yeah i think you're right Kev, they work for kids up to about 6-7 years old, depending on the child, my grandkids are 7 and are getting a little big for the chairs, hopefully they will hand them down to their kids when the time comes
The way you mentioned doing it in the original post is fine. Who cares about endgrain gluing, just screw and glue the inside square and face glue the top. You could even screw and glue the base, as no one would ever see it.
some progress while i wait for special bolts from the Bolt Depot, 2 coats of danish oil on all pieces a final coat of finishing wax when they are assembled, glued together the seat and installed the arm brackets, rear top seat slat engraved. i should have checked my bolt supply before i started this, old age i guess