The early 1900s Arts & Crafts movement is frequently recognized as a reaction to the industrial revolution with a strong emphasis on hand-crafted furniture, pottery, metalwork and art. All well and good, but it can also be noted that the more successful companies creating these pieces also recognized the economies of scale and the benefits of a certain level of mass production to remove waste and increase accuracy.
It’s one thing to make a chair that will stand alone in a room and be admired as a single piece (a laudable accomplishment for any woodworker). It’s quite a different task to make a set of six, eight or more dining chairs that should not only be admirable as a single piece, but should also match as a set. This is where some small-scale mass assembly makes sense. Well-known Greene & Greene expert Darrell Peart also understands the benefits in this process and has put together a system that finds a happy medium.
In his newest video “Build a Greene & Greene Dining Chair”, Darrell offers up plans and step-by-step instruction on making a great looking dining chair. But more importantly he’s created a set of simple shop jigs to make sure a matched set of chairs is easily achievable. Using loose tenon construction Darrell has made each step repeatable and accurate, following the milling steps with traditional hand-tool techniques to find a balance of hand and machine work. Along the way Darrell also includes solid information on creating and installing pillowed ebony pegs and faux tenons, as well as taking away some of the more complicated joinery found in chair work by using loose tenons.
A great learning tool for creating a single chair or many…
Check out the preview below and purchase the DVD at shopwoodworking.com.
As an added bonus, here is an interview with Darrell where he talks about Greene & Greene design and his process to get the results that he wants.
— David Thiel
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