the thin legs was just too flexible to be comfortable. Every time I shifted my weight, the stool would give a little bounce. That’s not good feedback in the buttocks region.
So if you are building this stool before the book comes out, I recommend you beef up the legs. Use 1-1/8”- or 1-1/4”-diameter legs. Tomorrow I’m going to turn some more legs and try to get the look of the skinny leg on a thicker component.
Indeed: Spanks for stools.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
— Christopher Schwarz