Sunday, September 26, 2010

The African "Birthday Chair"

A client presented me with the pieces for a chair turned in their homeland of South Africa, twenty-seven years ago.
The design was copied from a family piece . It was completely turned without the aid of power tools, the dowels hand cut. It is made from an African Olive wood.
It was referred to as "Loliando," which may refer to the area in Tanzania that the wood came from.

The owner had held onto this bundle of pieces all these years until she found someone to put it together properly. That fell to me. It was a satisfying challenge.

The wood smells and machines like White Oak. It has a complexion like that of Mahogany.

Wood twists over time and it was a challenge to assemble the piece straight.

I used almost every clamp I owned to coax it into a straight and square state but once dry it was just fine.

Here is the glued-up piece awaiting finish.

A close-up of the seat which will be woven with leather and topped with a custom cushion.



  1. Gorgeous work Marty!!

  2. Your a master craftsman! Awesome job! Thanks for sharing it with us. Miss you friend, p

  3. Mum is simply thrilled with the birthday chair. Thank you so much for doing it Marty.