Wisdom from the Verge


“It takes half a fool to make chairs and a whole fool to make baskets.”

— Verge, an Appalachian chairmaker as quoted in “Craftsman of the Cumberlands” (University of Kentucky) by Michael Owen Jones

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Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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13 Responses to Wisdom from the Verge

  1. Al says:

    I like it, especially the two little beads on that rail. They add something that’s missing. Any more would look odd, but without them it would be too plain.


  2. Richard Mahler says:

    Well, that confirms what we all may have suspected even if we were not prepared to admit it!


  3. John Kunstman says:

    Fantastic arm bow and doubler on the oak chair. I really like the shape of the hands and the exaggerated cove with the fillit. The absence of the hard line between the seat and upper deck combined with the smoothness of the hands gives the chair a worn and comfortable appearance. It may just be the camera angle. But I prefer the leg splay on the walnut chair and the angles of the spindles for the arm bow.


    • Sergeant82d says:

      I second all your comments, John, RE: the angles, etc. But I’m not sure (personally) about the seats hard line. Can’t visualize it, would need to see them side by side.

      Either way – nice work, and it looks like he’s keeping busy! (big surprise… )


  4. Sergeant82d says:

    I’ve always wanted to make a basket, but so far I’ve only been able to make chairs… Maybe there’s hope for me after all. 😂

    To the picture – Chris, I LOVE the coped ends of the arm rail doubler! Beautiful!


  5. Tony Zaffuto says:

    Whoever made the chairs, well, they’re simply beautiful, especially the one on the left! Bravo!


  6. Thomas L Giacchina says:

    and not a fool to appreciate both.


  7. What does that make Follensbee?


  8. I know this runs contrary to the Welsh spirit, but I have to ask… but are you still using 16° front and 22° rear resultant angles (as from ADB staked armchair)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes. I’m not Chris Williams or JB and am a full believer in plans and construction details (we are all different people and have to get along with each other’s eccentricities).

      I believe that chair has 22° resultants on all four legs. Sightlines are the same as per the book.

      Hope this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

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