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A Faster Way to Assemble a Roorkee

Roorkee chairs are great fun to show customers – until they ask me to take it apart and put it back together for them. For the first year or so, I was pretty slow at putting them together because there are eight buckles to tighten up all while keeping the loose parts from falling down like a Jenga game. After thinking about it and working with the chairs for three […]

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Campaign Furniture in Charleston, S.C.

Charleston, S.C., has always been an excellent place to study British furniture for a lot less money than a plane ticket to Heathrow. Today I spent a few hours stomping up and down King Street recording some very rare and nice examples of campaign furniture. The first stop was Golden & Associates Antiques. Andy Golden’s collection of pieces overall is incredible, but two of the things he personally favors are […]

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Building Roubo’s Campaign Bed at Fort Ticonderoga

Building Roubo’s Campaign Bed at Fort Ticonderoga

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a week knows I have a thing for campaign-style furniture and the work of André Roubo, the 18th-century French woodworker and writer. Like many other 18th-century furniture writers, Roubo wrote a bit about campaign-style furniture, including beds, tables and chairs. I hope to build one of his chairs and a table some day, but the Roubo campaign beds look a little […]

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Next up: The Douro Chair

Next up: The Douro Chair

You would think that after 30 months of researching and building campaign furniture, I’d be ready to build something else. Such as something that didn’t collapse, fold or have copious amounts of brass hardware. But no. I am nuts for the Douro chair. It’s a reclining chair with leather cushions, yet it pre-dates the Morris chair by many decades. Not only is it a very comfortable chair (I sat in […]

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The Roorkee Bed?

The Roorkee Bed?

With my latest book, “Campaign Furniture,” I’m at the very titillating stage of processing several gigabytes of scanned images of furniture that I’ve gathered from musty British catalogs. Many of these high-resolution images take several minutes to process, and so I abuse my friends with annoying text messages about Pepsi Max and acorns as Photoshop churns through the pixels. Late last night as I was processing the 80th image, I […]

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Different Kinds of Roorkhee Chairs

Different Kinds of Roorkhee Chairs

Since building my first run of Roorkhee chairs for the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking, I’ve been able to explore many of the variants of this nifty design, from the original version (shown in the magazine), to its iteration in the hands of Kaare Klint. This week I’m building an early chair inspired by … Read more »

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Installing Hardware with a Center Punch

Installing Hardware with a Center Punch

Thanks to a book I’m writing on campaign furniture, I’ve installed more brass hardware in the last two years than in my first 18 years of woodworking. As a result, I have become quite particular about how I install screws for hinges, pulls, corner protectors, hasps, locksets and so on. I’ve revisited a lot of … Read more »

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Another Way to Fold a Table

Another Way to Fold a Table

During the last two years my woodworking has been consumed with furniture in the campaign style from Great Britain. One of the many cool aspects of this style of furniture is that many of the pieces fold up for transport. Last week I finished building a teak folding officer’s field desk from about 1830. The … Read more »

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12 Things About Working Teak

12 Things About Working Teak

1. Your house will smell like Pier 1 2. Because of teak’s waxiness, your machines will be able to take only about one-fourth of their usual cut. Teak bogs everything down. 3. When handplaning it, you cannot position your cap iron close to the iron’s edge. The waxy shavings gum up the works. Ditto on … Read more »

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