Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair #2: Marc Adams School, Day 1

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 10-10-2017 01:20 AM 3345 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Material Preparation Part 2 of Greene & Greene Gamble House Side Chair series Part 3: Marc Adams School, Day 2 »

Today was day one of the six day Gamble House side chair class at the Marc Adams school of Woodworking in Indiana. After 10 hours driving from Eastern Pennsylvania, I was happy to get a good night rest last evening and get started on this chair. Marc has a very large school and there are at least four classes going on simultaneously.

Our instructor, Bob Lang, was asked to fill in for George Knutson who was unable to teach the class as originally planned. Bob was able to get the original CAD files from Darrel Peart which he then used to create a 3D model of the chair in Sketch Up. This allowed Bob to check all of the joinery, etc. before we started cutting material. Bob changed a few dimensions from the original cut list, but not everyone received the update (including me). A few of my pieces are slightly different sizes from what Bob has drawn, but I think I can work around this.

After the obligatory shop safety discussion, we started by creating the routing template for the front apron, which has a cloud lift along the bottom. Once the template was completed, I routed the apron and cut my front legs to length.

The chair uses loose tenon joinery. To cut the mortises we set up the JDS Multi-router.

After cutting my mortises, I made up some tenon stock, then cut a few lengths so I could do a dry fit.

The front leg assembly is as far as I can take it at this point.

The back leg assembly requires four templates. The legs have a gentle arched shape above the seat. The crest rail is shaped with both a curve and a profile, and the rear apron also has a unique, almost scalloped profile that requires a template. Bob Lang was kind enough to plot full size drawings that we were able to affix to the MDF to facilitate making the templates.

Tomorrow we will continue making the back leg assembly.

-- 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"

6 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20590 posts in 2223 days

#1 posted 10-10-2017 02:03 PM

this is a journey im looking forward to,i love g&g design and really want to do more of it in the future so i thank you for your great love to go this school some day,although we have another great school close to me here which is the wiliiam ing school.see ya tomorrow.

-- 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 CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4797 days

#2 posted 10-10-2017 02:39 PM

This is awesome! I’m glad to hear you’re making templates for your other chairs when you get home. Very cool! I was wondering why Bob wasn’t listed as one of the instructors on the website. Nothing against Mr. Knutson, but I’d be very happy with this substitute teacher. I’ve been a huge fan of Bob’s since I got his books at Gamble House.

I may have to look into this school as another option. It seems like they’ve got a good program. I’ve always just looked at Ng’s. It would be nice to have a choice, although the tradeoff was taking my family to Disneyland while I’m in Anaheim. Hmmm…

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

View EarlS's profile


4748 posts in 3587 days

#3 posted 10-10-2017 09:11 PM

Thanks for posting the daily news. Looks like they some nice high end toys (errr tools) there. How does the multi router stack up against the Leigh mortise and tenon jig? Full sized templates are the only way to go when you have to make pieces with curves like that. They will really make things move a lot faster with the other 11 chairs when you get home.

Yep, I’m officially Greene & Greene with envy.

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4386 days

#4 posted 10-10-2017 11:16 PM

Looks like you’re off to a great start! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

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

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1733 days

#5 posted 10-11-2017 01:54 AM

Pottz – William Ng’s school looks awesome too, would love to build one of the Blacker chairs some day. but not 12…

Skully – Bob Lang is filling in for George. Unfortunately he was not able to teach the class but Marc Adams was able to get Bob to fill in at the last minute. Kudos to Bob for taking this on, he had to do a lot of prep work in a short period of time including developing a full 3D model in SketchUp, dimensioned 3 views, full size templates and written work instructions.

Earl – Marc’s shop is well equipped. I would not hesitate to recommend a class here to anyone. Mostly Powermatic machinery with a smattering of Delta, General, etc.. I was happy to get to try out the new 15” PM bandsaw as that is likely my next purchase. The multi-router is a fantastic piece of equipment, but the Leigh FMT is very nice as well. The nice feature of the multi-router is that the router is mounted to the machine and there is a third axis of motion to control it. With the Leigh FMT the operator has to move the router manually. Both make excellent joints however and so far I see no reason that the Leigh jig will not work just fine for these chairs.

-- 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 CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4797 days

#6 posted 10-11-2017 03:34 PM

The cool thing about woodworking is that you can spend $2K on wood and $3K on tools and make $12K worth of chairs! Especially once you have all the templates made and you made the “prototype” under adult supervision, you can crank out the other chairs mass-production-style! This is how I justify purchases to the Mrs.

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

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