Megan and I are now filming and editing a long-form video about how I build a Gibson chair, one of my favorite Irish chairs.
The video, which should be released late next week, will include a pdf of the full-size templates needed to build the chair, plus drawings for the simple jigs I use, plus a cutting list and sources for all the tools and equipment shown in the video.
The video will be $50 for the first 30 days it is on the market. After that it will be $75.
Gibson chairs look unusual to people at first. They are low and have a back that rakes at 25° – a shocking tilt angle. It might seem like a chair for sleeping, but I assure you it’s not. It sits very much like a comfortable comb-back chair. In fact, in Ireland, these are sometimes called “kitchen chairs” because they are used for eating in the kitchen.
My version of the Gibson is a little different than the originals (we hope to do a book dedicated to the chair sometime in the future). Like almost all traditional Irish chairs, Gibsons have a flat seat. The seat in this video will be saddled, both for looks and comfort. I don’t think the form really needs a saddle, but it does look like a more expensive chair.
I’ve also made a few other small alterations here and there to the chair that I explain in the video.
I’ve tried to make the construction process as accessible as possible. All the mortises are straight holes (no tapered joints), so you can use augers you already own. The tenons are made with plug/tenon cutters chucked in a cordless drill, which are cheap and easily available. (Or you can use a Power Tenon Cutter from Veritas, which I also show in the video.) There is no steambending. You don’t need a lathe or a shavehorse. Most of the work is at the bench or the band saw.
Like all our videos, this one will have no Digital Rights Management (DRM) nonsense. So you will be able to download the video and put them on any of your devices, including your phone, laptop and pad.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. The next video will be on building my hobbit chair. I’ve convinced myself that it is different enough than Bilbo’s and I won’t be thrown into the fires of Mordor, which are filled with lawyers.
25 thoughts on “Coming Soon: Build a Gibson Chair Video”
Is it the fires of Mordor where I’m headed? Good to know
That’s exciting. I had been hoping that you would publish an article/video on your hobbit chair and I’m really looking forward to building one.
Call it “Halfling Chair”, least the lawyers/balrogs eat you…
Awesome. Looking forward to this video and seeing many more Gibson chairs in the world
Thanks for the great news! I’ll buy the video, as soon as it’s available. Thanks to both of you for creating this.
Can’t wait!!! As per the Hobbit chair, feel free to send it to Hobbiton here in New Zealand!!
That chair looks weirdly comfortable. Can’t wait to try one. Thanks for all the research that you do.
Chris, for a first time chair maker, would you recommend building a Gibson, lowback, or standard Welsh chair (like in the stick chair book)?
They all use the same principles, which are transferable to the other forms. So I would build the one you like the most.
Will you send a reminder? I am interested in this project – Mike
What size tenon cutters and augers are used?
I will get rigt away, so I can get to work as soon as video is out. I eagerly await the book
3/4″ and 1″.
This will be great! I will get the video when it is released! How large is the seat? I have a small slab of riven birch in the shed I would like to use.
1-1/2” x 15” x 25”
Are you guys TRYING to bankrupt me?
Never made a chair. If I were to do a test run of this form with the video, would 2x material work for the seat? Even if it’s just a prototype to wrap my head around the process. Lots of leftover 2x material, not a lot of 8/4 leftover stock. Thanks!
Chris, how similar is the Gibson chair to the curved back armchair from the Stick Chair Book? Based on the geometry and angles they actually look very similar to me. Is there a significant difference in comfort between the two designs?
They have different seats, different arms, different backrest, different rake and splay of the legs. But, like all stick chairs, they are similar to their brothers and sisters.
Great! I saw a post on the Gibson chair a while ago and thought this would be a great one to build.
Would you just take my money?
Yes, I will! (Next week)
Looked through my copy of The Stick Chair book and didn’t readily find the answer. Since I am pretty sure my Tolkien infatuated daughter and son in law will want a ‘whatever you decide to call it’ chair from your next video for their son (I’ll have lots of time to build one since he’s only two months old), are there rules of thumb that govern downscaling a chair to fit a child?
I’m ready to place my order. Thanks for making the Gibson Chair video.
We are running a bit behind. Apologies. It will be this week. About 90 percent certain.