One of the parts of my next armchair that I’ve struggled with is the shape of the armbow. On my most recent chair, I used a maple arm that was cold-bend hardwood. It’s a sleek look, but I decided that it was too complex for “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”
So I decided to go back to the first stick chairs I built in 2003 and use a three-piece armbow. This form of arm is chunkier, but you don’t need to bend anything, and it can be really strong if you orient the grain so it follows the curve of the arm.
The armbow is 7/8” thick and 2” wide for the most part. Then it swells to 2-3/8” at the hands. Well, swells isn’t the right word. I began expanding the radius of the outside of the arm along the front 4”. How did I do this? French curves.
Then I used a second french curve to make the front edge of the armbow.
This was not all one flash of inspiration. This was four iterations. Draw it on paper. Cut it out in 5mm underlayment plywood. Stare at it until I hate it. Repeat.
I kept doing this until I didn’t hate it.
Then I cut out the arms in some air-dried locust (thanks Brendan!).
The Lost Art Press storefront will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this coming Saturday. While Megan Fitzpatrick will be gorging herself on lobster and Downeast Cider, Brendan Gaffney and I will be working dutifully in the shop.
Brendan is finishing up a massive bookstand that will hold our Deluxe “Roubo on Furniture” book – we’ll be posting a video this week on the book and the bookstand, which is from a plan in Roubo. (No, it’s not the one that Roy Underhill has made famous.)
We’ll have blemished books for sale (cash only), plus our complete line of new and unblemished books (all major credit cards accepted). Come check out our newest titles: “Welsh Stick Chairs,” “Cut & Dried” and “Slojd in Wood.”
2018 has been a busy year so far. Teaching (and the traveling that goes with it), plus trying to work a regular job has kept me in almost constant motion.
My next stop is in Bellbrook, Ohio, at Little Miami Handworks July 18-22. We will be building a knockdown trestle table that I came up with a few years back. There are still a few openings for this class. If you are free that week come join us! Dwight Bartlett, headmaster of the school, has has put together one heck of a facility.