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Archive for category: Chairmaker’s Journal

Grain Orientation and Wood Movement, Part 1

11 Oct 2012 / 1 Comment / in Chairmaker's Journal

Wood is hygroscopic. This means that it will absorb water when the relative humidity increases and lose water when the relative humidity decreases. As wood absorbs moisture it swells and as it loses moisture it shrinks. This swelling and shrinking varies across the three main planes of the wood grain: tangential, radial and longitudinal. Knowing […]


18 Sep 2012 / 1 Comment / in Chairmaker's Journal

One of the most exciting things about chairmaking is the seeing the transformation of a rough board into a bent chair leg. This morning I was preparing a pair of rocker legs for a student who is coming here in October for a class. Because the rocker is such a complex chair I do all […]

Chairmaking Classes

07 Sep 2012 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

I’ve just added pages describing all of the chairmaking classes that I offer. Click on the links below each photo to get to that chair’s page. Or use the navigation bar to the left by hovering over Chairmaker’s Journal, then hover over Chairmaking Classes and make your selection.   Introductory classes The introductory classes are […]

Angles, Part 2

06 Sep 2012 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

In the last post I showed how to measure for drilling angles using an existing chair. The drilling method, rise and run, relies on using the trapezoid formed by the rungs and legs and rotating it until the rung mortise to be drilled is 90° to the table top. However, if you do not have […]


23 Aug 2012 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

For many woodworkers new to chairmaking, especially if their previous experience depended on “straight, flat, and square,” calculating and drilling angled mortises into round, curved parts can seem like magic. Over the years Brian has developed some very simple and accurate methods for drilling rung mortises without ever knowing the actual drilling angle. The chair […]

An Introduction

12 Aug 2012 / 7 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

About 10 years ago I was looking for an outlet for my creative energies beyond my day job as a graphic designer. My work provided interesting design challenges on a daily basis but lacked a tactile element that I sorely missed. And the work I produced lacked permanence, mostly marketing materials with a short shelf […]