Monday, 9 May 2011

The footrest for the strycsitten

This is the final part of the making of a medieval strycsitten and deals with the construction of the footrest. The footrest is not strictly necessary, but is shown in many of the paintings (see my post on the strycsitten of 7 January 2011). It is also a useful piece of furniture in medieval times - it keeps your feet of the cold (stone) floor. Therefore, in my view, it forms an essential part of a medieval strycsitten.

The footrest is usually slightly longer than the strycsitten. The legs of the footrest fall inside the legs of the strycsitten (this means you have to mind where you place your feet if you stand on the footrest!). The footrest is a separate and movable piece of the strycsitten, i.e. when you change the position of the backrest, you move the footrest to the other side of the strycsitten as well. With this in mind, I made the plan of the footrest completely symmetrical as shown below with the form of the footrest legs.

Plan of the footrest legs. The form is more or less similar to the legs of my "Savonarola" X-chair (see next photo).

The savonarola chair: the legs have similar roundings.

The plank of the footrest was planed to the same thickness as the seating of the strycsitten and rounded off at the edges. The legs were roughly sawn using a band-saw and then finished by hand with a chisel. Also the tenon was cut out using a chisel. I used the tenons to mark the mortises in the footplank, which were cut out as well. The three legs were attached to the plank with two small (6 mm) dowels through each mortise and tenon joint.

Four legs of the footrest; one is a spare. The tenon is not yet cut out.

The still square footplank attached to the legs for testing the fit of the mortise and tenon joints.

The leg with the mortise and tenon joint.

The mortise and tenon joint shown from above.
The joint fixed with a dowel.

The complete footrest.

A footnote for the footrest:
Now, in modern times, the footrest proved to be a nuisance. The strycsitten is part of our dinner table seating and we kept stumbling against it. Besides, with our modern flooring we do not suffer from cold feet, so the functionality is lost as well. The footrest now occasionally appears in the living room to show the complete set.


  1. Would it be possible to provide the dimensions of the savonarola pictured above? I have been wanting to construct one myself, but am having a hard time locating dimensions.

    1. Hi Viktor,
      I will post the dimensions, but it will taker a while. At the moment my house is more or less being rebuild and my saveranola chair is stored elsewhere.
      I used the plan of Charles Oakley's peacock chair (see the Interesting links on the right of the thomasguild pages) of as the basis and slightly changed the dimensions.

    2. Hi Viktor,

      My coming blog post of 20 February 2013 will be on the Savoranola chair, including many images, construction details as well as measurements.