taught by Jeff Lefkowitz • Strasburg, Virginia
To ask questions or register for a class call 540-409-7680 or click here to contact me via e-mail
The introductory classes are open to woodworkers of any skill level. In a step-by-step manner, they will introduce you to all the processes and techniques needed to make a ladderback chair and are also designed to teach you the underlying principles of chair geometry and construction.
The advanced classes build on the skills and ideas taught in the introductory classes by working, step-by-step, on ladderback chairs with more complex construction. They also introduce methods of working used in production chair shops. These classes are open to woodworkers who have taken either of the introductory classes, taken a class with Brian in the past, or have equivalent experience.
The Class Experience
Learn the craft of ladderback chairmaking
These six day classes will take you, step-by-step, through the process of hand crafting a Brian Boggs designed chair. They cover every aspect of making a ladderback chair, beginning with lumber selection all the way through final assembly using hide glue. Because class size is limited to two students, you get very personalized instruction and can work at your own pace. Every process is broken down into small, manageable steps so that you can concentrate on mastering one task at a time before moving onto the next. Whenever a new process is introduced, especially for hand shaping, you are given the opportunity to practice on spare material before working on your actual chair part. In addition to showing you how, I always explain why, so that you will understand underlying concepts and how each step fits into the big picture.
The classes cover many aspects of making a ladderback chair including:
- Steam bending
- Hand shaping parts using a drawknife, spokeshave and scraper
- Working with angles and curved parts
- Using moisture content and grain orientation to make a long-lasting joint
- Assembly using hide glue
- Sharpening chairmaking tools
Each class includes a 70+ page, fully illustrated manual, that documents the process for building your chair from beginning to end. It serves as a step-by-step reminder of the steps taught in class. Because the manual is so complete it minimizes or eliminates the need for you to take notes. This allows you to spend all your class time learning new techniques and working on your chair.
In the introductory classes and some of the advanced classes you will have the option to weave the seat in class or use that time to make some of the more difficult forms and jigs. Most students opt for making forms and jigs in class if time permits. That, in combination with the manual, will give you a huge head start when you begin to make that next chair in your own shop. I am also available, via e-mail, to answer questions as you work on your next chair at home. The cost for form and jig materials is not included in the class fee.
All classes take place in my shop about 5 miles from Strasburg, Virginia and are limited to a maximum of two students. Strasburg is a small town located in the Shenandoah Valley about 75 miles west of Washington, DC. It is close to the intersection of I-81 and I-66 so it is easy to get to.
There is no formal schedule for classes. I am usually available two weeks each month. To ask questions or register for a class call me at 540-409-7680 or click here to contact me via e-mail. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and look for class dates that work for both of us.
Or read my introductory blog post to learn about my path to becoming an instructor for Brian Boggs Chairmakers.