A Staked Armchair for ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’


When I finished up writing “The Anarchist’s Design Book” in January 2016, there were two projects that I wish I’d included: a staked armchair and a staked settee.

At the time, my designs for these two pieces were still juvenile. Well maybe that’s not correct. They were too complex to be presented in a book aimed at simple forms. So I set them aside. During the last 12 months, I’ve completed these two designs and began building the staked armchair this week.

For the armchair, I finally got the arm shape to my satisfaction while drinking a beer in a Cleveland restaurant (that’s the 45-second sketch above). While the arm is dead simple, it has an interior curve that echoes the curve at the back of the seat and a bevel on the front that repeats the bevel on the underside of the seat.


I’m going to photograph the construction process and share it here on the blog. After I get this armchair built and I also finish the settee we might add them to the next printing of “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” (If we do that, we will offer free downloads of the new chapters to all previous purchasers, no matter where you bought the book.)

This armchair will be made with sycamore and hickory left over from the last chair.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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14 Responses to A Staked Armchair for ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

  1. azezo1 says:

    Just one more reason I purchase everything Lost Art Press puts out. I love how well you treat your customers.

  2. I read “The Anarchist’s Design Book” last summer, on the beach in Cape Cod while on vacation. It represents the most influential book on woodworking or any of the creative artistic endeavors that I engage with. I have been tossing away glass-like finishes and approaching woodworking with less fear and in a more relaxed way ever since, resulting in some of my most satisfying results.

    Merci beaucoup!

  3. edweirdhopkins says:

    This is puddlewonderful.

  4. brettrgilmer says:

    Funny time to mention sycamore, Christopher. I’ve been casually looking for QS sycamore near St. Louis for a while now, to no avail. We’re lousy with standing sycamore, but it seems that even the backyard and urban sawyers aren’t milling the behemoths. I can’t understand why, it’s cheap by the bdft and the fleck pattern is beautiful. You can’t swing a cat here without hitting a hardwood dealer with more than a few boards of imported leopardwood (Roupala montana).
    Can’t wait to see the chair, thanks for sharing!

  5. While I absolutely adore my Welsh Stick Chair that I made last year, I am having trouble imagining making many more of them due to their size around a dinner table. I intend to make one more, but that is probably about all as I really don’t need more than that.

    This chair design has me interested as something I could make several of, say for around a table. I am very curious to see more, Mr. Schwarz.

  6. What restaurant in Cleveland? There are some good ones up here.

  7. Its a great read and I am building some of the projects in the book. One thing that I’d suggest for later works (or the detailed future blog post on the chair) are close-up images of literally each step of the process – -especially the tapered tenon details. It took me several hours to figure out the specific ratio between the length of the tapered tenon, and the diameters of both the bottom and top, and how those relate to the angles/geometry.

  8. paul6000000 says:

    Enjoying your book and will start the bookcases shortly. I made a Hungarian box bench a few years ago and I’m going to use that as the basis of a daybed/settee thing. I saw he undersides of the offerings at IKEA recently and couldn’t stomach paying money for crap, even though I badly need something. I got sheets, lamps and some kitchen stuff but the couch was an abomination.

  9. This is great. After your last chair (and Roy’s version on TWS) I’ve been working out a way to do this very thing to the chairs in ADB. I haven’t put blade to wood yet because I haven’t been happy with the results, so I’m very interested to see how you bring it together.

  10. jayedcoins says:

    This looks very cool, excited to see the progress on the build.

  11. Do the outer spindle pierce the arms?

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