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Roorkhee Chair: First Look

I like Morris chairs  – Lord knows I’ve built enough of them to change my middle name to “Morrie.” But this evening I finished up work on a chair that is lighter in weight (less than 10 lbs.), just as masculine (leather!) and is (gasp) even more comfortable. It’s called a Roorkhee Chair, and...

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Exploring the Roorkhee Chair

I’m gearing up to build a run of Roorkhee Chairs for some customers and (fingers crossed) this magazine. But before I can even order the wood I had to do something I thought I’d never do again: Buy a piece of commercial furniture. The Roorkhee Chair is a seminal piece of British campaign furniture...

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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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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...

A "Robo" bench I am building with the help of "Lee-Nelson" planes.

Things that Get Mispronounced in Woodworking

When you learn woodworking through reading – books, magazines and websites – you often have no idea how certain words are pronounced. And so when you finally encounter fellow woodworkers in the flesh and have a conversation, there can be a language barrier. Here are some of the common mispronounced words I have encountered at...

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Building a Forgotten Classic from Kaare Klint

For the last few years, I’ve studied the world of campaign furniture and the history of the Roorkhee chair, an English form of military seating that appeared in the last days of the 19th century. Most people have never heard of the Roorkhee. But many people have seen the chair that evolved from the...

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Plans: A Simple Bowsaw

While I have used a lot of bowsaws in the last two decades, I’ve never made one. But during the last few weeks, I’ve made five. The reason is that I fly to Germany on Friday to teach a couple woodworking classes. One class on building Roorkhee chairs, plus a one-day class on building...