A Faster Way to Assemble a Roorkee | Popular Woodworking Magazine
 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Woodworking Blogs


Roorkee chairs are great fun to show customers – until they ask me to take it apart and put it back together for them.

For the first year or so, I was pretty slow at putting them together because there are eight buckles to tighten up all while keeping the loose parts from falling down like a Jenga game.

After thinking about it and working with the chairs for three years now, I’ve got it down to about two minutes to assemble a chair – tops. I can take it apart in a little less than that, which is ideal if you are retreating from the enemy.

The trick is to keep the seat, thigh strap and back legs buckled.

You can then snap the back legs onto a stretcher – already threaded through the seat – add the side stretchers and thigh strap and then the back legs. Rotate the back legs and…. aw heck, describing this with words is just stupid.

Watch this video.

This chair (and its mate) are bound for a customer this week. I finished building the chair shown in the video for an upcoming DVD by Popular Woodworking titled “Build a Campaign Chair,” which is due out in January 2015.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 3 comments
  • Derrick


    This looks like some slight changes to the initial design in PW and your book such as more straps and buckles, etc. I assume, if this is correct, that these are intentional improvements. Any thought of an updated design or posting of the improvements/options?


  • Jonathan Szczepanski

    TIL… A workbench should be precisely one Roorkee chair wide.

    … or is it the other way around?

  • matt223ruger

    Thank you very much for the video. It really helps me understand how the chair is supposed to go to gather. I have read your book on campaign furniture, but sometimes it’s easier to understand with a visual. I do plan to build a pair in the future, most likely out of old growth Douglass fir. I happen to have a large stash at home. Thanks again.


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