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Staked Sawbenches

This weekend I am experimenting on guinea pigs. Scratch that. I’m experimenting on American pigs. Wow. That’s doesn’t sound good, either. OK, I’m teaching a new class on a new topic that has been bottled up inside me for four years now.

You’ve probably never heard the term “staked furniture,” but that’s because the term and the joinery technology behind the furniture has largely been shoved to the side or relegated to a small segment of the chairmaking world.

Staked furniture is essentially a way of making any piece of furniture that is a platform using a conical tenon that pierces a thick slab of wood.

I’ve been studying and building this kind of furniture for several years now, but I finally started teaching it this weekend at Highland Woodworking in Atlanta, Ga. This quick two-day class introduces students to the wood, tools and joinery technology for building staked furniture. We’re building a pike of sawbenches using the technology, but that is a small small part of what you can do with it.

In the coming 11 months, I’ll be writing a lot more about this technology and its history, which stretches back more than 600 years. In the meantime, check out the short video about our first day of class.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 6 comments
  • Sergeant82d

    I built a pair of saw benches last summer after seeing your version using dimensional lumber, which I love, and need more of.

    I’ve been seeing this style of bench more and more in your writing lately, so after seeing this post, I ordered some 3×8 Cottonwood (my local option for soft hardwood) to make a few.

    Neat Stuff!

  • Jdelisle

    Looking forward to this series. Staked furniture making is very accessible and I’m interested to see the variety of pieces.

  • tjhenrik

    When do you get to light the sparklers off after laying out your angles?

  • Maurice

    I’ve often thought about saw benches such as these. Extremely versatile and utilitarian, plus, I’m sure once you get the hang of the angles, very quick to make. I also like the Moravian stool that I saw at Old Salem Village, which you highlighted in a PW issue.

  • TJH

    Whose performance of “Sally Ann”, please? It’s great! I look forward to learning more about staked furniture.

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