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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 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 […]

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 / 4 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 […]

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.