A Modified L & J. G. Stickley Settle–Design

Stickley Settle

A variation on L & J. G. Stickley’s No. 220. settle. I’ve shortened the length and added a slight arch to the long stretchers.

I’ve admired Leopold and John George Stickley’s “Prairie Style” settle since I first encountered it in Bob Lang’s Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture, so my thoughts turned to it when we began to consider replacing some seating in our living room. We needed something shorter, though, so I determined how much space I had, then adapted the Stickley design. Since length was the key constraint, it didn’t take much to change the design to suit my needs. Shortening the long stretchers and eliminating one of the back panels, and modifying the width of the remaining panels got me to finished length. I liked the arched stretchers of the version in Popular Mechanic’s Workshop: Tables and Chairs, so I experimented with a similar detail until I found one I liked. The arch adds a nice counterpoint to the piece’s strong horizontal lines while echoing the curve of the corbels. I experimented with narrow panels in Sketchup since I didn’t like the thought of gluing up a bunch of thin panels, but the wider panels reiterate the horizontal lines and I ended up with enough 1/4 plywood in a quartersawn white oak veneer that made the decision to keep the wide panels easy. With the design finalized, construction beckoned.

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