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, hewed, shaved stretcher blanks, then turned them on the pole lathe. This was everyone’s favorite part of the class, to everyone’s great surprise. The pole lathe is such a gentle, meditative machine; I think we could happily have spent days on them.
We splitbows from the log and sawed others from a board, then planed them all just like Samuel Wing did. To nobody’s great surprise, the riven bows bent better and the sawn bows pulled splinters just like Samuel Wing’s did.
We sawed the seats with bowsaws and shaved them in the usual fashion (with gouges instead of inshaves for the hollowing cuts).
We reamed with open-faced reamers…
…and bored with spoon bits, all with very little measuring.
Then we glued them up with the usual banging and grimacing, followed by sticky fingers…..
….and smiling faces.
I hope to offer this class at some point, but I still don’t know when that will be – I’m still busy writing this book and building chairs. What a great life I’ve got.