Participant information - chair design with Jeff Miller

We'll be doing a few different prototypes in this class, and you'll need to bring some wood to work with. Your best bet here is to bring poplar, or another inexpensive, easy wood to work with. You don't want to worry about experimenting around with your ideas for fear of spoiling 'better' wood. Pine or other construction lumber - certainly a bit cheaper - is not generally a good idea for these prototypes and should be avoided.

Wood needed for class:

1 piece 8/4 by 8"or a little wider by 48" for back legs
1 piece 8/4 by 4" by 18" for front legs
1 piece 6/4 by 6" by 48" for rails
1 piece 5/4 or 6/4 by 6" by 48" for crest rails, stretchers, corner blocks, etc.

You may want to bring a little more wood if your ideas tend towards curvier parts (cabirole legs, for example, where you'll definitely need thicker stock - there won't be much time to glue it up during class) or if you just want more freedom to play around.

Sheet goods and other materials needed for modeling will be provided.

Chairmaking Tool List:

There is a wide variety of work that goes into designing a chair, from initial sketching and drafting, to modeling and building prototypes. This takes a pretty wide variety of tools as well. Fortunately, there's little that is out of the ordinary in the following list.

* A pad of graph paper
* Tracing paper
* Pencils and fine point markers
* Good eraser (you'll probably need more than what's on the end of your pencil)
* 6" or 12" steel ruler - graduated to 32nds
* Tape measure - 10' is more than enough
* A good square - I like working with a 4" or 6" square most of the time, but have a hard time doing without a good 12" square as well
* Bevel Gauge
* Marking Knife - plain or fancy. Just make sure it's sharp and capable of scribing a good, clean line
* Marking Gauge - I strongly recommend either the Titemark or the Veritas 'wheel' gauges
* #4 or #5 Bench plane - sharpened and ready to go
* Block plane
* Spokeshave - flat bottomed is usually fine, unless you're planning on lots of curves.
* Patternmaker's rasp - Nicholson #49 or #50, or the like
* Chisels - a set of 4 or 5 from 1/4" to 3/4" to 1"
* Mallet
* Cordless drill with extra battery and charger, with a screwdriver tip
* Dust mask
* Hearing protection
* Safety glasses or other eye protection
* Work apron if you usually wear one
* Notebook
* A camera is always helpful to remind you of what's happening, and to document what we're covering
* Any other tools you feel will be useful in turning your chair idea into a reality are welcome.


A fully catered lunch is served every day and drinks and snacks are provided all day. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary needs. It is a good idea to make your lodging reservations well in advance.


Lie-Nielsen Toolworks extends a 10% discount to our students. Please contact Lie-Nielsen for more details.

If you have questions, please feel free to call or email Kelly

(859) 986-5540