Taking Credit, Giving Credit and Stealing it

On the way back from Handworks, editor Megan Fitzpatrick asked me a question I get a lot: “Does it irk you when people build your furniture designs and fail to credit you when they post them on social media?” Answer: Not at all. For me, the reward isn’t that someone praises...

Woodworking Advice from the Food Industry

Making good food is a lot like making good furniture – you need good raw materials, skill and a decent set of basic tools. Last weekend I was talking to my brother-in-law about his job, which is supplying high-quality ingredients to restaurants. He’s been in the business long enough that he...

Tools to Make a Roorkee Chair

Gathering the tools and materials necessary to make a Roorkee chair might seem intimidating because of some of the unusual operations (riveting?). I think the list of necessary tools is pretty manageable and reasonably priced – nothing too exotic. When students ask me for recommendations on what they should buy, here...

Now Available: Build a Campaign Chair Video

One of the most influential chairs of the 20th century was built and designed by an anonymous craftsman in Roorkee, India. Whoever built the first “Roorkee” chair in the late 1890s was trying to supply the military forces of the British Empire with a lightweight camp chair that could be taken...

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...

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...

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...

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...

how to make bow saws

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...