Boston Queen Anne Side Chair

Shaping a classic by hand.

SHOP OWNER: Ken Culley
LOCATION: Southampton, Ontario, Canada

    I have a workshop in my basement. The photographs shown represent three months of pleasure, working as and when the mood moved me. The design comes from Norman Vandal’s book, “Queen Anne Furniture”.
    While I have basic power equipment in my workshop, my greatest pleasure comes from working with hand tools - spokeshaves, stock scrapers, hand scrapers, drawknives, regular and carving chisels, etc. I made the stocks different sizes for the spokeshaves and stock scrapers to accommodate different applications. The Boston Queen Anne Side Chair appealed to me because of the attractive lines and shaping required, which called for hand tools. I particularly liked the flaring of the back feet and the back splat into the crest rail and the compass seat rail. I goofed on the first leg, advancing too far before trying to shape the foot on the lathe. The result was I couldn’t line it up in the lathe and had to shape it by hand. It took me approximately 15 - 20 hours to shape the first foot by hand and approximately two hours to do the second one with the lathe.
Boston Queen Anne Side Chair

    This chair is mahogany with a maple seat frame. I finished it with four coats of Minwax Antique Oil Finish, buffed between each coat.
    Currently I am working on a second chair with the intention that this should be an armchair if I can get the working detail for the arms. I feel sure that this chair must have been built as an armchair and I want it to be an authentic reproduction. For my next project, I am considering a set of six chairs for the first Grandchild to get married. There is none on the horizon yet, so I figure I have some time!

. . . Ken Culley



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