Roorkee No. 24. Same, But Not


One of the things I enjoy about this chair form is that it never gets boring for me (but I don’t think I’ve been bored since age 11). Though this is the 24th Roorkee I’ve built during the last three years, it was still just as fun, thanks to the details I get to experiment with.

I’m on a never-ending quest to improve the hardware kit for this chair, which is featured in “Campaign Furniture,” and this Roorkee shows some of those new bits. I started using knurled brass thumbscrews to hold the arms straps to the back legs (the thumbscrews thread into brass threaded inserts). This allows you to easily take up any slack in the leather arms should you get bovine stretch marks.

I also found a good source for bronze bolts for the chair’s back, plus brass washers and brass nuts with a locking nylon insert. This makes the back bits less likely to loosen up.

Elsewhere, I’ve switched to using antiqued brass roller buckles, which recede into the leather instead of jumping out at you like the bright brass ones I used before.

All the other changes are things that are difficult to notice if you aren’t me. The foot shape is just a little different. And the ends of the tenons are flush with the legs instead of protruding a tad.

But just like the first Roorkee chairs I made, this one sits really well. So it might be time for a beer.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. The complete hardware list for this chair is here.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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7 Responses to Roorkee No. 24. Same, But Not

  1. The adjustment holes on the back of the leather arms seem awfully close to each other. Do you need such fine control when adjusting the arms? With such close spacing, is there a danger that the leather will tear from one hole to the next? I really like the knurled brass thumbscrews.

    • They might tear, though this leather is very tough. These arms are an experiment to see if I will be happy with one-ply arms (which were used on originals). I have several other sets of arms that I’m playing with. This chair doesn’t have a customer yet so I’ll have some time to tweak the arms.

  2. Given a choice between 5-7 ounce latigo leather or 8-10 ounce latigo leather, which would you use?

  3. ullandb says:

    Why is Latigo the leather of choice? Have you considered other vegetable tanned leathers? carries a fairly diverse range of leathers.

    Love the blog,

    • I was steered to latigo by several leatherworkers. It is both durable and supple and is used in outdoor applications – saddles and military gear are typical applications.

      I’ve used lots of different kinds of leather, but so far this is the one I prefer.

  4. Vaughn Webber says:

    I’ve always been curious to see what these chairs look like broken down, I may have missed if one was pictured somewhere. I found one pictured in it’s carry bag, but not simply the pieces laid out.
    There’s proly one pictured broken down in Campaign Furniture. I have a few of your other books but not sure if I’ll purchase CF.

    Not to be too sappy but just wanted to say…
    Deepest thanks to you for sharing the interests and humorous derisions of your life, your work has had a profoundly positive influence on my life. I’m guessing for many others as well. (This is sounding like a eulogy, oy. So I’ll add…) Looking forward to years and years more missives and publications as your writing style causes me to pause in my day.

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