Glastonbury Chair

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Project by Wayne Precht posted 10-04-2007 09:20 PM 5330 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to build a pair of reproduction “Glastonbury” Chairs. The original (now lost) was made in the 15th Century for the Bishop of Glastonbury. Made mostly of straight pieces of timber, it can be disassembled to move the chair or to pack it up. My work was loosely based on measured drawings made by Daniel Diehl in his Constructing Medieval Furniture: Plans and Instructions With Historical Notes (1997). The text makes some omissions and a little creativity is necessary to make the deceptively complex chair go together as it was intended.

The pictures I have included here are two if the chairs “in progress”. All of the major construction is complete and some initial finish has been applied. All the is missing is about a million hours of carving (since started). I have also included an early 19th century engraving of the chair since I don’t have a photo of the original reproduction used by Mr. Diehl handy. But it will serve to give you an idea of how it will look when the carving is complete.

The chair is entirely constructed of red oak 4/4 and 6/4 stock with the exception of the pins which are teak (because I had to commission them from a friend with a lathe and that’s almost all he uses).

-- --- Wayne.

10 comments so far

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4036 days

#1 posted 10-04-2007 09:32 PM

It’s a very interesting design. I’m anxious to see them when finished.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#2 posted 10-04-2007 09:54 PM

Very nice, Wayne.

I looked at the first photo before I read the story, and I assumed it was an ultra-modern cutting-edge design. It’s funny how things go around in cycles.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3933 days

#3 posted 10-04-2007 11:11 PM

Very interisting. I cant wait to see the finished project.

-- bryano

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4400 days

#4 posted 10-04-2007 11:17 PM

An Interesting old chair. Good luck on the carving.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3982 days

#5 posted 10-04-2007 11:37 PM


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3982 days

#6 posted 10-04-2007 11:43 PM

Hello Wayne
Cool looking chair. After reading your story, seeing your project and following the book link, I put the book in my amazon wish list along with a couple others. I also found this book for less money on . ABE is the best place on the internet to buy used books.
Thanks for posting this one !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4176 days

#7 posted 10-04-2007 11:57 PM

Very interesting piece, Wayne. The carving looks very challenging.

Is the chair comfortable?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Dan Pleska's profile

Dan Pleska

142 posts in 3960 days

#8 posted 10-05-2007 05:30 AM

Very cool chair! Looking forward to seeing the carving when it’s done.

-- Dan, West Virginia,

View Wayne Precht's profile

Wayne Precht

58 posts in 3916 days

#9 posted 10-11-2007 09:18 PM

Thanks everyone for the kind words.

Dan, ABE will be the death of your credit card. It’s amazing what you can find there. It’s been the place I have used to fill in my woodworking library with the many excellent, but sadly out of print books.

-- --- Wayne.

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4310 days

#10 posted 10-11-2007 09:29 PM

I bet Roger could carve that. Nice piece, very interesting.

-- Jesus is Lord!

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