Gustav Stickley

js_ford_chair_IMG_4324

The Other Arts & Crafts

It’s difficult to have a serious conversation about the American Arts & Crafts movement without using the “S” word – Stickley, of course. The iconic, rectilinear and medieval forms of Gustav(e) Stickley, his brothers and the other designers he employed are the nouns and verbs of the Arts & Crafts language – oak, leather, quartersawn,...

History of the Morris Chair

In the mid-1860s a carpenter in Sussex, England named Ephraim Colman had a brilliant idea, to make a chair with an adjustable back. The idea was sketched by Warrington Taylor, and adapted by Phillip Webb for a chair to be produced by William Morris and Company. Chairs have had a slow evolution, and the...

Sorry Grandma, But I’m Proud of That

I read a column about “professional blogging” the other day that mentioned a blog is the one place in journalism where it’s accepted practice to start with an anecdote about your grandmother. So here goes. I was raised that it was wrong, wrong, wrong to ever brag, boast or call undue attention to yourself....

Amazing Device for Laying out Complex Joints

It’s easy to talk yourself out of doing something that’s out of the ordinary. Woodworkers tend to worry and analyze things so much that they often settle for less, when doing things right isn’t that much of a stretch. A case in point is the curved rails on the back of a Morris chair....

Match Mortise Size Without Measuring

Whenever I teach a class, at least one student will say to me “you really don’t like measuring, do you?” I don’t dislike measuring, but I try to avoid it whenever I can. When I’m trying to get one part to fit another, the numbers become irrelevant and measuring often becomes an opportunity to...

April Comes Between Thanksgiving and New Years

Working on a magazine has some elements of science fiction, particularly in relation to the space/time continuum. Even though it’s late November, I’ve been working on a project for the April 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Here is a “sausage factory tour” of how we select, design and build projects that appear in...

Z2115

Reinforcing the Indestructible

Pegging through-mortise-and-tenon joints is an excellent way to reinforce the already strong joint. Good dowels can be hard (if not impossible) to find, so when I need the right size and the right species, I make my own. It doesn’t take long, and the work is a nice relief from fussing with other details....