It would go a long way to proving the design.
Even a charity shop wardrobe should produce enough for a couple of mock ups.
I made a softwood mock up of my dining room chairs before making them, I had to change quite a lot, but as it was a mock up a couple bits screw on didn't matter.Xmas Chair maquette and finished one
by Pete Maddex
, on Flickr
Pete, Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know
It doesn't have to scream to cut wood
Let them eat static!Flickr