Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair #1: Material Preparation

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 10-06-2017 03:12 AM 3196 reads 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair series Part 2: Marc Adams School, Day 1 »

Now that my Thorsen inspired dining table is complete (you can see the BLOG here), it is time to turn my attention to a set of chairs. Since I have never built a chair, I decided to enroll in the Gamble House Side Chair class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indiana. Many will know the instructor, Bob Lang, who is not only a Lumber Jocks member but has authored several books and was editor of Popular Woodworking magazine for many years. The chair design is based on the side chairs in the living room of the Gamble house in Pasadena.

The school mailed out a cut list a few weeks ago so students could prepare the required stock prior to class. I had enough sapele left over from making the dining table, so there was no need for a trip to the hardwood dealer. Since Indiana is about a 10 hour drive from Eastern Pennsylvania, I decided to cut up enough material to make two complete chairs to be sure I had sufficient material to cover any mistakes.

With my stock cut, I gathered up the required tools for class. This includes square chisels, a Dozuki saw, a plastic head hammer for inserting ebony plugs and a dental pick for cleaning out square plug holes. I also packed a cordless drill and a ROS along with my PPE.

I am looking forward to learning some new woodworking skills and hopefully coming away from the week with a nice chair. After that, I will be into chair production.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

7 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6488 posts in 4052 days

#1 posted 10-06-2017 04:45 AM

Should be fun, good luck at the class.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4797 days

#2 posted 10-06-2017 03:18 PM

This is SO cool! I checked out the school’s website. Interesting model also, where you bring the materials and tools. In Marc Spagnola’s video about building his chair at William Ng, he said they had a whole bunch of jigs pre-made. Will you be making jigs for the rest of your chairs? I guess using your finished pieces as a “template”. !I wish I could bump some chairs up on my list, but my wife and son would destroy them. Maybe when he’s off at college. Until then, I’ll live vicariously through you. Best of luck at the class!

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View pottz's profile


20594 posts in 2223 days

#3 posted 10-06-2017 05:11 PM

looking forward to following your journey making these chairs,based on what I saw you do with that table I have no doubt your gonna wow us again.hoping you have a ton of fun and wishing I was going with you tung,enjoy.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View EarlS's profile


4748 posts in 3587 days

#4 posted 10-06-2017 05:52 PM

Sounds like the chair making class will be quite an adventure. I’ll be watching for your real time posts from there.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View PPK's profile


1870 posts in 2048 days

#5 posted 10-06-2017 09:44 PM

Is the Gamble House chair the style you plan to make to go around your table, or are you just learning the chair-making process with this class?

-- Pete

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1734 days

#6 posted 10-06-2017 10:40 PM

I’m looking forward to this class, always good to learn new skills.

Skully- We were not asked to bring any MDF or plywood to make routing templates and jigs, but I’m hoping to get full size tracings of all of the jigs so I can reproduce them when I return home.

PPK- That is a good question. I like the Gamble house chair, but I like the Thorsen chair better. If you Google the Thorsen chairs you will see they have a different style crest rail and the back slats fit into a lower rail which is different from the Gamble chairs. So I’m on the fence at this point.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4386 days

#7 posted 10-09-2017 10:13 PM

This looks like a really interesting blog—I’ll definitely follow along again!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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