Chair Devils

Designed to remove tool marks from chair spindles and posts, this hard-to-find scraping tool is simple to make.
By Kathy Somerville and Larry Diegel
Pages: 80-82

From the December 2005 issue #152
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Last year I spent a week in the Cobden, Ontario, workshop of David Fleming, learning to make a ladderback Appalachian chair. One tool that particularly fascinated me was the chair devil or spindle scraper. This deceptively simple tool removes any spokeshave marks that remain after shaping chair spindles and posts. I photographed and measured the tool that Fleming made, and I returned to Calgary to make my own. I found a brief description of the tool and its construction in Drew Langsner’s book “The Chairmaker’s Workshop” (Lark). I enlisted the aid of machinist Larry Diegel, who helped me shape the metal parts of this tool as well as streamline the building process. It turned out that making a chair devil is not difficult; you should be able to complete the project in a day using tools and machines you already own.

From the December 2005 issue #152
Buy this issue now