A Little Exposure

Like so many of you, I’ve been a reader of Fine Woodworking since I can remember. It’s challenged, inspired and informed me since the 1980’s. When I wrote for them for the first time about 11 years ago it was a huge thing for me, so you can imagine how it feels to be on the cover of issue #275!


I’m also excited that the project is one of my favorites, the Curved Leg Stool. I’ve been lucky to have Jeff Lefkowitz help me to produce full sized plans for the piece that you can preorder on my website. They should be ready to mail out within a week or two. Jeff has produced plans for Curtis Buchanan and Brian Boggs and his work is stunning. I can’t wait to see them printed. There are three different legs styles featured and all the bending forms, seat cross sections and turning patterns are there as well.

This week in the shop I am teaching 3 intrepid souls how to make a rod back rocking chair. I expanded this class to 9 days to ensure that we have plenty of time to handle all the complexity in style.


Here the students are using a positioning jig to work out the rake and splay angles on the rear posts. This brings up an interesting topic. One of my goals is to have a process that delivers successful and controlled results with less than consistent bends. When I make my parts, I am fully human and while there is a level of consistency that I strive for, I’ve always been more interested in the process and ability to evolve the designs more than creating “perfect” parts. I also think of this as a service to my students because their parts at home might look a little different than mine but I still want them to be able to make a successful chair. Also, if they want to change the design or design their own, I want them to be able to. This jig that you see allows the design process to creep further into the construction process. By positioning the distance of the bottom of the posts at the known distance apart from seat pattern and clamping the tops at the desired distance for the crest, we can “play” with the rotation until a pleasing form is created and then extrapolate the rake and splay for drilling. All of our drilling numbers came out the same, but the rotation of the posts was determined by eye and everyone did a great job.

Here is the seat that I’m carving, as you can see, I’m having some fun with the shaping.


I keep seeing this shape and it’s so very comfortable that I’m a bit obsessed!



The first class in my new space just wrapped, and I have to say, the added space, time and light really made a difference. Here are some shots of the great works by my students.

Notice how Georgia was enrolled in the class!

Notice how Georgia was enrolled in the class!

One of the most striking parts of the class, was the effect that the bold afternoon light had on the energy of myself and the students. Usually, the after lunch loll is a real downer, but the blast of sunlight kept spirits and production high, plus we could see what we were doing!

All the assemblies went super smooth

All the assemblies went super smooth

I’ve also been making progress on the curved settee project. We decided to use the back of the seat as a bending form for the crest before carving it.


When I rented the smaller space 18 months ago, I thought is was a good starting place, and it was, but this new shop is clearly the correct size for my endeavor and I couldn’t be happier. Please note, I’ve added a turning class to my schedule and there are openings in a few others, hope to see you there!

New Year and some New Classes!

It’s been an exceedingly busy January for me, teaching 17 students at North Bennet Street, shooting an article for Fine Woodworking (out in April) and designing an exciting settee for some clients. I am also adding some new classes for the year. You can check them out on my site and enrollment begins on Jan 29th at 8 am. I’ve added

A turning intensive in June

A Continuous Arm Class in August

TWO classes with Bern Chandley and me in Sept and Oct

and a Comb Back in December.

I also now have a couple of slots in the side chair class in June open for enrollment immediately.

All of this will take place in my new workshop at the mill, it’s more than twice the size of the last one. It didn’t take long to outgrow the old shop, but it served me very well as I got the ball rolling. Now we will have plenty of space to do our work and an afternoon light that is truly inspiring.


This light has really kept me hustling in the late winter days!

I’ve been working on a special settee with a former student, Aspen Golann. She is about to graduate North Bennet Street and brought in a great commission for us to scratch our heads over. Here is a drawing of the curved, fan back settee.


The article that I wrote for Fine Woodworking is on my curve legged stool. It’s one of my favorite designs and I am happy to get it out there. I am working with my former student, Jeff Lefkowitz (who does plans for Curtis as well as others), to make some plans that will be ready sometime in March or April.


As you can tell, I am excited for the new year, new classes and all that is going on, I hope to see you at the shop or at Fine Woodworking events in Tampa and Southbridge!