Campaign Furniture

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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...

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Get Ready to Make a Roorkhee Chair

My mailbox has been deluged with questions about the Roorkhee chairs that will be featured in a fall issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The No. 1 question: What does a woodworker need to do to get ready? Answer: First, make sure your subscription is up to date so you don’t miss the issue. New...

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Furniture Hardware from the Automotive Department

When you build furniture that hasn’t been popular for a century, the hardware can be difficult to find. The Roorkhee chairs I’m building for a fall issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine feature an unusual stud that gave me fits. It’s a simple metal nipple at the top of each leg. The chair’s arm straps...

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Furniture for the 19th-century Transformer

Campaign-style furniture goes by many names, such as “military furniture” and “traveling furniture.” But its most curious name is “patent furniture.” It gets this name because many pieces fold up or transform into another form, and the designs were many times patented. The most famous example of patent furniture is the chair that converts...

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More Campaign Furniture Pieces to Explore

I’m in Charleston, S.C., this week to fatten myself up on grits and explore some of the antique shops for campaign furniture examples to study. First the bad news: Antiques of the Indies, the awesome King Street shop I visited last fall, recently closed. However I found that the owner had taken a booth...

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Aging Hardware with Jax Chemicals

I’ve used a lot of different methods to add age to my hardware – everything from a propane torch to ammonia to gun blue to (yes) human urine. Whenever I discuss these methods, I get complaints. So in an effort to garner more complaints, here’s another one: Jax Chemicals. These are the formulas that...

The Ansaldi & Sons die-cast pull in front. A traditional cast one at rear.

Campaign Chests on a Budget

When I had a bunch of woodworkers over to my house recently, they spent some time looking over the Campaign chest I finished recently for an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Their first question: “How much did all this hardware cost?” The answer: About $700. They gasped, but after examining the hardware on...