Don’t Fear the Reamer (or maybe do because it could leave you with a twisted wrist)

It is important to always keep a hand on that auxiliary handle on the side of the drill. I am going to need more cowbell there.

I made my first chair. There is much to be improved upon but the joints went to together pretty tight seemingly so that is something. I paid about a dollar or two for the wood of this chair. The seat is made of quarter swan white oak that I took from barn a while ago. The legs are ash from the lumberyard scrap shelf. Same for the white oak sticks. The cherry or backrest is the most well travelled part and it comes from Northern Michigan. We were camping in Charlevoix, Michigan and there was a dying cherry tree. I asked the camp host if I could cut a piece of dead fall ash near the campsite and he told me I could take some of the dead cherry tree as well if I wanted. I made him a spoon out of some of the ash. Before we left there I cut off a couple pieces of the larger branches that were curved. That became the back for this chair. That is sloyd.

I want to make more chairs. It would be awesome to take a class on chairmaking from someone who makes stick chairs but that is not in play for a little while yet. So in the meantime it is books (specifically The Stick Chair Book by Christopher Schwarz, and Good Work by Chris Williams), Instagram, and various Youtube videos (the ones by Curtis Buchanan, a Windsor chair maker, are particularly helpful).

The staked method is an exciting way of building furniture. You drill, ream (if you want to), or not, put a stick through the resulting hole and then wedge it in place from the top. Do this three or four or five or six times on a plank of wood and baby, you got yourself a stool, chair, table, bench, etc. There is a little more to it but that is the jist. Now making comfortable chairs that can be sat upon for long stretches of time is another thing and that is where I hope to end up in time. There are no real hard fast rules in this form of furniture making as far as style and design. It lends itself well to taking parts from the forest and letting nature guide the design. You can go to the lumberyard, sawmill, or big box store and put together a lovely set of components. The possibilities are endless. Onward. I am going to make a couple of staked arm chairs next, I think. Below are a few more picks of the Two Bits Chair. As anyone who has ever heard me talk about woodworking knows, I can’t speak more than two or three sentences on the topic without saying the word chamfer. I love the humble chamfer. That’s why I put a couple on the front edge with a chisel.

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