About

Welcome to My Shop

I built my first rocking chair in 1982. Ever since, I have steadily worked to improve my design, joinery and finishing skills. Today, I’m proud to make heirloom-quality chairs that will last for generations.

For me, chair making is the most satisfying form of furniture making, not just because chairs are quite challenging to make but because I get to use and enjoy them every day.

I totally enjoy sharing what I know about making chairs and chair making tools. I teach these skills in “My Shop” and I donate chairs to the Carter Center and Good Samaritan Boys Ranch near Springfield, Missouri fundraising auctions each year. I could not ask for a better way to help others and share what I do.

I admire the Japanese woodworker’s skills, precision and sense of tradition. I strive to apply these traits to the chairs that I make. Even though I take some liberty with design, I am committed to preserving the skills and traditions of the Appalachian Ladder Back and Colonial Windsor chair makers.

I am …
a woodworker, chair maker, sailor, husband, father, grand-father, great grand-father, friend, mentor, teacher and leader. These are but a few words that describe who I am.

I believe in conserving and protecting our natural resources. I now appreciate my father telling me as a boy to “use it up, wear it out or do without.”

I know …
trees are one of the most important, renewable natural resources on the planet. Currently, the human population is consuming, using and wasting our natural resources at an unprecedented rate. This consumption and waste is generating water, earth and atmospheric pollution that is and will continue to effect change to our climate.

I choose to work in a way that minimizes waste and pollution. I also want to make things that are as comfortable as they are functional. I strive to make things that will last for generations to come. This requires a clear understanding of wood movement caused by humidity changes. It also demands precise joinery to endure many decades of use. Aesthetics and beauty are also necessary within the design.

I view …
craftsmanship as the ability to transform raw materials into beautiful, comfortable and functional products. The process includes using the simplest of tools as well as modern technology. As a craftsman, I strive to teach and keep the skills and discoveries of our forefathers alive. I know the pieces that I make today will be the heirlooms of tomorrow. 

"Don't endure the drudgery of boredom, make something. Make it again and again. When you are satisfied with your craftsmanship, give it to someone special or to your favorite charitable organization."

- Russ Filbeck