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.
Here’s a short movie that shows how to cut 5/8″ tenons with a deburring tool and a plug cutter. The tooling costs as little as $20 total. While this method is slower than using a dedicated tenon cutter, it is much easier to center the tenon on the stick.
If you use a tenon cutter on the sticks (or spindles) of a chair, it can be a challenge to cut the tenon so it is perfectly centered on the stick and inline with the axis of the stick. This can be a problem no matter how you drive the tenon cutter – with a brace or with a drill.
This short video shows how I teach students to cut tenons. If you take these steps, your tenons will start to improve immediately. Practice will get you the rest of the way.
Note that there is a way to get perfect tenons every time with a tenon cutter. It involves a lathe and a jig. It’s ideal for making 200 tenons at a time. I’ll show that process some other day.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Shameless plug: This tip is straight from the pages of “The Stick Chair Book.” There are lots of little tricks like this in the book.
When I teach chairmaking, many students are hesitant to cut the underbevel on the band saw. It’s a straightforward and safe operation. The only trick is learning how to steer the seat. This short video shows how I go about it. Your first underbevel might look a little rough, but by the third one you’ll be an expert.