I finished writing “The Stick Chair Book” last year with great reluctance. There were scads of techniques and forms of stick chairs that I still wanted to explore. But I knew that I was reaching the mechanical limits of our bindery (the book is 632 pages) and the patience of the readers (the book is 632 pages).
So I vowed to write some softcover “supplements” to “The Stick Chair Book.” Each supplement would explore a different form of chair and the new techniques required to build it.
I’ve been hard at work on the first supplement since September. As I started assembling my notes, I realized that the material went way beyond my original outline. When put together, all the different parts were like, well, a magazine.
Now, most of you know that I would sooner make sweet love to a porcupine than start a magazine. I did my time.
But I couldn’t ignore all these bits and pieces and how they fit together. As an exercise, I decided to sketch out the next few supplements, and the ideas came together quickly and seamlessly. Each supplement had a new chair plan, plus half a dozen articles on techniques and tools that expanded the stick chair universe.
So I am bewildered to announce the “The Stick Chair Journal, Vol. 1,” which will be available in September 2022. The Journal will be built and sold like a book. It will be 7-1/4” wide and 9-5/8” tall (the same dimensions as “Welsh Stick Chairs”). Coated paper. Sewn bindings. With a heavy card-stock cover. And it will have 128 to 160 pages – a very efficient size for printing.
There will be no subscriptions. No advertising. And it will be sold like a book – $20 per issue. Here’s a look at the first issue:
The first issue will feature complete plans and construction information for a new six-stick comb-back chair. The chair armbow is made of four pieces with mitered ends. The hands have a thin, cut-away profile, one I haven’t shown publicly before. Many of the through-tenons are domed and faceted. I’ve built variants of this chair about five or six times now and know exactly how it should look.
Techniques & Tools
- How to lay out, cut and taper hexagonal legs and stretchers.
- A new (and fast) way to make long back sticks that combines handplaning with some work from the Veritas Dowel Marker (or any dowel maker).
- An exploration of how to use the travisher made by James Mursell to saddle seats without an adze or scorp.
- How to sharpen a scorp and a travisher safely with a table saw.
- How to effectively use the Tooley Park scribers in chairmaking.
- Plus the blog posts from my “Chairmaking on the Cheap(er)” series, expanded with additional details.
Until I run out of ideas, the Journal will be written entirely by me. But I could see a future where there might be a guest editor or two.
— Christopher Schwarz
41 thoughts on “This is Not a Magazine”
You sure design and craft some… Beautiful Chairs.
Looking forward to this! Very interested to read about sharpening with a table saw.
Seems a sensible enough option. I’m in.
You had me at hexagonal legs. And now I have Mission of Burma’s “This is Not a Photograph” stuck in my head. Actually a pretty good way to start the week.
I’m curious, if you care to elaborate, on why you chose to do these separate smaller non-magazines, rather than incorporate them all into a Volume 2?
Stick chairs are nearing the top of my to-do list. Just a few more projects to clear away.
Having outside editors/authors allows for a variety of perspectives, not just mine. That’s hugely appealing to my journalism training.
If you’re trying to start a movement, you need a publication.
And mystery reason No. 4: There are many chair forms that have been called “stick chairs.” Forest Chairs (aka Windsors) and ladderback chairs are often referred to as “stick chairs” in the historical literature. So …. something to chew on.
Got it. Thanks. It’s clear you will never call this a magazine. And journal seems academic and stuffy. Might I recommend “Chair Manga”? It would make for great cover art.
Did you say “sharpen with a table saw”??
Hold my beer, going to sharpen my scorp with my table saw. Also known as the poor man’s sawstop.
I love it!
If it makes you feel better, this is the way Moxon published his treatise.
Off to go mark September 2022 on my calendar…unless we’ll be able to pre-order?
Looking forward to these supplements!
“Now, most of you know that I would sooner make sweet love to a porcupine than start a magazine.”
Just when I thought I was out… They pull me back in!
And he writes that, as if none of us had ever found ourselves bound between the covers with someone who was still kind of a prick…
This is great news. As I read this mornings post I was sitting in the Irishy Arm Chair which I completed this weekend. You were right it is a fairly comfortable place to sit. Thanks for the materials to help people along in chairmaking. I have only built two so far but my head is already full of ideas to try. I look forward to getting a copy of the Stick Chair Journal.
I’m looking forward to this. I only made one and feel like I have more ideas than time!
Man, what an elegant way to carry on feeding the beasts. Publishing a book is a lot about what to leave out, so we know we were simultaneously deprived and well-fed when you brought us The Stick Chair Book.
Hungry for more! Merci.
As an assistant editor on the aforementioned book, I can confirm that there was a lot left out during the editing process. Amongst others, the chapters “Staining A Chair With Body Fluids” and “Comb Back Toilet Chairs” were ditched.
Stoked for this. I’m just waiting for the Irish chair content, I’m subscribed to M&T so I’m already on board with the regularity of a journal format, and I love reading about woodworking. All of that to say, love the idea.
This very much seems like M&T. Magazines have ads and back issues are a minor thing (I think). Journals don’t have ads and people buy back issues more often (I think). I know I do.
Looking forward to it. I am currently building Chair #2, which has been influenced by John Brown’s Primitive Chair from Good Work, and looking for influences forthe next chair.
Great idea, I say soldier on son, I’m in!
You did a modest version of this with regards to workbenches ( all of which I have), so as an audience we are primed and ready!
I cannot wait for the journal. It sounds great.
Maybe you could get Chris Williams to explain with pictures the steps from a limb on a tree to a to a complete chair arm. Does he dry the limb first or work it green or both? How thick should the limb be to make a stable arm? What are the different joints he uses in the two and three piece arm? No one has really covered this process in enough detail for a first time builder. Just a thought.
Chris is hard at work on a new book. And I believe he will cover this topic in great detail.
I’d love to see some of the details for building a Gibson chair.
At least everything above the seat.
I hope that Mark Jenkinson and I will have a book on Gibson chairs coming in the next year. It is one of my favorite forms.
Good idea. Are you contemplating doing one or two short videos to accompany each volume? It would probably be very helpful for a lot of people wanting to make a chair. I know you don’t particularly like to be in front of a camera, but every clip that you have done in the past that I saw was well demonstrated and explained.
Thanks, Pascal. We have a video planned for the summer.
Turdy deserves a column!
I just finished my first Irish stick chair it has round legs cause I didn’t know how to taper a hexagon I guess I’ll have to build another one when the “magazine “ gets here
Since this will be a serious journal, can I assume there will be no centerfold of a shirtless (or worse) photo of Chris?
Good Show Chris! I’m in liner for the journal No.1.
I twice checked the date. April1 or 4? Mr. Schwarz again publishes a “magazine.” Did something slip when you engaged your travisher with a table saw? Delirium from an open can of poly perhaps? Surely, Sir you jest! Sign me up!
Rename the whole business Stick Chair Press already! 🙂
Just waiting for the mongolian yurt chair and the Gamelan chair, and not forgetting the Fender chair.
Oh god! This is another TAOCP in the making,
“I did my time”…
Yeah, but… We all know that was THE VERY BEST woodworking magazine that has ever been. I still remember learning about it from the first woodworking class I ever took (yes, it was a dovetail class at the local Woodcraft store). The class was OK and my dovetails were actually not bad; I still have those dovetails sitting around somewhere (likely with my 4-squared board that won me first place at the Chris Schwarz/Tom Lie Nielsen hand tool class at Marc Adams). But the most important thing that came out of that class was the instructor’s announcement at the end that there was a new woodworking magazine which had released its first issue the week prior. It was simply called “Woodworking Magazine” and I read every issue multiple times and bought the bound hardcopy to use for reference so I could better preserve my original magazines.
So call it what you will – magazine, journal, periodical, annual, gazette, circular, pulp, slick, rag… The Schwarz is a horse I will always bet on to win.
Very exciting, I am interested in
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