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Online Catalogue >  Chairmaking Tools  >  Chairmaking - Books & DVDs

Chairmaking - Books & DVDs

This small section will grow to incorporate as much information as we can sensibly offer. Having met a few esteemed chairmakers recently we now understand a little about the fascination woodworkers have with chairs and charimaking. Let us have your suggestions and if we can add to this selection, we certainly will.

Peter Galbert: Chairmaker's Notebook

Some words about Chairmakers Notebook from Chris Schwarz of Lost Art Press....

Whether you are an aspiring professional chairmaker, an experienced green woodworker or a home woodworker curious about the craft, "Chairmaker's Notebook" is an in-depth guide to building your first Windsor chair or an even-better 30th one. Using more than 500 hand-drawn illustrations, Peter Galbert walks you through the entire process, from selecting wood at the log yard, to the chairs' robust joinery, to applying a hand-burnished finish.

And if you've never thought about building a chair, this book might convince you to try. Building a chair will open your eyes to ways of working wood that you might miss if you stay in the rectilinear world of boxes.

Once you understand chairmaking, then odd and compound angles become child's play. You will know how wood works in a deeper way (and how to exploit it). And you will gain access to an arsenal of open-ended tools, such as the drawknife, that will fundamentally change the way you work – plus expand the shapes and surfaces you can produce.

At 406 pages, "Chairmaker's Notebook" is an in-depth look at the craft from the hand of a professional chairmaker, teacher and artist. During the last 15 years, Galbert has developed process, tools and ways of understanding joinery that have simplified the way people build chairs using hand tools. He has traveled the world to teach his techniques to other chairmakers. And he spent more than three years drawing out every step of the process for the illustrations in "Chairmaker's Notebook."

The result is a book on chairmaking that starts with understanding a single stick you would find on a walk in the woods and takes you into advanced areas of the chair craft that no other book has ventured.

Like all Lost Art Press book, "Chairmaker's Notebook" is produced entirely in the United States. The text is printed on heavy #80 matte paper, its signatures are sewn together and then bound in cloth tape to last several lifetimes. The book is hardbound, covered in cloth and a heavy full-color dust jacket.

Classic Hand Tools are pleased to offer this new book from Lost Art Press which has been 3 years in the making - we are sure it will be a fine addition to the Lost Art Press stable of books.

Price: 44.50

Peter Galbert: Chairmaker's Notebook


Full-size Plans from 'Chairmaker's Notebook'

For those woodworkers who prefer full-size plans, we now offer plans for the two chairs featured in Peter Galbert's book "Chairmaker's Notebook".

The plans feature handmade full-size drawings of the following components of the fan-back and balloon-back chairs:
  1. Full-size turning patterns of legs, stretchers and posts - both bobbin and baluster forms.
  2. Full-size drawings of the seat shapes that feature all mortise locations, sightlines and resultant angles.
  3. The fan-back crest shape and the bending form required to make it.
  4. The profiles of on the back of the balloon-back chair and the bending form required to make it.

All the drawings are fully dimensioned with easy-to-read call-outs. The plans for both chairs come printed on a single 36" x 48" sheet on white, #20 paper typically used for engineering prints. The plans are folded to a 9" x 12" size and ship in a rigid cardboard mailer.

Price includes VAT 

Price: 22.00 (Including VAT at 20%)

Full-size Plans from 'Chairmaker's Notebook'


Windsor Chairmaking

This book is the first new book about the making and design of Windsor chairs for over 10 years. James Mursell has written it with a broad readership in mind. It is aimed not only at existing Windsor chairmakers but also at those who are perhaps contemplating making their first chair.

Detailed plans are included for two English and two American chairs. It is also aimed at those who are interested in both English and American Windsor chairs - dealing with them together throughout the book for the first time.

Those who wish to make chairs in the same way that they were made in the 18th century will find Chapter 7 particularly interesting, as it discusses the lessons to be learned from the toolmarks left by an English maker on a chair dating from around 1750.

Finally Chapter 8 covers design and looks at the subtle messages that can be sent out by a chair which can be interpreted in the same way as human body language.

The book had 192 pages and is filled with colour photographs and line drawings throughout.

Chapter headings;

* Introduction
* Historical background
* Materials, equipment and tools
* Processes and techniques
* Two English chairs including plans
* Two American chairs including plans
* Lessons from the past
* Body language of chairs: shape and design
* Other Windsor furniture

Unfortunately this item is not currently available. Please call us on 01473 784 983 or email to be added to our waiting list.


Price: 19.95

Windsor Chairmaking

Ref: LWB954234553

In 1985, when Mike Abbott started running courses using the traditional tools and techniques of the Victorian chair-bodgers, many people said it was about time he moved into the 20th Century.

Following the success of his first two books Green Woodwork and Living Wood, Mike's third book shows that he has now moved happily and unashamedly straight into the 21st Century. With the help of over 600 colour photographs he guides you, step-by-step, through:

  • The tools and techniques needed for cleaving, shaping and assembling a chair.
  • Constructing a few simply homemade devices to aid the process.
  • Making 2 stools and 3 chairs, each with its own unique character.
Going with the Grain is not written for cabinet-makers (although they are welcome to read it too) - the techniques described in this book have as much in common with cabinet-making, as does a jacket potato with haute cuisine. It is written for anyone who shares Mike's passion for trees and wood and is interested in getting to know them better through the fulfilling process of turning a tree into their very own chair.

The structure of "Going with the Grain"

Going with the Grain falls into six sections:

  • Chapters 1-2 Background: a brief background to how this book came about;
  • Chapters 3-10 The bare necessities: the materials, techniques, tools and equipment needed;
  • Chapters 11-18 The wooden frame: construction of the frames for two stools and three chairs;
  • Chapter 19 Seating: a wide-ranging description of seating patterns and materials;
  • Chapter 20 Scrapbook: a collection of photos with ideas for taking your chair-making further;
  • Appendices Resources Lists with further reading and suppliers of tools and materials.

Price: 16.95



Mike Abbott, LIVING WOOD. 4th edition
Ref: CHT0061

Subtitled From buying a woodland to making a chair. This is about producing woodwork from within a woodland rather than in a regular workshop. The reader is introduced to buying a woodland, managing it, setting up a workspace and an introduction to green woodworking. A chapter on tools and what to select and another on sharpening. There is a comprehensive chapter on making pole-lathes, shaving horses and other devices. The author then goes on to give instruction on using the lathe and the other devices to make chairs.

This latest edition includes an inspiring selection of photo's of Mike's latest workshop at Brookhouse Wood. 

Price: 16.95

Mike Abbott, LIVING WOOD. 4th edition



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