The beginning of “old guy” summer camp started today and my fine camp counselor is a true gentleman named Bill Kappel. I finally found the perfect thing to do with my extra week of vacation this year. I went to rocking chair camp.
For those of you who don’t know of Bill Kappel, he is also known as the rocking chair guy. He makes his own take on the Maloof style rocking chair and does it with style and class. Not only does he make chairs and other amazing wood pieces, but he also offers classes ranging from one on one to small groups. He is a great guy, and I feel fortunate to be working with him this week. You can tell he is good since unlike some hacks I know, Bill laughs at the concept of being called a master woodworker. (even though he just might be one)
For me it was a cross country trek since his workshop is a bit more than 2 hours South of Salt Lake City Utah in a place called Ephraim. I am not sure how to pronounce it, but here I am in my hotel room writing this blog entry. I live in Cleveland, Ohio when I am not traveling so Utah is a big change of environment for me.
Enough fluff.. lets talk about the build. Today was day one and we started making the seat. I chose Mesquite lumber for my chair, and I have to say the figure is amazing. Bill has an amazingly organized and intelligent method of building his chairs that can be broken down into specific and orderly steps. The advice he offers at each step helps understand how the choices are made for each step in the process. He follows a similar procedure to the one I have seen on the Maloof DVD I have, but obviously hands on is the way for me to learn it.
I will take pictures and post them as the days go on. I am also making some video recordings of technique so that I can refer to them when I need to make my next chair. Today was day one and I have several to go. I am confident that when I am done, I will be taking home the best looking chair in my house.
I will keep you posted.
-- making sawdust....