Campaign Furniture

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...

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...

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...

Wait, Leather Already?

With this class in building Roorkhee chairs, I bit off way less than I could chew. After the second day, we just have to finish up a couple details on the leather and metal work before we start finishing the mahogany. Tomorrow, I hope we will finish all the chairs with shellac and black...

Roorkhee Chairs, Day 1 (Then What?)

Most classes I teach end up being a “dovetail death march” (in a good way). There is a lot of traditional joinery, late nights, sore feet and little hope of finishing the project in five days. But this class on Roorkhee chairs at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking promises to be different. If we...

Drawer Construction Details Make Life Easier

Woodworkers are shy people – especially at the beginning of their journey. They make parts or assemblies oversized and then plane, sand or rasp them to fit. On one hand, this makes sense. It’s easier to take wood off than to put it back on. However, the other hand is already done with the...

Roorkhee Details to Avoid Disaster

Roorkhee chairs are tough and lightweight – they have to be in order go to war or on safari. To make your chairs as durable and lightweight as possible, here are some details to consider as you build your own. (What’s a Roorkhee chair? Read about them in the October 2012 issue of Popular...

Assemble a Roorkhee Chair

Building a Roorkhee chair is one thing. Assembling it without looking like a lowly private is quite another. In the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, I showed you how to build the chair, however there wasn’t enough space to show you how to best strap the thing together in the field. Everyone...

Turn a Roorkhee Leg with One Tool

I am the last person in the world who should teach wood turning. I stink at it. I’m slow. I don’t do it enough to become proficient at it. But even I can easily turn a leg for a Roorkhee chair using just one turning tool – a full-size Easy Rougher from Easy Wood...