Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Third Bi-Annual Danish Chair Building Extravaganza


It's that time of every couple of years again.

Me 'n' Jonas
I'll be heading up to Denmark in two weeks to participate in the DCBE III. I'm really excited.

We've tried to make a tradition of getting together at Jonas' place every couple of years for a week or so of chairbuilding. Last time we built a bunch of Roorkee chairs, and it was a blast. The time before that was all about Welsh Stick Chairs.

This time is weird, in the fact that we haven't settled on what we want to build yet. Not really.

The idea of rocking chairs has come up, along with more Roorkees.

It could be that I'll have to wait until I see the wood we'll use and see what it tells me it wants to be.

However, I am leaning toward some kind of Welsh stick chair again. Perhaps something with a higher back than last time.

The only thing that Jonas and I have decided on for sure, is that we will make a run of tapered reamers.
My tapered reamer made by Elia Bizzarri.
My tapered reamer has been great. This one is set at six degrees, and I find it a very precise tool. Much more accurate than the twelve degree reamer sold by Lee Valley. That one is pretty good, but if you really want to dial in a leg to the nth degree, you should use this style of reamer.

I'm the only one I know who has one, so we thought it might be fun to build some for ourselves.

But that's just a side project.

I think the Welsh stick chair I built at the first DCBE was the first project I made with this tapered reamer, and I have been hooked on staked furniture with tapered mortises ever since (much to The Frau's chagrin).

Maybe a Welsh rocking chair.

This time I'm not driving up there, so I'll be able to take a lot less luggage. In the past, I've brought along lumber, a toolbox, lots of chairmaking books, German beer, and who knows what else.

This time I'll be limited to a checked bag and a carry on.

I'll probably bring the chairmaking tools I have here, including my reamer, my spokeshaves, a travisher and scorp, and perhaps a few other little goodies.

Unfortunately, I'll not be stopping in Munich first where I have the rest of my chairmaking tools and jigs, a hardboard template for a seat, chairmaking books like Peter Galbert's and Drew Langsner's (both of them have been invaluable in past DCBEs). Maybe someone else will have some of that stuff there, or perhaps it's time for us to jump off the deep end and build a chair the way it was meant: with whatever tools and knowledge you happen to have with you at the time.

Stay tuned, as Both Jonas and I will be posting about the DCBE III like mad. You can also follow the fun on Instagram. I'll be posting with the hashtag, #dcbeiii

In the meantime, you can review what we've done in past DCBEs by clicking on the tab at the top of my blog, where I've tried to collect links to everything that's happened before.


  1. This will be even bigger than the Tour de France.

    I just need to make the arrangements with the catering company for the supper during the event, and then make sure that we will have some beers available. Since you won't be bringing any German beer, we'll probably have to settle with Danish beers. Though we could purchase some German ones at Lidl or Aldi too.

    An important thing to note is that we need to increase the intake of Danish pastry this time. All those cinnamon swirls won't eat themselves!!

    I'm looking forward to seeing y'all.


  2. Brian, I'm very interested in how you'll make the tapered reamers. I've wanted to make one for a while. Oh, and can you make one without a lathe? That's my challenge to myself.

    1. Hey Matt!

      I don't see why you couldn't. Check out the late Jenny Alexander's groundbreaking post on this tool:


    2. Thanks for that link, Brian. I know I've seen that before, but totally forgot about it.

    3. Hey Tiny, I recently re-read this post again for the first time in years. It makes a lot more sense to me now than it did when I first read it, before I had ever seen or used one .

  3. BTW there is a lot of nice furniture to look at Dueholm Kloster in Nykøbing Mors. Among it are som really quaint stick chairs. Perhaps you could look into those.

    1. Hej Mikkel!

      Are you nearby? Should we meet there? Sounds intriguing!

    2. Not exactly nearby. It is a two hour drive from where I live now.

      But I did grow up on Mors. Just at the other side of the street from the museum.

      I still visit the museum some times when I am visiting my parents.

      The museum has a collection of Danish vernacular furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Among it is a rather wide, three legged chair with a low back, that I really like.

      I would love to meet with you, but I don't want to intrude on your event. Just wanted to point you in the way of some potential inspiration.

    3. Hej Mikkel

      Du er meget velkommen til at kigge forbi hvis du har lyst.
      Det er længe længe siden jeg har været på Dueholm museum, så jeg kan faktisk ikke huske hvad de har derinde. Men det var en god idé at bruge det som inspiration.
      Du kan skrive til mig på:

      Mvh Jonas

  4. So jealous once again, I guess this is the time for me to get caught up on my own little danish chair building extravaganza blog posts that I've had brewing in draft mode since April...

    1. I hear you, brother! I still have June Chair build from 2017 to finish!

  5. Sounds like a great plan! Pity about the German beer but I'm sure the chairs will turn out great anyway. I have Drew and Peter's books so if you have any trouble drop me a line and I'll send you some scans (don't tell anyone). Have fun and I'm excited to see the chairs!

    1. Hey, Rudy! Thanks for the offer. I have both Drew and Peter's books. Unfortunately, they are safely on my bookshelf in Munich, and I won't be going there before I go to Denmark. :(

      Fortunately, Jonas has Peter's book, I have Elia's rocker video video streaming from PW, and I know Olav has Chairman Brown's book.

      The trick will be following the advice written there!