Campaign Furniture

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Building Roubo’s Campaign Bed at Fort Ticonderoga

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a week knows I have a thing for campaign-style furniture and the work of André Roubo, the 18th-century French woodworker and writer. Like many other 18th-century furniture writers, Roubo wrote a bit about campaign-style furniture, including beds, tables and chairs. I hope to build one...

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Next up: The Douro Chair

You would think that after 30 months of researching and building campaign furniture, I’d be ready to build something else. Such as something that didn’t collapse, fold or have copious amounts of brass hardware. But no. I am nuts for the Douro chair. It’s a reclining chair with leather cushions, yet it pre-dates the...

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The Roorkee Bed?

With my latest book, “Campaign Furniture,” I’m at the very titillating stage of processing several gigabytes of scanned images of furniture that I’ve gathered from musty British catalogs. Many of these high-resolution images take several minutes to process, and so I abuse my friends with annoying text messages about Pepsi Max and acorns as...

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Different Kinds of Roorkhee Chairs

Since building my first run of Roorkhee chairs for the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking, I’ve been able to explore many of the variants of this nifty design, from the original version (shown in the magazine), to its iteration in the hands of Kaare Klint. This week I’m building an early chair inspired...

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Installing Hardware with a Center Punch

Thanks to a book I’m writing on campaign furniture, I’ve installed more brass hardware in the last two years than in my first 18 years of woodworking. As a result, I have become quite particular about how I install screws for hinges, pulls, corner protectors, hasps, locksets and so on. I’ve revisited a lot...

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Another Way to Fold a Table

During the last two years my woodworking has been consumed with furniture in the campaign style from Great Britain. One of the many cool aspects of this style of furniture is that many of the pieces fold up for transport. Last week I finished building a teak folding officer’s field desk from about 1830....

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12 Things About Working Teak

1. Your house will smell like Pier 1 2. Because of teak’s waxiness, your machines will be able to take only about one-fourth of their usual cut. Teak bogs everything down. 3. When handplaning it, you cannot position your cap iron close to the iron’s edge. The waxy shavings gum up the works. Ditto...

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Visiting the Wellspring of Campaign Furniture

This week I’m in England doing research for my next book, “Campaign Furniture,” and spent today geeking out with Sean and Simon Clarke of Christopher Clarke Antiques – the world’s leading dealer of campaign antiquities. The Clarke brothers have handled thousands of pieces of campaign furniture built during two centuries of the peak of...

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Roorkhee Chair Design Document

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably seen a Roorkhee chair (or its children) at some point in your life. The Roorkhee chair was supposedly invented at the end of the 19th century for the British military. But it had a long life that extended into the 20th century and influenced many modern...