Copy of 18th Century Chair

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Project by RichCMD posted 08-22-2018 06:13 PM 1453 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a chair that I made in a class at Annapolis Woodworks in Davidsonville, MD. The chair is a copy of a chair from the late 1700’s, and was made mostly using techniques, tools, and materials from that era.

I learned a lot during the class. For example, I did not know that craftsman from back then used several different kinds of wood, each chosen for its characteristics that made it a good choice for where it was used in the chair. I learned to use a lot of tools, like hand planes, draw knives, spokeshaves, adzes, scorps, and travishers.

I also learned that the way they did things involved a lot of physical labor, and some evenings class felt like a combination woodworking/physical training class. I’ll admit that as the oldest one in the class, I may have noticed the physical labor part more than others.

The seat of the chair is pine, the legs and stretchers are maple, and the spindles and top rail are hickory. (Not 100% sure on the hickory, but I think that’s right). It’s finished with Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Federal Blue, shellac, and wipe on poly.

My daughter saw it when I brought it home still in the bare, unfinished wood, and immediately said she’d like to have it. I finished working on it over the weekend, and on Monday my wife drove it down to my daughter in Charlotte. I think she was really happy with it when her mom delivered it.

-- Ride the bevel!

6 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3354 posts in 3479 days

#1 posted 08-22-2018 09:39 PM

Very nice chair, great work. Guess it made your daughter very happy.
I completely understand the physical strains incurred, seems every new project I work on provides me more fatigue and pain.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

8812 posts in 1870 days

#2 posted 08-22-2018 11:17 PM

That’s a handsome chair, Rich. Working with hand tools that way is a good workout, but I find I enjoy a project more when I think of the work that went into it. It’s a feeling of accomplishment to go with the good kind of tired.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


8450 posts in 2503 days

#3 posted 08-22-2018 11:38 PM

Great talent…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View wrenchhead's profile


234 posts in 4452 days

#4 posted 08-23-2018 01:51 AM

Nice Chair. I like the blue milk paint. I would love to make on some day.

-- I could quit if I wanted

View Kelly's profile


3876 posts in 4232 days

#5 posted 08-23-2018 04:26 AM

WOW. The work that went into that chair is impressive, as is the result of the work. Great job.

View Redbeardedwoodworker's profile


44 posts in 1864 days

#6 posted 08-24-2018 06:07 PM

It’s beautiful! You should be proud of that work.

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