Editor’s note: This Chair Chat™ has been edited extensively and was stripped down of all foul language. Accordingly, you don’t see a disclaimer here that salty language will follow – because it won’t. Enter with confidence.
Rudy: look at this chair I found on the internet:
Chris: That is a nice-looking chair.
Rudy: I agree, it has a nice shape.
Klaus: Look at those legs, they have probably been shaved on a shaving horse?
Rudy: Likely. I like to use a shaving horse, too.
Chris: I prefer a jack plane, but a shaving horse can work well, too.
Klaus: The seat has a nice shape.
Rudy: Yes, it does.
Chris: OK, I’m pretty much out of things to say. Chat again soon?
Editor’s note: We get it. It’s easy to feel the need to overstate the obvious when you’re trying to make a sale. However, a three-legged chair with no wobble is like marketing cold ice cream. You don’t really expect it to burn your tongue.
That said, we’re not here to judge. We just like to chat about chairs. It might just be the best way there is to develop a good eye for chair design. And for the record: We love all handmade chairs, even the ones we hate. Because they’re chairs and they’re made by people.
Oh, and if you’re feeling stuck up and not in the mood for fart jokes, here’s a good read instead.
Editor’s note: Due to extensive work on “The Stick Chair Book,” it’s been a little while since we published a chair chat, today we are back with a Swedish chair assembled with Fish Glue and primitive IKEA joints. Salty language about pizza, electrocuted meatballs and potatoes will follow so be warned. For those who are easily offended, here is a video with a dog on a plane instead.
Editor’s note: Here at Chair Chat Headquarters, we love wonky chairs. In fact, the weirder the better. So even though we might say the chair’s finish looks like it came out of someone’s butt, we honestly wish we could go to the store and buy a can of McSharty’s Brown Chair Wax.
As always, Chair Chats are not for the sensitive. Do not read this aloud at your local day care center or at your prayer breakfast. That never goes well (sorry, Rev. Mauze).
Rudy: Do we still have time for another chair?
Rudy: The torched hedge chair.
Klaus: That looks VERY torched.
Rudy: From Far West Kentucky.
Chris: So far east that it’s west. This one screams “messed with.”
Klaus: So west it’s east and then west again.
Rudy: And I love the way it looks. So it is probably a fake.
Chris: I know. I am so jaded. Same thing. If it sucks, it’s real. If it’s nice, it’s fake.
Klaus: The hands are very nice on this one. Uncommon.
Chris: I’ve not seen hands like that.
Klaus: Through tenons on the crest. Nice.
Rudy: And look at that tenon that bulges out of the arm. It says “Look, I am really old!”
Klaus: Yeah, that’s a fat tenon for that arm. It’s putting on a fake limp. Making its voice sound so old and weary.
Chris: The arm has fallen. I think it might be legit.
Klaus: We’re so cynical.
Chris: I had this problem on my prototype. If the arm falls at the back, it will eventually come down at the front.
Rudy: True, the long sticks don’t swell enough under the arm to really support it.
Chris: That is what I fought with. It’s a tricky detail with these chairs.
Klaus: That’s interesting.
Rudy: The crest looks steam bent. I thought the Irish vernacular chairs only rarely used steam bending?
Chris: The crest could be cut from solid. That’s very common in Irish chairs.
Klaus: It has the same kind of legs as the one from our last chair chat. Chunky, almost square, and a crude tenon that almost looks like it’s whittled.
Chris: For me the most unusual part of this chair is the arm shape. I’ve not seen one like it.
Rudy: The arms sure are a funny shape. Not entirely unlike Irish arms. But then odd.
Rudy: With all that wear, I find it funny to still see a chamfer under all those years of paint. I would imagine it would have been rounded off by now?
Chris: It could be a stripping gone awry. The chamfer on the top of the seat is a bit unusual. And the angle at the back of the arms too.
Klaus: But a nice detail.
Chris: I like it. You see it more on modern chairs.
Rudy: the chamfer is just so visible and constant. Weird.
Klaus: There’s something timeless about this chair. I love it.
Rudy: Almost no splay, just some rake.
Chris: Also unusual: The seat shape. Square at the front. Rounded corners at the back.
Rudy: You’re right, I didn’t see that. Most of these have square corners all around?
Chris: Or rounded all around. Just a lot of little oddities on this one.
Klaus: Is that front left mortise hollow?
Rudy: It sure looks like it. Perhaps the leg came loose
Chris: I suspect the leg was repaired.
Klaus: They inserted a new one, you think?
Chris: Leg came out. They stuffed cloth in there and couldn’t get it seated all the way. Very common repair and very common problem.
Chris: I think a Chair Chat with Claudia Kinmonth would…get us thrown in chair jail.
Rudy: Haha. She would be interesting to talk to!
Rudy: Why would they not remove the cloth to make the leg fit? And did they wedge the leg in or did they just leave it in there loose?
Klaus: You mean they stuffed cloth in when they hammered in the legs in the first place? I’m not following.
Chris: To tighten a leg they would wrap some cloth around the tenon and add some glue. Then pound it it. Once it’s in, it ain’t coming out. So you only get one shot until the leg comes loose again. The cloth is the repair.
Rudy: I see. Have you tried that kind of repair yourself too?
Chris: I haven’t tried it. But you see it a LOT on old chairs. There were five or six at St Fagans that had this sort of repair. Like the chair went to the loo and still had some toilet paper stuck to its tenon.
Rudy: That is very interesting.
Klaus: Cool. I’ll look out for it. Never seen it.
Chris: Once you see it, you’ll see it a lot. Anyway, could be wrong. Maybe the chair took a COLD shower and it’s tiny tenon shrunk up.
Rudy: In freezing cold Ireland.
Klaus: I hear it’s cold in Far West Kentucky.
Rudy: Have you seen this type of repair with sticks, too, or only with legs?
Chris: I can’t recall seeing it on sticks. Most stick repairs are snapped sticks that get repaired with a branch or a bolt. Sticks don’t come loose too often.
Klaus: That outer left stick looks like a branch. Look at the tiny knot:
Rudy: I noticed that too! In line with West Irish Kentucky chairmaking traditions.
Klaus: Could be just a wonky shave.
Chris: Nice catch. Looks “stick-y.”
Klaus: Sure does. And it’s more organic looking than the others.
Rudy: Now that you have torched a chair Chris, does this finish look familiar?
Chris: A little. This one looks like they applied stripper and scraped it until it got like this. It doesn’t look like a naturally aged finish.
Klaus: It’s still a nice finish, though? I like it.
Chris: Sure! I like grungy finishes.
Rudy: New or old, east or west, real or fake, this view is a seller:
Chris: I wouldn’t kick this chair out of bed for eating crackers. But it has too many little “that’s odd” things about it that make me prefer the box chair from our previous chat.
Klaus: That’s a great stance. It’s got personality. What would this chair’s name be if it was an Irish person?
Klaus: First name Cracker. Cracker McWonky.
Chris: McWonky with the Broken Left Arm
Rudy: Cracker McWonky with the Broken Left Arm and the sticky stick.
Chris: That’s it!
Klaus: That’s the title right there.
Chris: Ole Knot in the Back.
Rudy: There is a pub in Dublin called “Y’ole Knot in the Back.” Probably.
Klaus: HAHA, I bet there is.
Chris: It’s also a term of endearment. “I’d like to fondle your ole knot in the back, lassie.” Or it’s the Irish G-spot?
Rudy: Man, your Irish is so good!
Klaus: I like it when ya tickle my ole knot, young lad!
Chris: That’s what the priests say.
Rudy: There are a lot of priests in Ireland.
Chris: And a lot of knotty wood. (Naughty wood).
Klaus: McKnotty wood.
Chris: I’d like to put my tenon in your knot hole. In your feathered crotch.
Klaus: Hahaha. You can’t say that on television.
Rudy: You can in Ireland, I think.
Chris: How about tongue in groove? The chair was made of Naughty Pine.
Rudy: With a butt joint.
Chris: Nailed that butt joint! And this is where Claudia calls the police.
Rudy: I found the info on the chair! Check it out:
True Early 19th Century Irish Antique Primitive Armchair
This is an honest, late Georgian Irish antique country armchair, not to be confused with the large amount of fakes around. This Irish primitive antique armchair is a good, large size, it features a thick elm seat, shaped arms and a comb back rest. In very good solid condition and in the original paint finish. A lovely sculptural looking country armchair that has four stick legs, again all honest and original. Dates from around 1800-20.
This time we’re having an Irish themed Chair Chat. Chris talks about his DNA test that confirmed his part-Irish heritage. It also said he’s part Neanderthal. [Insert cheeky comment]. Like Chris, today’s chair victim is presumably Irish and vernacular. As always, we’re not sure of anything here. Not even our own sexual identities. We do however conclude that the chair has undergone a traditional Irish Beer Fart Finish™. As always, this chat is rated PG-13 and contains bearded men talking about finishing hard wood. If that offends you, please stop reading and call our Very Hot Line ™ for advice.