Popular Woodworking 2005-02 № 146, страница 34

Popular Woodworking 2005-02 № 146, страница 34

Great Woodshops

A Chairmaker's Laboratory

With each new invention, Brian Boggs seeks to build a better chair.

Initially, chairmaker Brian Boggs's woodshop in Berea, Ky., holds no surprises. Strips of hickory bark are drying in the ceiling's rafters. A man sitting on a shaving horse works on a back slat with a drawknife. Jigs and templates hang from the walls, as do half-finished lad-derback chairs.

But as you walk through the various rooms, each with a specific purpose, you begin to notice jigs, fixtures and even machines that you've never seen before. And then your eye catches sight of this, well, thing - a complex configuration of oily steel, wood, rubber, bolts, drive belts and gears.

Boggs proudly calls this his hickory bark stripper. While it doesn't actually strip the bark from the log, strips of hickory bark 25' to 30' long are fed through the machine where they

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Chairmaker Brian Boggs has been making Appalachian-style ladderback chairs for more than 22 years.

It took Boggs 12 years to invent and bu ild this machine, which processes strips of hickory bark.

pass through four 8" rotary knives, slide down angled tables and slither through pipes as they are split, processed and sliced until out pop perfect strips ofhickory bark, ready to be hung from the ceiling for future woven seats. The machine took Boggs 12 years to develop.

Suddenly, it occurs to you. You aren't in a chairmaker's shop. Rather, you're in a chair-maker's laboratory. And all those jigs, fixtures and machines, you realize, are the scientist's chairmaking inventions.

The results of 45-year-old Boggs's constant ingenuity are ever-evolving, Appalachian-style ladderback chairs with a contemporary

by Kara Gebhart Uhl

Comments or questions? Contact Kara at 513-5312690 ext. 1348 or kara.gebhart@fwpubs.com.

flair that have earned him national acclaim. Boggs continually strives to improve the way he builds his chairs (he talks about R&D -research and development - as much as he talks about hickory bark stripping) and he's constantly reevaluating his designs to make them more pleasing to the eye and more comfortable to sit in.

Surprisingly, Boggs isn't an engineer-turned-woodworker. No one in his family was a woodworker either. How he got to this stage was just a matter of reinventing himself.

The Philosophy of Chairmaking

Boggs grew up on various horse farms his father ran in Kentucky. He spent his childhood working horses, attending rodeos and dreaming of someday painting for a living.

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Popular Woodworking February 2005

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