Build an Irish Armchair with Christopher Schwarz – Lost Art Press

Mon Aug 12, 2024 9:00 AM - Fri Aug 16, 2024 5:00 PM EDT
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Stick Chair w/C Schwarz (Sold Out)
$1,800.00 + $0.00 booking fee
$1,800.00 $0.00 Sold out

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This chair is one of the two most comfortable forms that I build. Based on Irish examples I’ve studied on my travels, this chair is great fun to build and very strong. Though Irish chairs are not traditionally saddled, we will saddle these chairs for extra comfort. You’ll make every component of the chair, cut all the joints and even have time to apply finish to the chair.

The construction processes are a combination of heavy hand-tool use with some assistance from the band saw. The emphasis is on building beautiful chairs with a few tools – and even fewer jigs.

In addition, students will explore the idea that no two stick chairs should be identical. You’ll be encouraged to bring your own ideas forward with your chair to make something that is both yours and also fits within the great tradition of stick chairs that goes back to the 15th century.


This class requires long hours and will make you tired (but happy at the end of the day). Because of the nature of this class, we bring in lunch every day for students. Plus, all materials (wood, glue etc.) are included in the cost of the class. So the price is higher than a typical week-long class.

Cost: $1,800 (price includes all materials and lunch every day). Cancellations will be accepted up until four weeks before the class for a full refund. If a cancellation occurs within four weeks prior to the class date, a refund will be issued only if the spot can be filled.

For information on Covington, including where to stay and where to eat, click here.

If the class sells out, we recommend signing up for the waitlist – we almost always have to fill at least one space.

Tools for the Chair

An important note on tools: When you arrive, your tools should be sharp and ready to go. There won’t be time to restore vintage tools or set up new tools in this class (there are other great classes for those activities).

Essential Tools
• Block plane
This is one of the most essential tools in the kit. I recommend a high-quality new one with an adjustable mouth, such as the Lie-Nielsen 60-1/2. The adjustable mouth will allow you to make against-the-grain cuts without tearing. If you have small hands, you can substitute a smaller model with a non-adjustable mouth. But you will be doing a lot more scraping.
• Jack plane
Another essential tool. I recommend a vintage metal jack, such as a pre-war Stanley No. 5. The older ones weigh less than the new premium jacks, which is a good thing. And the handles are far more comfortable. If possible, grind the iron so it has a pronounced curve, such as an 8” or 10” radius. If you don't have a grinder, a sharp, straight edge will work.
• Spokeshave, flat sole
I am partial to shaves in the Stanley No. 151 pattern. These shaves have two blade adjustment screws. Veritas makes the best new one. We will be working with dry wood, so wooden-bodies shaves are not recommended.
• 6” rule
• Small tape measure
• Combination square (6” or 12”)
• Card scraper (the Bahco 475 is the one to get or the curved one we make at Crucible)
• Mechanical pencils (.9mm or .7mm lead)
• 10” or 12” Cabinet rasp, medium coarseness, such as 10 or 12 grain. Auriou is my favorite
• Scorp (I recommend the Lucian Avery Inshave or Barr Tools Mike Dunbar Style scorp or the one from Jason Lonon). Order early to avoid disappointment!
• Travisher (Elia Bizzari’s 4.5” radius travisher and the travishers from Allan Williams are both excellent). I also really like the travishers from Windsor Workshop. If you use the Windsor Workshop travisher (particularly the Delrin one) then you don’t really need a scorp.
• Crosscut back saw (Western or a simple dozuki)
Cork sanding block
• Flush-cutting saw (I’ve never encountered a great one; this one is pretty good)
• A few chisels – 1/2”, 5/8” or 3/4”
• Mallet (heavier is better for chairmaking). I like 2-1/2” lbs.
• Bubble level (any size will do except huge ones for carpentry). Torpedo levels are also an excellent tool to have.