Monday, April 28, 2014


Well it looks like I'm finished. I did some final sanding at 320 grit, checked everything again, and put three coats of Satin Polyurethane finish on the chair (sanding lightly between coats). It came out very nice.

And for the most important test...

It works!

I weigh around 180 lbs (81 kg), and the chair barely flexes! It's very sturdy.

I hope you've enjoyed following along with the construction. Please drop me a note if you have any questions or comments.

Rietveld Builder

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stamp it out

It’s time to create a small detail. On the Cassina reproduction chairs one of the last steps is to silk screen their logo along the bottom of the chair, and stamp in a serial number.

Since I’m not running a large factory, I’ve decided to imprint “G. RIETVELD ZIG ZAG 1932” on the bottom piece. This way when I’m dead and gone, and my relatives wanted to know a little more about the odd chair I built, they will have some reference information.

This is a pretty easy task. Not a whole lot to it.

Step one: lay out a straight line.

Step two: test the first letter (in terms of how hard to drop the hammer). Looks about right.

Step three: Step back and admire the work.

When I do the final sanding the very small edges around the letters will be sanded smooth, and will look nice.

The chair is now dangerously close to being finished!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rietveld Inerpretations

If you'd like to see some odd Rietveld inspired chairs, follow this link and browse through 18 pages of them!

Brazilian craftsmanship!

One of the reasons I did this blog is that there are VERY few posts on the Internet showing people building the Zig Zag and Red Blue chairs. Here is a link to a Brazilian woodworker who has made both the Red Blue and Zig Zag chairs. Scroll about half way down the page to see the chairs

Some more video!

I found a video that I thought was interesting. It's in French, and it features the Red Blue Chair, and other Rietveld designs. If you want to see the Red Blue being built at the Cassina factory, go to the 9:20 mark.

Click here to watch on YouTube

If you want to see exactly how I got the dimensions when I built my Red Blue Chair, over 20 years ago, watch the video at the 18:00 mark. It shows a man in a museum sneaking around the chair measuring, and writing the dimensions down. I did this same thing (there was no Internet back then to find plans) but instead of a museum I went to a modern design store in San Francisco and took some measurements when nobody was around!