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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.

Side Chair Class: Day Two

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

Day two begins with cutting mortises into the rear legs for the slat tenons. This is done while the legs are still square so that there is a flat reference surface. Here David is using the slat mortising jig to route the mortises into the tapered, inside face of one leg. For the opposite leg […]

Side Chair Class: Day One

24 Sep 2013 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

I am in the middle of two weeks of teaching and don’t have time to work on the next post in the side chair build series. As an alternative I thought it would be fun to document the class I am teaching this week. I have two students—Mark Hochstein and David Blois. Both are experienced […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Chair Design, Part 1

19 Sep 2013 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

At this point in the side chair build I am ready to lay out slat mortises on the rear legs. But before I get into that part of the process I thought it would be a good idea to go over some general principles of chair design, especially as it relates to dining chairs. Understanding […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Post Bend Shaping—Rear Legs, Part 2

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

Now that I have flattened, thicknessed, and trimmed the rear legs to length they are ready for the final two steps prior to slat mortising. The first step is to cut a relief cut into curved upper front face of each leg. This begins with laying out the cut. First I put a mark at […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Post Bend Shaping—Rear Legs, Part 1

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

The bending is complete and the rear legs have been drying in my drying closet for about a week. I always check the moisture content before removing the legs from the forms. In this case the legs have dried to about 8 or 9% moisture content so I remove them from the forms. I’m now […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Bending the Slats

27 Aug 2013 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Now that I have milled slat blanks it’s time to bend. Normally I mill the slats while the rear legs are in the steam box then steam and bend the slats after I bend the rear legs. If I am steaming the slats in a separate session I wait for temperature in the steam box […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Prepare Slats for Steam Bending

20 Aug 2013 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

If you remember from the post on milling blank parts, I cut the slat blank from clear, quarter sawn stock. It is about 4 1/2″ wide x 22″ long x 9/4 thick. Here is the rough blank. The first step is to face joint one face, then edge joint one edge 90° to the jointed […]

Rocker Class with Brian Boggs

17 Aug 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Brian has just announced that he will be teaching a six-day rocker class in his shop in Asheville, North Carolina on October 21 through October 26, 2013. The class will be preceded by an optional one-day class on sharpening hand tools. Find out more about the classes and how to register here. Taking a class […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Steam Bending, Part 2

13 Aug 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

After the final, pre-bend milling of the rear legs they are now ready for the steam box. I like to start by adding boiling water, rather than cold water, to the steamers. This greatly accelerates the time it takes to get the steam box up to maximum temperature. I pre-boil the water in an electric […]

Brian Talks Chairs

13 Aug 2013 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Brian recently did an hour long podcast on Fine Woodworking’s Shop Talk Live. It’s a far ranging discussion from his early days as a chairmaker all the way through to his present endeavors. Click here to go directly to the podcast on your web browser. Or go to the Shop Talk Live page on Fine […]

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.