What’s Your Chair’s Janka Rating?

During the last two decades I’ve entered the orbit of many chairmakers who make Jennie Chairs (from “Make a Chair From a Tree”) and Windsor/Forest chairs. Years ago, I was in a gaggle of them, and they started talking about how little their chairs weighed.

I learned that Jennie Chairs that have been stripped down to their essence can weigh about 5 lbs. A few people have broken that barrier and gotten them below 5 lbs., but it’s apparently tricky to do it without splitting the posts during assembly.

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Some Windsor/Forest chairmakers have similar obsessions with making chairs that weigh as little as possible. Because of the massive and solid seat, however, the makers I have talked with usually aspire for about 8 lbs. of material.

How much do my stick chairs weigh? I had no idea until people started asking me. Sure, I’ve shipped a bunch of them, so I know how much the crate, chair and packing material weighs (about 60 lbs.). But the chair itself? It weighs about yea much. As much as a chair made of oak, walnut or cherry should. A child, adult or aged person can move it around without too much trouble. You can pick it up. You can stand on it. It’s not made out of collapsed star material.

I didn’t know there was a contest to make the waif-iest chair possible. (Of course, I’m oblivious to sports. So it might be a personal defect – I’m missing the “competition” gene.)

Recently some Jennie Chair makers were again chatting with me about how incredibly lightweight their chairs were. One of them asked me how much my chairs weighed. 

“Weight?” I replied. “Bah. What’s more important is the pH of your chair. If you don’t understand the ‘potential of hydrogen’ of your chairs, then I don’t even know what to say.”

This is why I don’t get many invitations to parties.

My chairs weigh about 15 lbs. Unless you have had surgery recently, you should be able to pick them up OK.

— Christopher Schwarz

Source: lostartpress.com

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