I am a great fan of the shaker style of furniture. Its very elegant furniture, cleverly designed to maximise the strength of interlocking thin timbers to create a piece which is lightweight and yet strong. It could also be argued that the shaker designers were true ecologists making maximum use of these thin sustainable timbers, shaping the individual pieces with steam to bend them into shape rather than cutting the shape out of a solid timber which considerably reduces the waste.
So a perfect project on a cold day in an unheated workshop as it allows me to get out the steam box, to bend some wood., something I am always amazed when I do it as I never quite believe it will work. If you look at the picture above you will see I have bent the rear uprights, and there are a few extra components that have been bent but not yet fitted.
Which brings me to my problem. The design which is based on original shaker design from the 1800s when I suspect body shapes were different. The seat tapers from front to back. The measurement at the front is 20 inches (500mm) tapering back to 16 inches ( 400mm) at the rear, and its only when you see this in reality do you realise how tight this is. I have then changed the design to incorporate shapely arm rests which cuts an extra 50mm out of the available room so it all becomes a bit tight at the back.
What I need is a representative sample of body measurement’s to work with, but there is a limit to how many I have access to in order to measure. Basically its me.
Therefore I would ask as many of you who feel kind enough to help an old man out. I need to know how wide the average bottom is. The easy way to work this out is for you to sit on flat surface and then put a solid object either side of your bum, then stand up and measure the distance between the objects.
With that information do I need:
A – 16inches (400mm)
B – 18 inches (450mm)
C – – 20 inches (500mm)
D – more than 20 inches