I haven’t built a four-stick chair for a long time. Not because I don’t like the form, but because I have been focused on chairs from “The Stick Chair Book.”
But as I sorted through the load of beautiful bog oak I got from fellow woodworker Andy Brownell, I realized something. I could squeeze two chairs out of the material. But barely. So thanks to some creative cutting I wound up with parts for both a six-stick chair and (squeakily) a four-stick chair.
Because I was unsure about the material (its stability, strength, color), I decided to begin by building a chair form I could make while sleeping.
This four-stick chair is made from bog oak that is between 2,000 and 4,000 years old that was excavated in Poland. The seat is 16-3/4” off the floor. The back sticks lean 15° off the seat. And the seat is pitched back two fingers off level. So this chair is very nice for both dining and relaxing – a tough wire to walk.
All the wood is cut from one log, but the color and texture varies throughout all the parts. As a result, the surface finish was a huge challenge. No matter how much effort I threw at getting perfect surfaces, some areas just refused to cooperate (such as the front tenon on the left hand). So there are small areas of this chair that are imperfect, though the form as a whole is completely sound.
The wood is stunning – almost impossible to capture in photographs. It varies from a dusty charcoal to an English brown oak to areas that have a faint olive cast to them. I’ve spent about an hour just taking in the colors on the chair’s surfaces.
All the joints are assembled with hide glue, which is easily repairable by future generations. The finish is a beeswax and linseed oil blend, which is free of toxic solvents and is also easily repairable.
I’m selling this chair via a silent auction. To bid, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 3 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, March 9. In the email, please include your name, your shipping address, your phone number (this is used for a trucking quote only) and your bid. There is no minimum bid, and the highest bid wins. The winner will be contacted on Wednesday after the auction closes.
On shipping: You can pick up the chair at our storefront, or I will deliver it for free within 100 miles of Cincinnati. Otherwise, I can ship it via common carrier to addresses in the continental U.S. This usually costs between $200 and $300, depending on where you live.
— Christopher Schwarz