Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weaving Hans Wegner's CH25 - Photo Series

So here it is. I know that this is an often searched for and requested topic when it comes to weaving Danish furniture. I have seen the forum topics myself from several years back while trying to acquire the details on the subject. As with many of these things I decided maybe I just need to be the one to figure it out and share it.

So, here are a lot of photos showing the basic bones of the process. This is not a "how to" or a "step by step" but it will get you the basis if you examine the what and where and what order I am on, etc. I would like to give a more thorough explanation but due to time this will have to be it for now. Hope it helps some.

Oh and thanks to my wife for coming down and shooting some photos, otherwise I wouldn't have the seat weaving part. I shot the back portion, thus no me in the pictures.

Weave the front and rear rails as you would a Danish cord pattern of this sort. I hate saying that because there is no proper instruction on how to do this correctly out there. There is a way to wrap the rails while working from the roll rather than taking a bundle and going around and around the rail but I have never seen anyone explain it. I will at some point but for now wrap the front and rear rails and string the cord from front to back as you know how. Then work the weave left to right.

Work the cord over and under and pull through. By the way I have seen instruction that say the initial front to back weave is to be left loose. WRONG. It must be pulled tight. Not tight like a guitar string but definitely not intentionally left loose. The left to right weave is left just loose enough to make a nice up and down wave pattern through the initial front to back cord. If the left to right pattern it is pulled too tightly then it will not pack in neatly.

The return weave is wrapped around a steel bar that runs from front to back. Notice the steel wire that goes between the bars to keep them from bowing and keeps the tension balanced across the seat weave. This is critical that you don't use cord nails here instead. They will cause the outer rails to twist and eventually, very likely, split out somewhere or at least compromise the structural integrity.

Another bottom view for clarity.

There are slots in the rails for cord to go around where joinery would interfere with the cord. This is a block glued on to create space for the cord to go around the arm joint. Notice the cord areas are recessed so that the cord ends up just proud of the surrounding wood surfaces.

Start by weaving the vertical portion. This is the part that is a secrete and I can't reveal. Just kidding! The bottom rail of the back is wrapped first while leaving spaces for the vertical cord to fall in when the top is being wrapped. The top rail is then wrapped with a single cord and then drops down to form the vertical lengths at the appropriate spacing. The hole in the top of the rail allows you to form a wide band of cord on the back of the seat while maintaining the pattern on the front. Why you ask? Ok, lots of speculation on this but the answer is simple. You need a place to hide your knots when doing the left to right weave.

Here are some photos of everything all done up. 

Now all you need to do is install the arms and legs without getting glue on any of that cord. Yikes! Don't fret just use some blue painters tape around that area. Oh and make sure and do the finish before the weave, of course.

Now I have on the chopping block a set of four "Round" chairs (aka "The Chair") to do. Can't wait to get to them!


  1. Caleb,

    I've been wanting to try my hand at weaving danish cord, but i've worried that it's a skill you learn only by making a lot of mistakes and do overs because of the lack of info. Thanks for showing us your process. I'm thinking the moller 78 stool would be a fun place for me to start.


    1. Tyler,

      This pattern is perfect for a beginner. I have actually considered making that stool just to be able to show how the "proper" method (at least what I think is proper) to weave it is done.

      Give it a go. The other weave from the video series I did is much harder and your first few attempts with leave you wanting.

  2. I apologize if someone has already asked in a previous post, but do you have any resources (books etc.) for Wegner plans, pictures or manufacturing procedure? If you've come to this point simply by looking at pictures and guessing your way thru the process...I'm amazed.

    Thanks for the great post.

    1. Bud,

      There are no plans out there that I know of and if there were I think I would have found them by now. I have done lots of research on my own to get where I am. I produce my own plans and rework them until I have them to where I think they are as right as can be.

      I have been trying to decide if there is enough interest in pieces like this being made to possibly publish my drawings. If there is then I have to decide what I would have to charge to make it worth my time. I would love to do it all for free but I would like to live too.

    2. I'd gladly purchase a set Caleb. It's a chair I've always wanted to make but lack of time prevents me from sitting down and doing the hard re-inventing work. I don't know how you do it!

    3. Thanks, for your input. I will keep this in mind as I continue to produce my drawings.

  3. I understand the hesitation to publish your drawings. If you ever choose to offer drawings for sale I'll be first in line.

    1. Bud,

      their is really not much hesitation. It is that It would take many hours to turn drawings that I understand into drawing for someone else to understand. :) That may sound silly but my plans have many notes but I also leave out many details that I don't need to be told since my approach to the work tells me what a measurement will be as I produce it. However not everyone works like me.

      I have been producing technical drawings of chairs for Curtis Buchanan and there is just a tremendous amount of time involved to this work. I much prefer to be in the shop so I find I can only sit at the computer long enough to get the design together to the point that I can use them. Also sitting at the computer does not produce much money at all for me. In comparison the making of chairs and other things actually does provide a living though modest.

      That is my hesitation. How much would I have to sell them for to make it worth it and someone still want to buy them? I mean what would you want to pay for a full set of plans like this? That is a bit rhetorical but something I would like to figure out. I would have loved to buy this sort of stuff. Definitely much cheaper than figuring it out on my own though probably more satisfying.

  4. Hi!
    Great work! Really inspiring work, mostly because its human impossible weaving!
    Is the chair available for sale? I would be really interested!


    1. Sorry, this one is sold. Thanks for your interest though.

  5. An amazing replica.
    I'm sure the members of the chair are hand planned.
    May I ask how armrests are joined to front legs.
    I don't see a through tenon.

    effort much appreciated, I am planning to prepare one in mulberry.