Jennie Alexander’s chair

 

Alexander’s post-and-rung chair

On the Jennie Alexander chairmaking front – I worked with Alexander for years and years – and we made many of these chairs together. In the early 1990s we worked on a second edition of the book Make a Chair from a Tree and it included an afterword that described and illustrated the then-current updates to the chairmaking process from the original 1978 edition. Around that time, we shot a full-length video of the process, but JA was not satisfied with it, and scrapped the whole thing. Then later, while I was off in joinery-land, JA and Anatol Polillo produced an excellent video that shows the most current version of how to build this chair.

You probably already saw this news – but Lost Art Press announced yesterday that it’s got the video ready for streaming. Here’s the link:

‘Make a Chair From a Tree’ Streaming Video Now Available

My one comment – Chris doesn’t know what it’s called. It’s not a “Jennie” chair, it’s a JA chair. Always was.

Get it while you wait for the next (and best) edition of the book.

On the same subject, next year, I’m planning two classes on making these chairs. When I have the particulars sorted out, I’ll announce them here & elsewhere. I’ve made four of these chairs lately, and they’ve all sold – soon I’ll be taking orders for a small batch of my versions of these as well. Lots more about these chairs in upcoming posts.

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Jarrod’s birch bark class at Plymouth CRAFT

We got underway tonight with a 2-hour intro to Jarrod’s class in birch bark cannisters with Plymouth CRAFT. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/

He showed some slides of harvesting the bark, and some historical inspiration, as well as examples of his own work. That was followed by a demonstration of cutting the joints for a simple cannister.

Here, using a chisel to stab out the slots and tabs for the connecting joinery.

I know from experience that wrapping your head around the layout of this joint is no joke. Here, he’s limbering the bark up for squeezing it so he can slip the tabs through the slots. Or whatever you call those bits.

 

Now to do it so all the components slide through in turn.

The body of the cannister fitted, a joined outside, and an overlapping liner slid inside.

I saw Jarrod make one of these, maybe a 20-minute demo, the year we first met. Since then, I’ve always wanted to delve more deeply into this aspect of green woodworking. So I’ve waited for this class for a long time. I greatly appreciate that Jarrod & Jazmin have traveled all this way; and have brought something new to us at Plymouth CRAFT. Looking forward to the hands-on part, starting tomorrow.

You probably already know Jarrod’s work, but just in case- https://www.instagram.com/jarrod__dahl/  

and https://woodspirithandcraft.com/

the next batch of JA’s books; TOOLS

UPDATE – THURSDAY, SEPT 13, ALL THESE BOOKS HAVE SOLD.

THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE, I KNOW IT CAN BE CLUNKY TRYING TO FIND OUT IF THEY ARE AVAILABLE. I’LL SORT THE REMAINING BOOKS, MOST OF WHICH ARE FURNITURE HISTORY; MANY VOLUMES OF CHIPSTONE’S AMERICAN FURNITURE, AND A NEARLY-COMPLETE RUN OF THE BRITISH JOURNAL REGIONAL FURNITURE. I WILL POST SOME OF THESE AFTER THE WEEKEND. 

 

I sorted out some books specifically about woodworking tools. Most are inscribed with John Alexander’s name on the inside. Rarely are there notes written in them. sometime might have slips of paper in them, noting something JA wanted to come back to. All prices include shipping in US. Leave a comment if you want one. I’ll send paypal invoices tonight.

——————

SOLD   W.L. Goodman, The History of Woodworking Tools, hardcover. JA & I used this book a lot; mine’s a photocopy – used to belong to Benno Forman, but this is JA’s hardcover copy.

$40

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SOLD   Paul Kebabian, American Woodworking Tools hardcover, signed.

$30.

——————

SOLD   R.A. Salaman, Dictionary of Tools. Hardcover, used. There was a later paperback edition by Taunton Press, but this is the 1975 English edition. A JA favorite – that’s why it’s used.

$40

————————–

SOLD   Instruments of Change: New Hampshire Hand Tools and their makers, 1800-1900, softcover. Good condition, but a glued binding.

$40

 


THE BOOKS BELOW ARE SOLD

SOLD  Henry Mercer, Ancient Carpenters’ Tools

Anyone interested in hand-tool woodworking that doesn’t have Mercer’s book is missing out. There’s a modern paperback edition. This is a 1960 hardcover edition.

$35


——————-

SOLD   John Whalen, The Wooden Plane, Astragal Press, hardcover, excellent condition.

$50

——————–

SOLD  John Whalen, Making Traditional Wooden Planes -softcover. Just what it says. I made planes with the help of this book.

$20.

——————–

SOLD  The Tool Chest of Benjamin Seaton, 1st edition. Too weird to go into, but this first edition is listed as more valuable than the expanded 2nd edition. Nonsense, I say. It’s nice, but the 2nd edition is better. Don’t buy it & re-sell it though, I’ll be mad.

$30.

——————

SOLD   Josef Greber, Die Gschichte des Hobels (The History of the Woodworking Plane)

This was an EAIA reprint. The hardcover book is in German, with all the illustrations. The translation is the softcover companion volume. So you read two books at once to know what’s going on, unless you read German.

$50

 

——————–

SOLD   Kenneth Roberts, Some 19th Century English Woodworking Tools. inscribed by the author to JA. hardcover, excellent condition

$50.

———————

 

SOLD   Tools and Technologies: America’s Wooden Age, softcover. New one to me, look at the table of contents – some old friends in there.

$40.

 

——————-

SOLD  Early Tools of New Jersey and the Men Who Made Them.

Just what it says. Hardcover

$30.

 

 

 

 

 

 

a few more books from Alexander collection

UPDATE, 11:00 PM EASTERN TIME. ALMOST ALL OF THESE ARE SOLD, THERE’S A FEW FURNITURE HISTORY BOOKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST. I’LL BE POSTING MORE BOOKS IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. LOTS OF AMERICAN FURNITURE JOURNALS FROM CHIPSTONE, MORE TOOL BOOKS, AND WHAT-HAVE-YOU. THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT, PETER. 

 

A few more books from the Jennie Alexander collection. There’s only one copy of each of these, so I’ll try to keep the page updated as to each book’s status. Prices include shipping in US. Leave a comment if you want one of these, and I’ll send a paypal invoice.

————-

The first few of these are signed/inscribed to (then) John Alexander from Drew Langsner.

SOLD First edition of Green Woodworking (Rodale Press, 1987). Hardcover. Used, dust jacket a bit worn. Some loose notes by JA inserted into the book. I left them there.

$75

 

——————-

SOLD

Another from Drew – same book, 2nd edition. Lark books. Softcover. Excellent condition. some revisions to the text/photos from the Rodale edition.

$75.

————–

SOLD

One more Langsner title – This one the Chairmaker’s Workshop – the Author’s reprint edition – softcover, condition is essentially new. a little scuffed on the back cover.

I didn’t shoot the inscription, but it reads “Thanks so much for helping to make chairmaking possible! Drew Langsner, 3-14-17, DL”

$60.


SOLD

Mark & Jane Rees’ edition of  W.L. Goodman’s British Planemakers from 1700. Hardcover, like new. Has JA’s name written on the first page.

 

$100

 


SOLD  Gerrit van der Steere, Four Centuries of Dutch Planes and Planemakers, hardcover. Written in both Dutch and English.

$100

————

SOLD

Here’s a biggie, in more ways than one. Roubo, L’art du Menuisier. The 1976 edition, 4 volumes bound in three books. Not for the faint of heart, nor weaklings. Huge volumes; when stacked up, the pile is 10″ high, by 12″ x 17″.  Weight is about 37 lbs. Some wear to the dust jackets, some foxing on the edges of the pages. One plate, #169 is loose, all the others seem intact. Below are several photos of the volumes, to give an idea of the condition/size of the books.

I found two copies on the web just now – one for $787.83, including shipping from France to US; the other $865, also including shipping.

I’ll ask $700 including basic shipping in US. If the shipping goes over $50 I’ll ask for an additional charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A small selection of furniture-history books. I just shot the spines in the box.

$35 each, including shipping.

Here’s the titles

SOLD  American Seating Furniture, Benno Forman. Kinda beat copy. Has note from editor Trent to JA.

SOLD American Furniture & Its Makers, Winterthur portfolio. Has an article about 17th-century Dedham, Massachusetts furniture.

SOLD  Thomas Chippendale by Christopher Gilbert. New, barely opened.

SOLD  Pine Furniture of Early New England, Kettel. Hardcover.

American Furniture at Pendleton House, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art.

 SOLD  American Case Furniture: Yale University Art Gallery, Gerry Ward.

SOLD  New England Furniture: The Colonial Era, Brock Jobe and Myrna Kaye

SOLD  Colonial Furniture in America, vol 1; Luke Vincent Lockwood. I can’t find vol 2. If you buy this & the other shows up, I’ll get a hold of you.

American Furniture at the MFA, Richard Randall.

Bradford chair finished

I often get requests for an “old” finish, i.e. something that looks like those pieces that are 350-400 years old. Often the look these pieces have is more about their 19th-century restorations than about the years of use & handling. But no matter, that’s what people want to see much of the time.

Finishing is not something I have ever really studied. I can finish pieces so they look new; looking old is harder. This chair was the best result I’ve got on making one look dark/old/used; whatever we might call it. To do it, I finally jumped on the Windsor chairmaker’s bandwagon and used milk paint! I’d done it years ago, and was never thrilled with my results, but now using Curtis Buchanan’s video and Pete Galbert’s book I went step-by-step and got something I was very pleased with. I shot almost no photographs of the process for several reasons. Godawful hot out. It looks hideous in the early stages; and I didn’t want the customer to see anything but the result.

Here’s some of the first two coats of red paint – I tried to show how burnishing it when it dries gives it some polish, and brightens things up. On this first one, the horizontal rails have been burnished, the vertical post and spindles are just the dry, chalky paint.

And on this one, the two spindles on our left have been done, those on the right are still the dry paint. 40 spindles, it was no small job to do 4 coats of paint on this chair. Two red underneath, then two brown over those. Then 2 coats of linseed oil.

 

I shot no more of the process, it was too messy and sweaty, so I didn’t need another task like running the camera. Jump to the finished product:

 

Those same spindles:

If you want to learn about painting this way; Curtis’ video series on painting starts with this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCFE8CzvNNg

Then there’s three or four more. Not hard to find…

You know Pete’s book – https://lostartpress.com/products/chairmakers-notebook

And Elia Bizzarri did a video about using milk paint too – http://handtoolwoodworking.com/milk-paint-dvd/

JA & PF 2007 joined stool demo, 2nd session pts 1-3

This is the second half of the presentation I did with John/Jennie Alexander in 2007 at Colonial Williamsburg. It gets us all the way through the joined stool; I think it covers turning, assembly and making & fitting the seat board. Then some slide lecture action from JA. The video just stops in mid-lecture – it’s all I have. Still better than nothing.

I’m going to make a static page on the blog with all these youtube clips, and keep it up there on the header. That way when I write more blog posts, it won’t get lost in the shuffle.

It’s been fun to view some of this (I haven’t watched it all…) – this was our last public presentation together, it was also one of our best, for which I was very grateful. The folks at CW were kind enough to give me a disc with the video on it, and I was lucky to find it after all these years. Enjoy.

JA & PF joined stool demo 2007 part 3

Here’s the 3rd snippet of the demo John/Jennie Alexander & I did back in 2007 at Colonial Williamsburg. This, together with parts one & two that I posted the other day, completes the first of two sessions we did during that program. I’ll load the rest as I get it sorted.

 

 

Here’s the first two in case you missed them –

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/ja-pf-joined-stool-demo-2007-pts-1-2/