Sources for Stick Chair Makers

When I started making chairs, I wanted someone to hand me a list of tools and say: “Here. Buy these, and you’ll be on your way.”

The longer I made chairs, the more I understood why a list like that isn’t a good idea. There are too many tools out there and too many variables in how people like to work.

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For example: I’m not a big drawknife guy. Ask me to recommend a drawknife, and I’ll give you a bewildered look. Ask Peter Galbert or Curtis Buchanan about drawknives, however, and you will get a master’s thesis on the tool.

Another problem is that suppliers are constantly changing. If I told you to buy a Harris Tools travisher, you’d spend months trying to hunt one up and spend some stupid money. Toolmakers come and go. Plus, they go through management changes – both good and bad.

The easy way out of this problem is to say: “Sorry, I can’t help. Do your own homework on tools.” But as someone who bought a lot of crappy chairmaking tools back in the day, I can’t do that to another person.

The following list is, I hope, a helpful medium. It’s a list of the suppliers I use and trust – plus the tools and supplies that I buy from them. These are the tools and supplies that I think are important to my success. If a type of tool isn’t listed – say, a scratch awl – that’s because I don’t think it really matters what kind of scratch awl you buy.

And because the marketplace is constantly changing, I didn’t want to print this list in “The Stick Chair Book.” Instead, I’ll issue a new list if new suppliers emerge or go out of business. This one is current as of June 2021.

Cold-bend Hardwood
Pure Timber LLC

Liquid Hide Glue
Old Brown Glue

Bulk Apothecary

Soap Flakes
Pure Soap Flakes

Limonene (Citrus Solvent)
Real Milk Paint Co.

Tapered-tenon Cutters (12.8°)
Hollow Augers/Straight Tenon Cutters
Reamers (12.8°)
WoodOwl Augers
Universal Sharpener
Auriou Rasps
Earlex Steam Generator
Veritas Dowel Maker
Felt Wheel for Grinder
Honing Compound

Lee Valley Tools

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Gyokucho Razorsaw

Sliding Bevel
Vesper Tools
Blue Spruce Toolworks

Reamers and Tenon Cutters (6°)
Elia Bizzarri

Star-M Japanese F-Type Auger Bit
Workshop Heaven

WoodOwl OverDrive Bits
Taylor Toolworks

Bedan Sizing Tool
Highland Woodworking

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Claire Minihan Woodworks
Elia Bizzarri
Windsor Workshop

Lucian Avery, blacksmith
Barr Specialty Tools

Soft-jaw Pliers
Tamiya Non-scratch Pliers


Band Saw Blades
Woodslicer from Highland Woodworking

Mirka Abranet

Moisture Meter

— Christopher Schwarz


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