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Archive for category: Chairmaker’s Journal

Chairmaker’s Journal is written by Jeff Lefkowitz, a craftsman and graphic designer who teaches woodworkers how to build Boggs-style chairs in his shop in Strasburg, Virginia. Jeff learned the art and craft of chairmaking from Brian Boggs and several other master chairmakers. Join him for an in-depth exploration of topics that will interest both chairmakers and woodworkers alike.

Boggs Side Chair Build: Turning, Part 2

11 Sep 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

One of the most critical parts of the side chair are the joints between rungs and legs. The quality of these joints have a large impact on the strength of the chair and it’s ability to support a person and resist wracking. At the turning stage there are two things that I do that contribute […]

A Chairmaker’s Tour, Day 1

07 Aug 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

I had the great pleasure recently of having Glen Rundell, a chairmaker and teacher from Australia, come to my shop to learn how to build a 3-slat post & rung side chair. Glen took his first chair class with Curtis Buchanan in 2009. It was life-changing experience that directly led him to leave his job […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Turning, Part 1

11 Jul 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

The mortise and tenon joint between the rung tenons and the legs is a critical part of what makes this chair so strong and resistant to wracking. Typically, round mortise and tenon joints (dowel joints) have a high rate of failure. However, if done right, this joint can be extremely strong and durable. The path […]

Cool Tool

08 Jun 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

One of my recent students, Aivars Krasts, mentioned while we were corresponding about his class that he had bought a spokeshave directly from Brian Boggs many years ago. One of first things I did when he arrived was ask to see the spokeshave. It is stunning, to say the least, in pristine, never-used condition. Based […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Hand Shaping, Part 4 — Slats

10 Apr 2014 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Even though I have fitted the slat tenons to the mortises in the rear legs there is still some final hand shaping to do on the main body of each slat. I will be removing the bandsaw marks left from cutting out the shape of the slat, fair the top and bottom edges, and cut […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Hand Shaping, Part 3 — Rear Legs

03 Apr 2014 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

My favorite part of building the Boggs side chair is shaping the rear legs. The round legs from the seat level down, the sensuous soft curves of the bend, and the tapered half round of the back above the seat contrast beautifully with the sharp edge of the relief cut and front edges of the […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Hand Shaping, Part 2 — Front Legs

02 Feb 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

In the classes that I teach I always have my students shape the front legs from square blanks to finished round, tapered cylinders entirely with hand tools — drawknife, spokeshave, and scraper. I even have them do a practice front leg before working on the two legs for their chair. All the hand work on […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Hand Shaping, Part One: Tools

21 Jan 2014 / 2 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

Hand shaping the front and rear legs is by far my favorite part of building these chairs. It is very pleasant, quiet, dust-free, and satisfying work. Using only a few simple hand tools I can take square or bent blanks and transform them into beautifully shaped legs that will only require a minimum of sanding […]

Boggs Side Chair Build Archive Page

05 Jan 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

With the number of Side Chair Build blog posts increasing I know it’s getting harder for readers to find their way around the series, or even have a good idea of the full scope of information available in the posts. To remedy this I’ve added an archive page that lists the title of each post […]

Boggs Side Chair Build: Fitting Slats, Part 4

01 Jan 2014 / 0 Comments / in Chairmaker's Journal

In the last post I demonstrated how to precisely fit a slat tenon on the top slat to it’s mortise in the rear leg. The final steps in fitting the slats involve not only fitting the remaining five tenons to their mortises, but also evaluating the overall relationship of the parts making up the rear […]

Chairmaker’s Journal is written by Jeff Lefkowitz, a craftsman and graphic designer who teaches woodworkers how to build Boggs-style chairs in his shop in Strasburg, Virginia. Jeff learned the art and craft of chairmaking from Brian Boggs and several other master chairmakers. Join him for an in-depth exploration of topics that will interest both chairmakers and woodworkers alike.