After building 27 Roorkee chairs myself and teaching students to build 35 more, I’m ready to make a DVD to share the turning, joinery and leatherwork necessary to build one of these campaign-style chairs.
I’ll be filming the DVD at F+W in about a week. I don’t have a release date for the project, but the company is fast – very fast – at editing these videos and bringing them to market.
This weekend I’m prepping all the parts to make two chairs so we have parts to work on that are at all different stages of the construction process. This prep work is probably overkill because I can now build one of the these chairs in about two days. But I was a Boy Scout and we learned to “be prepared” (in my troop that meant “be prepared to have your tent urinated on by bullies”).
One of the fun aspects of this project is I’ve asked Jason Thigpen at Texas Heritage Woodworks to hand-stitch stitch the arms for this matched pair of chairs, which are going to a customer right after Thanksgiving. Jason makes a lot of cool stuff, including shop aprons and tool rolls. I plan to order an apron from his as soon as I wear out my current one.
The DVD will be aimed at the general woodworker who has never turned or done leatherwork. We’ll be using only one turning tool to make all the chair parts on a midi-size lathe. The leatherwork will be done with basic hand tools – mostly a utility knife and a rotary punch.
And we’re definitely going to cover finishing with shellac and wax – I’m going to make the case we should show how to do it with an inexpensive HVLP system.
If you can’t wait for the DVD, the complete instructions to build the chair are covered in my latest book, “Campaign Furniture.”
— Christopher Schwarz