This is an experiment. A fair number of readers have asked us to restock the full-size chair wooden templates for the Staked Armchair from “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” We carried these templates for a couple years and discontinued them after sales cratered.
The templates are $49 and come with six full-size laser-cut templates for making the four-stick Staked Armchair. Unlike our earlier templates, these are made from 1/8” Baltic birch so they will be more durable.
These templates are great for any beginning chairmaker. And many of the parts are compatible with the armchairs from “The Stick Chair Book.” The seat and arm shape is the same, as are the leg locations and stick locations. So the templates are a good place to start exploring chairmaking.
(FYI, we also carry full-size paper patterns for the five chairs in “The Stick Chair Book.” These need to be adhered to your own wood and cut out.)
The templates are laser cut in Ohio. If you want a set, don’t tarry. We might not stock these permanently.
You can now purchase laser-cut templates for the Staked Armchair from “The Anarchist’s Design Book: Expanded Edition” and they are available for immediate shipment. A set of templates is $43 and can be ordered here from our store.
The templates are a supplement to the instructions in “The Anarchist’s Design Book: Expanded Edition.” If you own the book, there is an entire chapter devoted to making your own templates with trammels and a ruler. In other words, you don’t have to own these templates to make the chair.
Why offer them? To remove one more barrier to you making a chair. The templates are laser cut from MDF (they are nicer than my personal set of templates) and contain all the important information you need to lay out your parts: the mortise locations, the sightlines, resultants and even the shape of the seat’s pommel. They are a shortcut. Plus they are a jumping-off point for developing your own designs for arms, crests and seats. When I develop a new chair, I usually begin with existing templates.
The templates are made by FirstLightWorks in Derbyshire in the U.K. Ed Sutton at FirstLightWorks took a chair class with me last year and developed these templates using my personal set. If you like in the U.K. or Europe, you can order the templates here through Classic Hand Tools.
Note that the templates are a supplement to the instructions in “The Anarchist’s Design Book: Expanded Edition.” If you are a beginning chairmaker, you will need the book to guide you through the construction process.
While building the Staked Low Stool this weekend during a class, I discovered a significant keystroke error in my text. I also noticed an inconsistency between the cutting list and the text.
So yesterday I rebuilt the stool to confirm there weren’t other errors (there weren’t).
Here are the two known errors:
On page 92, the correct resultant angle for the stool is 21°, not 11°.
On page 99, the correct size of the legs is 1-1/2” x 1-1/2”, not 1-3/4” x 1-3/4”.
We will include an errata sheet inside every copy of the expanded “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” That sheet will also include a url for downloading a corrected chapter. The chapter will be updated electronically for customers who purchased the pdf.
We sold out of copies of “The Anarchist’s Design Book” this week, so the pressure is on to complete the expanded edition as soon as possible. To that end, I have just completed the first draft of the chapter on the staked low stool.
If you own a copy of the current edition of the design book, you can download this draft chapter for free. No forms to fill out. No buttons to click to prove you aren’t a robot. Just click the link below.
Every draft chapter comes with caveats. Here you go:
If you see a typo or factual error, you can report it in the comments. Note that we use AP style and don’t use the Oxford comma. So don’t bother editing this for Chicago style and then sending us a stern letter about footnotes.
The illustration is a CAD drawing. The final illustration will be a copperplate etching by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. So please overlook its CAD-ness.
The final chapter will include challenging quotations in the book’s margins plus some images of elaborations on this stool’s design.
I am now wrapping up the new chapters – just a couple more to go. Briony needs time to create the etchings, and we need to clean up all the chapters and add the details that will make the book better than average. Look for it at the end of 2019.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. If you haven’t been keeping up with updates to this book, here’s a quick primer. If you own the current edition, you’ll be able to download all the new chapters when they are completed. It doesn’t matter where you bought the book – from us or from anyone else.
Our storefront on Willard Street in Covington, Ky.
We are offering some new classes and old favorites at the Lost Art Press storefront during the first half of 2023. All these classes take place in our bench room at our Covington, Ky., location.
Our storefront is located in the center of the city’s Main Strasse village, and we are surrounded by lots of places to eat, drink and stay – all without ever using your car. The bench room is a nice place to learn handwork. Every student gets a heavy workbench, the bench room is filled with natural light and the floors are oak, which is easy on your back. Oh, and the class size is small: a maximum of six students.
Registration for these classes opens at 10 a.m. Eastern on Sept. 26 through our Covington Mechanicals classes page (where you’ll see “Register Now” buttons on each class – but you can’t until 10 a.m. Eastern on the 26th). Classes tend to fill up fast, but there is some turnover. So we encourage you to sign up for the wait list if the class you want is full.
Here are the classes for January to June 2023. (And we may add another class or two in the weeks to come – if so, they’ll be announced here.)
Comb-back Stick Chair with Christopher Schwarz Jan. 16-20, 2023 Build a comb-back stick chair, an excellent introduction to the craft of chairmaking. Students will construct a comfortable chair using mostly bench tools and just a few specialty tools. Students are encouraged to customize their chair by combining different hands, arms, stretchers and combs. This class is open to anyone who can sharpen their own hand tools.
Build a Sawbench with Megan Fitzpatrick Jan 28-29, 2023 Build a traditional sawbench as you learn fundamental hand-tool skills including how to lay out your cuts, use handsaws, chisels, bench planes, router planes and more. Plus, you’ll learn how to properly use cut nails (without splitting the wood). Sure, you’ll get a nice sawbench out of it, but the real joy is in the new techniques you’ll pick up.
Anarchist’s Tool Chest with Megan Fitzpatrick Feb 6-10, 2023 In five days, we are going to build traditional full-size English tool chests – a.k.a. “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” from Christopher Schwarz’s book of that title – using hand tools. If you don’t like dovetails, this is not the class for you. If you’d like to learn dovetails (while you build a sturdy chest that holds about 50 hand tools…which is to say almost all the hand tools you need to build furniture), this is absolutely the class for you – you’ll get plenty of instruction and practice.
Plus, we’ll make handsome and (almost) bomb-proof raised-panel lids, and cut the mouldings, skirts and lids by hand. And though we will have time to build only the outside of the chest, I’ll discuss how to divide up the interior for efficient work, and show you some options.
Staked Backstool from the ‘Anarchist’s Design Book’ with Christopher Schwarz Feb. 18-19, 2023 This contemporary side chair is a two-day introduction to many of the operations involved in chairmaking, including drilling compound angles, making tapered mortise-and-tenon joints and creating short sticks. This class is open to anyone who can sharpen their own hand tools.
Dutch Tool Chest with Megan Fitzpatrick March 3-5, 2023 This handsome tool chest is a great three-day introduction to several bedrock hand-tool joinery techniques: dovetails, dados, rabbets and more. Plus you’ll learn how to cut a fingernail moulding, raise a panel, use cut-nails and rules for carcase construction. By the end of Day 3, you’ll be able to pop all your tools in your new chest (which fits in the back of almost any car) for your drive home.
Lowback Stick Chair with Christopher Schwarz March 20-24, 2023 Build a lowback stick chair, a fairly simple chair that involves a good deal of cutting and shaping compound curves. This is a great dining chair and offers excellent lumbar support. This class is open to anyone who can sharpen their own hand tools.
Dovetailed Shaker Tray with Megan Fitzpatrick April 22-23, 2023 Make a classic Shaker silverware tray in this introduction to hand-cut dovetails. In this two-day class, you’ll learn: dovetail layout using dividers; how to saw to a line with a backsaw; how to wield a coping saw; how to pare and chop with chisels; how to fit dovetails;cut and fair curves and more.
Staked Sawbenches with Christopher Schwarz May 13-14, 2023 During this weekend class you’ll build a pair of staked sawbenches, which are essential for any shop that uses handsaws. During the process of building your sawbenches, you’ll learn about compound-angle joinery, making tapered mortise-and-tenon joints and leveling the legs to the floor. This class is open to anyone who can sharpen their own hand tools.
Dutch Tool Chest with Megan Fitzpatrick May 19-21, 2023 This handsome tool chest is a great three-day introduction to several bedrock hand-tool joinery techniques: dovetails, dados, rabbets and more. Plus you’ll learn how to cut a fingernail moulding, raise a panel, use cut-nails and rules for carcase construction. By the end of Day 3, you’ll be able to pop all your tools in your new chest (which fits in the back of almost any car) for your drive home.