Last week I had four friends over for a trial run of a class set in the year 1803, building a copy of Samuel Wing's loop back chair. It was a great week. We all learned a lot, none more than me. Thanks to Damon O'Gan for the black-and-white photos below: We split,...
Built for Speed Book Project
The Dominy Lathe is Done (almost)
by Elia Bizzarri | May 8, 2022 | Built for Speed Book Project, Sprinpole Lathe | 2 Comments
A few days ago I picked up the spikes for my new lathe from blacksmith Peter Ross. He seemed to enjoy making them: "People don't want work this rough very often, but I was trained to make reproductions like this." Peter thinks the hardware was make by the Dominys -...
Building a Dominy Springpole Lathe
by Elia Bizzarri | Apr 25, 2022 | Built for Speed Book Project, Sprinpole Lathe | 1 Comment
Last fall I had the joy of spending a couple hours in the Dominy shop at Winturtur to measure their Springpole Lathe. I've finally started building a copy of it, for use in the book on early 19th Century chairmaking that I'm writing. A local sawmill gave me a pine...
How many Hours to Build a Chair?
by Elia Bizzarri | Jan 13, 2022 | Built for Speed Book Project | 1 Comment
This is one of the most popular questions I get asked. I never know how to answer it. Usually I say, "About 30 hours for a Continuous Arm chair, including 8 coats of finish." But the truth is I haven't a clue. I have no interest in tracking my...
I Spoke Too Soon
by Elia Bizzarri | Jan 2, 2022 | Built for Speed Book Project | 1 Comment
In the months after I last posted about my book project, I read what remains of Samuel Wing's account books and spent some time comparing measurements. I compared my tracings and measurements of the red loop back labeled "WING" at Independence Hall with my...
Bending Dents – What do they Mean?
by Elia Bizzarri | Sep 11, 2021 | Built for Speed Book Project | 14 Comments
I’ve started getting my act together for my book project and I have a couple puzzles to figure out. As a reminder, I’m building two-dozen copies of this chair in Independence Hall’s collection, hopefully in about 140 hours: The chair has four dents in the bow...
I’m Writing a Book
by Elia Bizzarri | Sep 9, 2021 | Built for Speed Book Project | 1 Comment
I just got back from a three week trip, equal parts vacation, research trip and photography experiment. Last winter I signed a book contract about early 19th. Century chairmaking with Lost Art Press. This trip was the first step on the book – I spent a week at Old...
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