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LostArtPress on InstagramKris uses the John Brown/Chris Williams method for shaving a round tenon. Today’s class: Staked High Stool.Sharp fixes everything. Even the saddle of a curly oak seat. Still thankful to the guy who showed me how to sharpen card scrapers 23 years ago.December of 1802 was Fisher’s first foray into chairmaking. After making a “rack for chair backs,” he constructed a “shaving jack” on which he “shaved chair backs.” The term “shaving jack” appears to be unique to Fisher but the immediate context of beginning to shave chair parts after its completion suggests the tool is what is today commonly known as a “shaving horse.” The use of the word “jack” to describe a workshop appliance has its etymological roots in the fact that “Jack” was a name for “‘any common fellow,’ and [was] thereafter extended to various appliances which do the work of common servants” such as holding things for the master craftsman. Readers may be familiar this kind of usage in the term “board jack” – a tool used to hold up the end of a large board for edge planing. Because Fisher does not record making any other shaving horse, it is assumed this is the one he refers to. The design is suited to chairmaking because of its dumbhead design – large enough for that kind of work but not much more. The head is mortised off-center to maximize the clamping area on the proper left side. The head’s grip on the stock was enhanced by the addition of leather strips nailed on only that side. It is obvious that the far end of the horse was used as a chopping block for quite some time because of a dished area almost a foot wide and several inches deep made by an axe. Evidently, Fisher was not precious about his tools. This pre-industrial irreverence toward workbenches was rooted in the craftsman’s pragmatism. — from “Hands Employed Aright: The Furniture Making of Jonathan Fisher (1768-1847)” by Joshua A. Klein #Hands_Employed_Aright
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Category Archives: Welsh Stick Chairs by John Brown
For better or worse, my chairs tend to flirt with stretchers. Should the chair have them or not? While common sense might dictate that all chairs should have stretchers between their legs for added strength, the historical record disagrees. Early … Continue reading
This is an excerpt from “Welsh Stick Chairs” by John Brown. Probably the first record of a back chair is in the manuscript of the laws of Hywel Dda (Howell the Good), a 10th century Welsh king. The surviving document, inscribed in … Continue reading
One of the things I love about how chairmaker Chris Williams works is that he tries – at every turn – to reduce the tools and contrivances needed to build a chair. One of the big things he offers is … Continue reading
For at least the 12th time this month I’ve looked at the work on my bench and found that the odder it looks, the better. I’m building a near-replica of a chair on display at St Fagans National Museum of … Continue reading
For the last week I’ve been studying the 200 photos I took at St Fagans and thinking about the 29 chairs that Chris Williams and I examined during our visit there. The chairs look a lot different to me now … Continue reading
When I first picked up “Welsh Stick Chairs,” I didn’t fall in love with the chair that John Brown built for the book. That chair had a steam-bent armbow that didn’t quite suit my eye. Instead, I fell for the … Continue reading