I finished writing “The Stick Chair Book” last year with great reluctance. There were scads of techniques and forms of stick chairs that I still wanted to explore. But I knew that I was reaching the mechanical limits of our bindery (the book is 632 pages) and the patience of the readers (the book is 632 pages).
So I vowed to write some softcover “supplements” to “The Stick Chair Book.” Each supplement would explore a different form of chair and the new techniques required to build it.
I’ve been hard at work on the first supplement since September. As I started assembling my notes, I realized that the material went way beyond my original outline. When put together, all the different parts were like, well, a magazine.
Now, most of you know that I would sooner make sweet love to a porcupine than start a magazine. I did my time.
But I couldn’t ignore all these bits and pieces and how they fit together. As an exercise, I decided to sketch out the next few supplements, and the ideas came together quickly and seamlessly. Each supplement had a new chair plan, plus half a dozen articles on techniques and tools that expanded the stick chair universe.
So I am bewildered to announce the “The Stick Chair Journal, Vol. 1,” which will be available in September 2022. The Journal will be built and sold like a book. It will be 7-1/4” wide and 9-5/8” tall (the same dimensions as “Welsh Stick Chairs”). Coated paper. Sewn bindings. With a heavy card-stock cover. And it will have 128 to 160 pages – a very efficient size for printing.
There will be no subscriptions. No advertising. And it will be sold like a book – $20 per issue. Here’s a look at the first issue:
The first issue will feature complete plans and construction information for a new six-stick comb-back chair. The chair armbow is made of four pieces with mitered ends. The hands have a thin, cut-away profile, one I haven’t shown publicly before. Many of the through-tenons are domed and faceted. I’ve built variants of this chair about five or six times now and know exactly how it should look.
Techniques & Tools
- How to lay out, cut and taper hexagonal legs and stretchers.
- A new (and fast) way to make long back sticks that combines handplaning with some work from the Veritas Dowel Marker (or any dowel maker).
- An exploration of how to use the travisher made by James Mursell to saddle seats without an adze or scorp.
- How to sharpen a scorp and a travisher safely with a table saw.
- How to effectively use the Tooley Park scribers in chairmaking.
- Plus the blog posts from my “Chairmaking on the Cheap(er)” series, expanded with additional details.
Until I run out of ideas, the Journal will be written entirely by me. But I could see a future where there might be a guest editor or two.
— Christopher Schwarz