Hand crafted chairs’ strength


 One of the biggest reasons that my hand crafted chairs are able to be so strong and last so long is the fact that the pieces are split not sawn. By splitting a piece for a chair and then shaving it to carefully to follow the grain, the strength of the fibers in the wood goes from end to end and thus don’t run off like they would if they were sawn.  If the pieces were sawn the grain could be anywhere but by using a brake to firmly hold the billet and then splitting the piece with a froe the grain is left intact. I then carefully shave the piece to the grain line and shape the piece to ensure it is maintained.

 Moisture Content Differential

 Another reason my handcrafted chairs are so durable is that because I build them one at a time I am able to control the moisture content of the pieces as they are assembled.  As the pieces are formed and fitted, care is taken to either dry some parts or leave other parts green (or at least not super dry). Then as the pieces are assembled the dry part will absorb the moisture from the wetter piece and swell, locking it in place even if the glue should fail.  For example, when a rung end is fitted into the green part of a leg, the tenon will swell and over time the green leg will shrink, locking the two parts together for decades. These are two of the many reasons that my hand crafted are simply better

 Every chair has a story and a maker. Every chair that leaves my shop is hand built by me. From selecting the logs in the forest to the final wax buffing, every step is done by me. One piece, one chair at a time. I doesn’t matter to me how long the chair takes, so long as I am satisfied at the end. In this way I know you will be as well.

I have been building for 15 years; continuing the almost lost art of hand crafting chairs using only hand tools and nearly lost techniques. My chairs represent the culmination of years of learning and building. I am always striving for a better way and like a true artist I am never satisfied. My chairs are pieces of art that you can use everyday. Because they are built by me, you can expect that they will grow more beautiful and meaningful as the years pass. Thus the chairs story will grow as my story continues to grow.

My name is Terry Kelly and I build chairs.