Chairmaking

Chair Joinery: Tapered Tenons & Tapered Mortises

Because chairs take abuse like a rented mule, the simple mortise-and-tenon joint is sometimes not enough. In traditional Windsor chair construction, the legs and spindles are attached to the plank seat using tenons that are cone-shaped along their lengths. So the mortises have to be the same shape. These tapered joints...

A Better Clamp for Angled Joints

Gluing and clamping angled assemblies – like most chairs – can be a hassle. There are some great strategies for approaching glue-ups, angled and otherwise, in various books including “Glue and Clamps,” but sometimes it just comes down to having the right tool for the job at hand. For years I...

Is It Cheating at Chairmaking?

Where is the craftsmanship line crossed between between handwork, machine work, and machine work driven by computers? Or, is there a line at all? I certainly don’t know the answer. But I was thinking about the question recently after my son sent an e-mail to me with a link to a...

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...

Build a Sculptured Rocker with Charles Brock

"Two DVD's + Book + Full-Size Patterns + Online Support = Success! Most woodworkers' ""bucket lists"" of projects include crafting a Maloof-inspired rocking chair. Brocks' instructional bundle includes a DVD (103 minutes) and companion book (48 pages with 69 pictures) that provide you with all the plans and instruction you need to...

Saddle a Chair Seat

“(Chairs) are too hard. Chairmakers are doomed to poverty.” — Gary Bennett (1934 – ) furniture maker and artist If I were a full-time chairmaker, I don’t think I’d be doomed to poverty. Instead, I’d be doomed to starvation – or taking a job as an assistant baby chicken sexer. But...

Pattern-sanding Curved Parts

This is straight from André Roubo’s “L’Art Du Menuisier” in the section on oscillating spindle sanders. True, the spindle sander shown in plate 322 is treadle-powered, and the menuisiers shown are wearing frilly shirts and tights, but other than that, it’s stone-cold André. When I make arm bows for chairs, I...

Compwood Unleashed and…

I must get off my hinder and start beavering on these two Welsh stick chairs I’m making for a friend. The arm bows are bent, the seats are glued up and…that’s all I got. Until this moment, the excuse for my lethargy was that I was waiting for the arm bows...