Build a comfortable stick armchair in the Welsh tradition using tools and materials that are familiar to the typical woodworker. If chairmaking intimidates you, you aren’t alone. The tools, materials and processes seem to require a pledge of allegiance to an entirely different craft that uses green wood, shavehorsesand steamboxes. It doesn’t have to be that way.
With a bit of cleverness and (mostly) standard woodworking tools, you can build an extremely comfortable stick armchair using woods from your local lumberyard (or even your scrap bin) and tools already in your shop.
For the last two decades, I have dedicated myself to learning all modes of chairmaking, from building them with green wood and traditional tools to making chairs with routers, high-tech compression wood and complex jigs. The chair for this class uses a mix of tools that you probably already own (plus a few new ones), wood that you have in your scrap bin and skills you have already honed.
If you can reliably sharpen your hand tools, saw to a line and hold a cordless drill then you can build this chair. The form is inspired by historic examples of 18th- and 19th-century stick chairs from Wales that have been refined by John Brown and Christopher Williams – two of my favorite chairmakers. I designed my version starting with an 18th-century chair shown in a book by Richard Bebb.