Here we go again....Starting some chairs and stools...

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Forum topic by RobH posted 01-26-2008 05:02 PM 798 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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465 posts in 4044 days

01-26-2008 05:02 PM

Hey all,

I am about to do something that I have always wanted to do, build chairs, footstools, bar stools, etc. Several articles I have read mention a method by which you rough turn the stretchers and tenoned parts of the chair. Then the tenoned parts are placed in a “kiln” that consists of a box and a light bulb. The tenoned parts are “super-dried before assembly into the legs of the stool, chair, etc. The tenoned parts are removed from the kiln and finished turned to the correct diameter. Then the chair, stool, etc is assembled. As the tennons gain moisture back, they will lock into place in the mortises. They say these joints do not even need to be glued. This is supposedly how old chairs were made and why they stay together so well.

Well, I want to build a box to dry the stretchers in. Does anyone have anything like this that they can post some good pictures of so I can get some ideas? I know some turners use something of this nature to dry bowl blanks. I am interested in making mine large enough to dry a few bowl blanks also. Also, if you use something like this, can you tell me how you use yours so as to dry the wood correctly.

Sorry for the long post, but thanks for the input. I look forward to seeing what you have.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

4 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#1 posted 01-28-2008 04:46 PM

did you find what you were looking for?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4044 days

#2 posted 01-30-2008 04:48 AM


I already have some ideas. I was just seeing if anyone here had any experience before I got started. I guess that is a no. So, in the spirit of the forums, when I come to the point that I am ready to make my box, I will make sure I document it either in pictures or in video and post the process here. I might even have to make a test joint and see how much force it takes to pull it apart. Should be an interesting test.

Thanks for asking,

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3910 days

#3 posted 02-03-2008 03:10 AM

Rob, the way the old chairs were made- the maker used very dry wood for the rungs and back slats and green wood for the legs. the tendon on the ends of the rungs are shaped to fit the hole in the leg tight and driven in with a wooden mallet. this takes a little practice, if it fits to tight it will split the leg. When the green leg dries it shrinks holding the rungs in place. I have made hundreds of ladderback chairs and footstools using this method-it works. check out the FOXFIRE BOOKS.

-- jerryw-wva.

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4044 days

#4 posted 02-03-2008 04:12 AM


This idea will also work somewhat even with dried wood. Admittedly not as good as it does with green wood. Right now I am not interested in the green wood working. I will have to stick with dried lumber for right now. Let me get a couple of years under my belt with kiln dried wood and I may start going for the green stuff.

Thanks for the response.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

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