Build a Connecticut River Valley Chapin Chair with Will Neptune


Chippendale chairs are a great project for woodworkers. They combine complex joinery, sculptural shaping and carved details to produce a dramatic effect. In a typical 18th century approach, the methods used to build these chairs are systematic and can be applied to other designs.

The chair we will build in class is based on the “Country High Style” designs from the Chapin family of the Connecticut River Valley. These chairs keep the key features of Philadelphia style chairs, but use carving in a restrained way for visual emphasis. Ball and claw feet on cabriole legs, a pierced splat and a crest rail with scrolls and a shell are the carved elements you will learn to make. Just as important is the use of patterns and a shaping system to give a delicate and flowing appearance. The angled cant of the rear legs, the curved splat and the trapezoidal shape of the seat all combine to give interesting angled joinery challenges.

This class will meet four weekends (one a month) plus a single Saturday “review and catch-up” day” at the end. Each weekend will be a combination of joinery as we frame the chair, and carving demonstration and carving practice.

By starting the carving early on in the class you will have plenty of time for at-home practice and in-class review before working on the real parts. All joinery will be completed in class, but some assembly at home will be required. We will make the frame for the slip seat in class but the upholstery will be done on your own. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of this country’s leading carvers and instructors. Space is limited so sign up soon.

Tuition: $995.00 plus materials

Section 030312A: Saturday & Sunday, March 3 & 4, April 14 & 15, May 5 & 6, June 2 & 3 & June 30, 9:30am – 5:00pm


pdf tool list Chapin Chair

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