Popular Woodworking 2009-10 № 178, страница 14

Popular Woodworking 2009-10 № 178, страница 14

Add fillers as needed. Filler blocks were used to flush the rear seat rail to their adjacent legs. Some fillers stretched across the entire rear rail. Some chairs didn't need fillers.

of the day (Thomas Chippendale was only one of many) were showcasing furniture with flowing curvilinear elements, naturalistic carvings, pierce work and more. In this case, the choice to skip the lower stretcher was probably an aesthetic one. Though it had the potential to reduce the strength and lifespan of the chair, the lack of the stretcher

Simple blocks. The corner blocks were made up of two laminations of 4/4 pine. I didn't see any thought as to grain orientation beyond that they ran parallel to legs. The pieces didn't seem to be quartered or riven.

allowed for an uninterrupted cabriole leg. It also eliminated turned components (the stretchers were usually turned), which may have been a problem for chairmakers in larger cities with more powerful Turners' Guilds.

While you may not enjoy the style, I hope you join me in my awe of these early

woodworkers. We often think about them as having no choices, working essentially as "survival" woodworkers. And while that may have indeed been the reality of their day-to-day existence, in this simple joint we see some fairly sophisticated decision making. They chose a through-joint to account for the lack of a stretcher, wedged it to ensure its structural integrity, and added glue blocks to reinforce it. Their glue allowed them to repair their products. They used pegs where they were most needed.

The uniformity of their products indicates to me that this community was closer knit than we might have previously thought. They certainly shared stylistic elements, but here we see them sharing structural elements as well. Their carefully made choices kept their furniture, and their community, together. Even if you never make a Philadelphia Chippendale-style chair, I hope you apply the same thoughtfulness in the connections you make with wood, be they structural or social. PW

Visit Adam's blog at artsandmysteries.com for more discussion of traditional woodworking techniques.

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