About a year-and-a-half ago, Christopher Schwarz got a bunch of woodworkers together for a sawbench building party at John Hoffman’s house outside Indianapolis. Chris was using us as guinea pigs for an upcoming class he was teaching on the subject, and to work out a few final explanatory notes for his “Compound Angles, No Math” article (in the June 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine) and his “Anarchist’s Design Book” (Lost Art Press) (which, btw, I highly recommend adding to your woodworking library. And no, I don’t get kickbacks).
But the real lesson for me (and I suspect for some of the other participants) wasn’t “how to build a staked sawbench” – it was that “chairs aren’t as difficult to make as they sometimes appear.” The staked sawbench legs, after all, aren’t much different from staked legs on a Windsor chair (in fact, the bench I built that weekend is now the guest seating in my cubicle…because I have other matched sets of sawbenches.)
And that sawbench in particular is a building block for making Chris’s staked chair – the one he walks you through step by step in the new video “No-Fear Chairmaking” – available now as a download; the DVD will start shipping shortly. His instruction makes it seem simple – and it is. You don’t even need many specialized tools.
But whether you build a sawbench or chair…or any other piece with legs, one of the final tasks before applying a finish is to level the legs. In the video below, Chris shows you his preferred method. (Note, if you don’t want people to stay long in your cubicle, though, I recommend leaving your guest seat cattywampus.)
— Megan Fitzpatrick
P.S. If you want an amuse bouche for a taste of what a weekend with Chris feels like, watch the video below (whilst drinking an adult beverage, perhaps).