Today I put together the above trailer for our new video “Build a Gibson Chair.” Plus, Megan and I started filming a bonus video that will go out to everyone who has bought the video.
The bonus video will cover some refinements to the chair, plus offer some strategies for ensuring the arm doesn’t crack. We should have the video done by the end of the week, edited and uploaded to everyone who has placed an order.
After we released the video last week, we got a lot of questions about it. Here are a few answers.
- The chair is similar to the Irish chair in “The Stick Chair Book,” but it has a different seat shape, different arms, different hands, different back sticks, different backrest. But yes, it’s similar.
- The chair is absolutely suitable for someone looking to make their first stick chair.
- You don’t need a lathe, shavehorse, steambox, axe or drawknife to make the chair. It is designed to be made with a band saw, some bench tools (especially a jack plane and a block plane), a cordless drill and a few bits.
- The chair in the video has an optional saddle. No it doesn’t make the chair more comfortable. But it does look fancier.
- As shown, the chair will easily hold someone who is about 250 lbs. For larger sitters, you can widen the seat, beef up the legs a bit (1/8” to 1/4” is plenty) and use oak instead of cherry.
- The chair is ideal for sitting by the fire and talking to friends. Or reading. Your posture in the chair is not like you are in a chaise-lounge.
- Yes, you can turn the chair’s tenons on a lathe. That’s what I do when I’m in production mode.
- The chair is made from kiln-dried wood from the lumberyard.
If you would like to see the tools I used in the video and a cutting list for the chair, you can download that here.
If I missed any questions, you can leave them in the comments, and I will do my best to answer.
One last thing: The video is $50 until June 19. After that, it will be $75.
— Christopher Schwarz
28 thoughts on “Trailer for ‘Build a Gibson Chair’ (Plus Other Stuff)”
Laughed at the clip with you holding it against the window! I thought I was the only person using a window as their reference surface.
I learned that trick from Chester Cornett. Flattest place in the shop….
Looks very short. I guess the rake on the backrest mitigates that while sitting. What’s it like getting up out of it?
The top of the seat is 15-1/2″ from the floor, which is how these chairs were made originally. I find it very easy to get into and get out of (though I don’t necessarily want to get out of it).
#include thumbs-up emoji
(The website ate my prior reply)
I DO plan to build one!
I bought it a couple days ago and just started watching it. Great so far!
Since you’re still in video shooting mode, even if you’re not a professional turner, would you mind doing a minute or 2 video of turning the tenons? Content is great. Keep it up!
I will try to remember (lots going on here this week). Basically I use an EasyWood carbide tool to get it close and finish it with a bedan sizing tool attached to my parting gouge.
I’m sure making a minute or 2 video requires an hour of work (times 2) or more. Might be a nice addition, though.
I found the video excellent and quite timely as I am starting the curved back armchair so many of the techniques ( particularly assembly ) are very transferrable . A few minor queries :
1 ) When drilling the hole at the back of the arm for the backstick should you align the hole as suggested on pg 261 of the Stick Chair Book ?
2 ) Wedges – In the video the wedges looked quite a bit thicker than 5/32 inch at the fat end ? Do you find thicker wedges work better ? I have had a few ” wedge issues ” so am trying to work on this .
3 ) Do you usually taper the legs in the green chairmakers vise or in the planing cradle ?
thanks again !
In the cutting list there are “back layers” quantity 3. Is this the backrest? Made from three pieces at that dimension? Or am I completely missing the obvious?
Yes. The back is laminated from three pieces. Cut from solid, like the originals
I’m really enjoying the videos so far. I have had the patterns printed, made my templates, and cut out and mortised the seat for legs so far. Thanks for making this series! Also, glad you mentioned turning the tenons, I was considering doing that since I own a lathe, and don’t own tenon cutters. Cheers!
I was curious at the pressure or stress placed on the back legs from the appearance of extreme angle of the seat back. Is it really as laidback as it looks? Certainly more than the Welsh stick chairs?
The back reclines at 25°, which is quite a lot. The back legs aren’t extremely raked, however. They are right where they should be, which is beneath the sitter’s head. If you look at the images that accompany the video in our store, there is one with a sitter in the Gibson chair. That will help (i hope) explain the geometry.
Thank you for your reply. I will look at the photo that you referenced. I bought the stick chair video before and enjoyed it very much.
Since I travel quite a bit, do you have directions for downloading to an ipad, steam deck or similar vs having to stream from Vimeo? Thanks
There are lots of visual tutorials on the internet. Here’s how I do it:
Just curious how you would feel about using the normal tapered tenon on this chair? I know they don’t exist in the historical record, but any problem with that? I’m asking, in part, because the power tenon cutters from Veritas are hard to come by for next few months.
I’ve used the tapered joint on this chair many time. So no prob there.
Also, you can easily find 1″ and 3/4″ tenon/plug cutters, which I also show in the video. They are cheaper and easily available.
I did a course with Jögge Sundqvist on building shave horses where we shaped the straight tenons for the staked legs with drawknife, knife and spokeshave. We used shave horses and tested if the tenons fit using a test hole in a piece of scrap wood. Since I have a shave horse, spokeshave and drawknife but no tenon cutters I am thinking about using this technique to make the tenons for the chair. Is there anything in the geometry of the chair that makes this approach very difficult?
Finding a board that is 15 inches wide would either be expensive or difficult to find in Sweden. It would also mean that I would have to build it in imported wood. I am thinking about building it in birch. I have a piece of riven birch that would give me a board that is about 300mm wide (11-12 inches). I have two options. Either getting some sawn birch and making a lamination of three to four boards or gluing a 100mm piece to my riven piece. I am leaning towards saving the wider board for another project (I could probably get two cutlers stools or similar from the board). What would be your recommendation? Is there anything particular to think about making the laminations for a chair like this?
No problem on either front. The seats shown in the video are glued up from two boards. This is discussed in the video, as well as how to orient the annular rings and face grain during glue-up.
I have built a plank bottomed chair in the past and might consider building another. However, given the transitory nature of electronic media, are the plans for this chair available in printed form? Books are good, but you know that already.
There is a cutting list a full-size pattern in pdf form that you can print out. We hope to publish plans for the chair in the next edition of “The Stick Chair Journal.”