Chairs

Appalachian-Style Ladder Back Chairs

“The Mountaineer’s Settin-chair”

Even though ladder back style chairs were made up and down the eastern sea board in the colonial days, they are best known as Appalachian Ladder Back chairs from the mountains of Appalachia. This area extends north from Georgia to Maryland and includes the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. This type of chair is equally defined as a post and rung chair.

By using steam bent back legs and slats with woven hickory bark seats, these Appalachian Mountain chair makers made their comfortable “settin chairs” from locally available materials. These chair makers were especially proud of the fact that their joinery techniques kept their chairs tightly together for generations and without any glue or fasteners.

2-Slat Ladder Back Musician's or Artist's Stool

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $950.00

This oak chair provides the basic knowledge and skill building exercises necessary to create more complex chairs in the future. These chairs use post and rung joinery. Primary emphasis on the use of traditional chair making tools, i.e., spoke shave, draw knives and the use of a shaving horse. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

2-Slat Ladder Back Dining Side Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $950.00

This oak chair provides the basic knowledge and skill building exercises necessary to create more complex chairs in the future. It is a rustic representation of the Appalachian mountain “settin chair” with a woven hickory bark seat. Primary emphasis on the use of traditional chair making tools, i.e., spoke shave, draw knives and the use of a shaving horse. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

3-Slat Ladder Back Dining Side Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,250.00

Prerequisite: Completion of any one of the 2-Slat Ladder Back chairs classes

This cherry chair provides a sophisticated dining chair with strong, complex joinery. The hickory bark seat colors blend beautifully with the cherry. The construction of this chair introduces the use of power tools, i.e., band saw, router table and lathe. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

4-Slat Ladder Back Dining Arm Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,550.00

Prerequisite: Completion of the 3-Slat Ladder Back Dining Side Chair class

This cherry Captain’s arm chair is an elegant dining or occasional chair. The arms provide excellent practice exercises for sculpting wood and creating more complex joinery. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

6-Slat Ladder Back Rocking Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,950.00

Prerequisite: Completion of the 4-Slat Ladder Back Dining Arm Chair class

This cherry rocking arm chair provides all the challenges of the previous chairs plus new experiences in bent lamination and more complex joinery. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

Colonial Windsor-Style Chairs

Windsor chairs were generally thought of as “out door” chairs or garden chairs and even the “poor man’s chair” in the colonial days of the United States. These chairs are complex with joinery techniques that made them strong enough to last for generations with just moderate care.

These chairs are finished with the traditional milk paint which is durable enough for some out-door use and it was available to the early American chair maker. Most of the Windsor styles are made with the traditional oak, pine and maple species of wood and then painted. However, I often make the elegant fan-back Windsor in natural oil finished hardwood such as walnut.

Bow-Back Windsor Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $950.00

The Bow Back dining side chair is the companion to either the Sack Back or Continuous Arm Captain’s or Head dining chairs. This chair will have a brace stump and two brace back spindles to absorb the forces of a person’s upper body weight on the bow and spindles. This strength bracing is essential to long term use without failing joints. This bracing is also used on the Continuous Arm and Fan Back Windsor chair styles. Class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

Sack-Back Windsor Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,050.00

The colonial Windsor chair is made with traditional materials: oak, maple and pine. Draw knives, spoke shaves, travishers, adz, spoon bits and scorps will be used to make this rustic chair. Steam bending, seat sculpting and shaping chair parts on a shaving horse are important skills to be learned in this class. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

Continuous-Arm Windsor Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,150.00

Prerequisite: Completion of either the Bow-Back or Sack-Back Windsor Chair class

The Continuous arm Windsor chair provides experience in steam bending wood in both the radial and tangential grain direction. Creating extra strength with back bracing is an important part of this chair. Sculpting the shield shaped seat will be learned in this class. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

Fan-Back Windsor Dining Side Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,550.00

The Fan Back Side Chair will be made from cherry or walnut, student’s choice. This chair requires the use of grinding tools to sculpt the hardwood seat. It will also involves bent lamination and carving to create the crest rail. Turning spindles and back bracing is required. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

Fan-Back Windsor Arm Chair

Duration: 5 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $1,950.00

Prerequisite: Completion of the Fan-Back Windsor Dining Side Chair class

The Fan Back Arm Chair will be made from cherry or walnut, student’s choice. This chair requires sculpting, fitting and attaching arms to the posts. Like the side chair, it also requires grinding the hardwood seat, bent lamination and carving of the crest rail. The hand pieces of the arms are also carved. Turning and bracing are also required on this chair. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.

Contemporary Chairs

Contemporary Rocker

Duration: 5-6 days
Class Size: 1 or 2
Cost: $2,500.00

This class will provide walnut or cherry material to build a Maloof style contemporary rocking chair. Using patterns to lay out the parts on 8/4 lumber is the beginning process. The legs, spindles, arms, rockers and crest rail parts are cut out using the band saw. The seat parts are cut to correct sizes on the table saw and glued together to create the proper seat blank. Considerable grinding is done in creating this chair along with lots of hand sculpting with rasps. The router is used extensively to remove bulk materials in the shaping process. The class fee includes all materials and necessary tools.