SHAPING A CLASSIC
Lovely mahogany and graceful carving make this a winner.
SHOP OWNER: Ken Culley
LOCATION: Southampton, Ontario, Canada
My basement workshop is my refuge where I have spent many quiet hours working at various wood projects. Such woodworking skills as I have were learned at a time when cabinet and chair makers made their own stocks for spokeshaves and stock scrapers. This permitted them to design the stocks to accommodate various applications. I still use a stock scraper that I made when I was sixteen. After many years away from woodworking, I decided to buy some basic equipment and putter around making such items as interested me, working as and when the mood moved me.
My Philadelphia style Chippendale with ball and claw foot is based on a design featured in Ron Clarkson’s book “Making Classic Chairs”. It was my first attempt at wood carving a chair. It took long hours but I enjoyed every one. The photographs and the clarity of Mr. Clarkson’s narrative in detailing the various operations were a great help.
I used South American mahogany for the chair and maple for the upholstered loose seat frame. One and half-inch foam rubber proved adequate for the upholstery. I opted for a deep red mahogany stain with Varathane finish.
“For an additional fee measured drawings are available”! I found these invaluable for the carving detail. I used carbon paper to trace the pattern onto a sheet of plain paper, cut the sheet to size, and pasted it to the work piece making sure that it was correctly placed. I could then cut through the paper with confidence to outline the pattern.
. . . Ken Culley