My family & I took a quick trip to visit friends in Maine. No class, no workshop, lecture, etc. Just plain fun. Scattered about the self-proclaimed “house of chairs” is a great mis-mash of ladderback chairs. When I began woodworking in 1978, I started with this book.
It showed how to make a “shaved” chair. Same format as a turned chair, but no turnings.
Here’s a turned Shaker chair –
Many years later, I learned some about furniture history & found references to “plain matted chairs” and “turned matted chairs” – matted referring to the woven seats. (See American Furniture, 2008 for an article on shaved chairs – “Early American Shaved Post and Rung Chairs” by Alexander, Follansbee & Trent. )
Here’s a nice $15 version, from French Canada. Through mortises all over, rungs & slats. Probably birch. Posts rectangular, not square. Did they shrink that way, or were they rectangles to begin with?
Rear posts shaved, not bent.
Tool marks, sawing off the through tenon, hatchet marks from hewing the post.
Small wooden pins secure the rungs in the post. Did not see wedges in the through tenons. Tool kit for a chair like this is pretty small, riving & hewing tools – drawkinfe, maybe a shaving horse? – tools for boring a couple of sizes of holes. what else? A knife? a chisel for the slat mortises…
Here’s an armchair – also shaved. Big. the curved rear posts angle outwards. the arms meet the arris of this post…one front post has a nice sweep to it. I forget if the other does…
It was a tight spot that had enough light…so I had to tilt to get the whole chair in this shot.
The side seat rungs and the arms both have this bowed shape…
Although the arms have been moved down in the rear stiles.
I couldn’t get high enough to really capture the shape of the rear stile… I’d guess these stiles are bent this time, not shaved.
The front stile, swept outwards.
You should see the cheese press. A masterwork of mortise-and-tenon joinery. Next time I’ll empty it and shoot the whole thing.