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Class Date(s): Monday, April 25 through Friday, April 29. 9am – 5pm.

Class Title: Modern Ladder Back Chair

Cost: $1400

Instructor: Dawson Moore

Class Description: This chair blends inspiration in both construction process and design from the likes of the more traditional Jennie Alexander and Brian Boggs, to the more modern Danish designers Hans Wegner and Borge Mogensen. The chair’s joinery relies on the foundational concepts outlined in Alexander’s well known book “Make a Chair from a Tree” while also exploring modern efficiencies by using a lathe, drill press and router. The idea is to gain some increases in joint accuracy and to skip over some of the mundane aspects of a purely hand tool build, while still embracing the fun of splitting parts from a log and shaping with hand tools like spokeshaves and drawknives.

In this class we will:

● Watch and get to practice splitting a few parts from a log.

● Shape provided front and steam bent back leg blanks with a drawknife and spokeshaves.

● Add a spokeshaved surface to provided rung turnings.

● Watch a demo of turning parts and sizing tenons on a lathe.

● Watch an alternative method of milling some parts from dried lumber.

● Learn some of the concepts behind the chair’s design and its jigs to be able to apply to other designs.

● Layout and bore rung and back slat mortises using simple and adaptable jigs.

● Shape and fit provided steam bent back slats using spokeshaves, a sloyd knife and block plane.

● Learn about proper grain orientation that ensures longevity of chair joints.

● Learn how to use a shop made kiln to take advantage of the shrinking and expanding properties of wood.

● Watch a steam bending demo and get to perform a couple practice bends.

● Assemble the chair.

● Apply an interesting new Japanese ceramic wood finish.

● Weave a “rush” pattern (also called envelope pattern) danish paper cord seat.

Tool List: Participants should bring a small kit of tools for the class. We’ll have extras of the recommended tools if your kit isn’t complete, but you’ll definitely need to bring the required tools.

Lunch provided.


● Gloves for Seat Weaving (I like something like these gloves that are form fitting for good dexterity, leather soled for protection, and fabric backed for more comfort and breathability. I would recommend trying on in store to ensure a close fit.)


● Pencil

● 6” Ruler

● Tape Measure

● Folding Ruler

● Sloyd Knife (Mora 106)

● Spokeshaves (flat and/or round bottom)

● Drawknife

● Card Scraper

● Block Plane

● Ear & Eye Protection

● Side Cutters (for trimming Danish cord)