Help a Struggling Author (Me)

On most Sundays, we try to provide a non-commercial, thoughtful piece of writing, such as Nancy Hiller’s “Little Acorns.” This Sunday, however, I am interested in your thoughts.

I am finishing work on “The Stick Chair Book,” and it should be off to press in a few weeks. I’m working on the book’s “backmatter” – appendices, bibliography, acknowledgments etc. One of the sections I’d like to add is “Commonly Asked Questions” about chairmaking. This will be similar to the one in the back of “The Anarchist’s Workbench.”

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If you are someone who is getting started in chairmaking, or is hesitant about diving in, I would like to hear the questions you have about the process. What aspects of chairmaking seem unclear, difficult or beyond your reach?

In general, I’m looking for questions that are fairly broad. If you ask me about how to drill the sticks for a hoop-back Forest chair (aka Windsor) with a 1/4” Gramercy spoon bit, that’s not something I can use in the book (or even answer, except to say: Ask Mike Dunbar).

Some of the common questions I get include:

Do I need green wood to make a chair?

How do you figure out all the drilling angles for the legs and sticks?

What glue should I use?

Do I have to own a drawknife, adze and travisher to make chairs?

Are wooden chairs comfortable?

Why don’t chairs fall apart because of wood movement?

You can post your questions in the comments below. The comments will close on Friday, June 11. If you include your name with your comment, I will gladly credit you in the book. Thank you in advance for sharing your confusion.

— Christopher Schwarz


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