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Archive for category: Chairmaker’s Journal

Chairmaker’s Journal is written by Jeff Lefkowitz, a craftsman and graphic designer who teaches woodworkers how to build Boggs-style chairs in his shop in Strasburg, Virginia. Jeff learned the art and craft of chairmaking from Brian Boggs and several other master chairmakers. Join him for an in-depth exploration of topics that will interest both chairmakers and woodworkers alike.

Boggs Side Chair Build: Fitting Slats, Part 3

21 Dec 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

In the last post I measured for the top slat, laid out the tenons and the shape of the main body, and sawed the slat out on the band saw. Now I’m ready to fit the slat tenons to the mortises. I use a simple, but methodical process to fit each tenon precisely to it’s […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Fitting Slats, Part 2

09 Dec 2013 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

The next step in fitting the slats is to use the holding and measuring jigs I built in the last post to measure the distance between the rear legs at each mortise as well as record the angle for the slat tenon shoulder. Those measurements are transferred to the slat blank and become the basis […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Fitting Slats, Part 1

29 Nov 2013 / 4 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Now that I have cut the slat mortises in the rear legs it’s time to fit the slats to the mortises. At this point the rear legs are still square in cross section. The reason for this is that I need square reference surfaces in order to align the legs in a jig that will […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Slat Mortising, Part 3

16 Nov 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Now that I have finished building the slat mortising jig I am ready to cut the slat mortises into the rear legs. I prefer cutting the slat mortises using a router and this jig. The process is very fast, taking a half hour or less and it produces a series of  mortises in each leg […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Slat Mortising, Part 2

07 Nov 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Last time I described a method for laying out the slat mortises that aligns the mortises for the best possible comfort. In this post I will show you how to apply that method to make a slat mortising jig for use with a plunge router. Layout the template I begin with a piece of 1/2″ […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Slat Mortising, Part 1

10 Oct 2013 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

I’d like to begin the discussion on slat mortising by describing how to layout the mortises on the rear leg. I can do the layout directly on a leg if I am planning on chopping the mortises by hand. Or I can use the same principles to layout a template to cut the mortises with […]

Side Chair Class: Day Six

29 Sep 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

On the final day of class the only remaining tasks are to level the chair and weave the seat. Leveling the chair will remove any wobble introduced in the assembly process, allow all four legs to fully contact the floor, and drop the back of the chair about half an inch to make it more […]

Side Chair Class: Day Five

28 Sep 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Day five is very busy and very satisfying. We begin the day by shaping the ears at the top of the rear legs. I always have students practice on spare stock first. Only when they are comfortable with the process do they move onto shaping their actual legs, as David is doing here. You can […]

Side Chair Class: Day Four

27 Sep 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

On day four we continue shaping the rear legs using the same process as the front legs but with the added complexity of a curved part. Here David has shaped the bottom of the rear leg to a tapered octagon and is checking his work. While David and Mark are working on the rear legs […]

Side Chair Class: Day Three

26 Sep 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Day three is devoted entirely to hand shaping the front and rear legs. The day begins with a practice front leg. Shaping with hand tools is often a new process for students and I like them to try the techniques and tools on practice stock before working on their actual chair parts. This is the […]

Chairmaker’s Journal is written by Jeff Lefkowitz, a craftsman and graphic designer who teaches woodworkers how to build Boggs-style chairs in his shop in Strasburg, Virginia. Jeff learned the art and craft of chairmaking from Brian Boggs and several other master chairmakers. Join him for an in-depth exploration of topics that will interest both chairmakers and woodworkers alike.