Chair Stories

Quaker John

This is a story for John and his family. It's also for Scott, who's Comb Back Arm Chair and Windsor Table were delivered last month. I wrote the story in the middle of January, when it happened: John Braxton died a couple weeks ago. A Quaker gunsmith, he machined...

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Growing a Loop Back Arm Chair

As most of you know, I'm at Curtis Buchanan's designing a Loop Back Arm chair. On the second day we had a visitor from NC, Reid Gamble who has been apprenticing with laddarback chairmaker Lyle Wheeler. First we bored for the bent stretcher. Curtis had to climb...

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Curtis, Eric and I

I am spending the next few days visiting with Curtis and Marilyn Buchanan. Eric Cannizzaro is here too. During the day we're working an a new loop back arm chair design for which Curtis hopes to publish a set of plans. At night, we are eating Marilyn's good food and...

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A Cold Sunday Night

Yesterday, my father-in-law and I delivered a set of five chairs for Josh and his wife's new house.  We met at a horse park and transferred the blanket-wrapped chairs into Josh's car.  As I wrapped the chairs last week, I remembered this story: It was a...

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Kind Roy

I still remember the excitement I felt. I was 16 years old, returning home from a week’s camping trip. My mother's first words were, “Roy Underhill called!” We couldn’t believe it. Weeks before, my mother had found his number on the internet and left a message seeking...

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Chair Stories: A Tree Crew

This afternoon Edward picked up a set of four custom walnut and oak swivel bar stools that his wife Phyllis had helped design. Here’s a story about their chairs: Note: Nobody was hurt in this story. Other than a plastic compost bin. “I recommend this tree crew to all...

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Chair Stories: My Friend, The Bluesman

The phone rings.  I put down my red chair-order book, lean forward in my chair, lift the receiver.   “John Dee died last night.” What do you say when a 92 year old man dies?  I mumble that I am sorry. But what am I sorry about?  We hang up and I go...

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A Day in Curtis’s Shop

I spent two days with Curtis Buchanan, Marilyn and Summer last week, visiting and hanging out in the shop.  This was my first trip playing with my new fancy-pants camera - here's some photos I took.    ...

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The Drawknife I Love

Troy and his wife picked up a set of four loop backs and one continuous arm last week. Troy took a class from me a couple years ago - my chairs will join his chair to form a complete set of six. His a story of his chairs: Drawknives are the tool I’d collect if I ever...

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Joe’s Backyard

Last week I shipped a Continuous Arm Rocker to a customer in AZ. This is a story about his chair: Seth and I stood in the yard and stared. Sheds and and lean-tos filled to overflowing with machines surrounded us; rusty mammoths from a bygone age. Machines that didn’t...

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