If you don’t want your arms to sag, there are several solutions. A quick solution is to glue a strip of polyester to the underside of each arm, which will prevent the arms from stretching. This works, but the polyester can show and can be ugly.
I prefer to double up the thickness of the leather to prevent stretching. To do this, you need to glue and stitch the two layers together. While I’ve stitched some leather seats for folding stools, I haven’t been brave enough to do the arms of a Roorkee, especially one that will go to a client.
(I am almost over this timidity, however.)
This fall I made a matching pair of Roorkees for a client and also worked with Popular Woodworking Magazine to produce a DVD on the construction process I used for the chairs. You can pre-order the DVD here. Or buy the download here.
To get the arms of these chairs just right, I hired Jason Thigpen of Texas Heritage Woodworkers to glue and stitch the arms for me. He did a fantastic job. That shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve seen his shop aprons or tool rolls. He does all the work in-house and is both a maker and a user – my kind of guy.
Today Jason posted a great blog entry on the tools and processes he used to stitch the Roorkee arms, with text, photos and a video. Check out the entry here. And if you need a tool roll, shop apron and/or leather-clad coffee mug, Jason is your guy.
— Christopher Schwarz