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    User Richo B's Avatar
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    Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    On July 29th I'll be hosting a couple events at Tryon Palace focused on chair construction and design. First we have woodturners from Kinston and Wilmington who will be demonstrating their craft from 10-4. Then from 2-3PM I will be giving a lecture on chair joinery and the process we used to reconstruct ten back stools that will be used for interpretive programming in the Palace. Members of my back stool team will assemble a back stool from pieces as part of the demonstration. These are both free events and will be occurring at the North Carolina History Center in downtown New Bern. The two programs are part of an exhibit we have up this summer on turned chairs. "Uncommon Chairs" features turned chairs from the 18th and 19th centuries from Virginia and North Carolina. This exhibit is also free and features 75 turned chairs specific to particular counties and styles. If you have any questions please contact me or check out the listings on the Tryon Palace calendar page:

    https://www.tryonpalace.org/calendar

    In August we have an program on chair caning and rush seating which I'll announce more on closer to the event.

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Thanks Rico. It sounds like you have put together a very interesting day at the Palace, from which most of us can benefit and learn.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Very interesting. What is the difference between a backstool and a ladder back chair (same meaning, different terms?).

    Is conservation specialist Richard Baker aka Richo B in the pic?

    https://www.tryonpalace.org/events/e...s-tryon-palace

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    See you there!
    Always be yourself because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones who mind, don't matter.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Sounds like a terrific day, that place is a true treasure of North Carolina, everyone show try to tour at some point.
    Measure twice... cut once... SCREAM LOUDLY... get another board

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Sure wish I lived closer. That would be a great program to attend.
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Very interesting. What is the difference between a backstool and a ladder back chair (same meaning, different terms?).

    Is conservation specialist Richard Baker aka Richo B in the pic?

    https://www.tryonpalace.org/events/e...s-tryon-palace
    A back stool is a type of side chair that consists of a stool with a back. When upholstered in either leather or fabric it gives the appearance of being upholstered with one large piece rather than three individual pieces. I have thought of doing a lecture on upholstery in September but would like to see what sort of crowd I get for the first one. A ladder back chair is usually a turned chair, but can also be an upholstered side chair that features horizontal slats that look like a ladder on the back. Back stools don't have a ladder back feature.

    If you look carefully at the above photo you can see the back stool frames in the background. The original chair is among them. We'll have one of the originals at the lecture.

    Yes I am Richard Baker, the Conservation Specialist at Tryon Palace. That is indeed me in the photo. The curator asked me to do some programs on chairs but gave me license to do any topic I chose, not specifically turned chairs which I don't really know much about. The chair joinery talk is an expanded version of a special tour we did for the NCWW New Bern group two years ago. This lecture/demo has more than that tour so that Joe Scharle and the others will still get something new out of it.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Richo, thanks for clarifying my questions. If I'm correct, and looking more closely at the pic, the back stool vertical frame looks like an empty picture frame to be affixed to the stool base below it. I can't zoom on the pic so it's still a little hard to get the gist of the subject. There will be no slats in the frame prior to upholstering?

  11. #9
    User Richo B's Avatar
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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    That is a good way of looking at it. A picture frame attached to a stool. There is no additional pieces that need to be added to upholster it in that way. There are however additional "non-wood" items that can be added to help direct the height or depth of the upholstery. Webbing for the most part will create the foundation and raised paneling can help to frame it. This of course is 18th century upholstery so modern upholstery rules don't apply. No staples will be used in upholstering these back stools which is why I need to do it in-house.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Richo, is this going to be in the atrium area?
    Always be yourself because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones who mind, don't matter.

  13. #11
    User Richo B's Avatar
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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Atrium area?

    I realized I didn't give all the details in my original post.

    This is going to be in the North Carolina History Center at 529 South Front Street in downtown New Bern. The wood turners from Wilmington will be in Mattocks Hall most of the day and my lecture will be in Cullman Hall from 2-3. We're doing a dry run tomorrow and then should be ready for Saturday.

    It will be quite an interesting lecture and demonstration on chair joints, types of chair frames, building back stools and all the tools both traditional and modern that relate to it. The two volunteers from the back stool crew that are helping me each have a vast amount of knowledge in their area of expertise that is well worth attending to hear.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    I should probably note that this is a great rainy day program. All indoors and all dry.

    I ran through it with my volunteers today and it is looking to be a most informative program on both chairs and woodworking.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Thanks to Richo and crew for the great presentation and Q/A. Also enjoyed viewing 70+ turned chair exhibition and the wood turning demonstrations. Also gained a renewed admiration for Edison and Tesla after trying out the pedal operated lathe!
    ďA society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in".

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    User Richo B's Avatar
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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Thanks Steve and anyone else who was able to come out for the talk. The video we showed at the beginning was originally made by Tryon Palace specifically for NCWW to highlight the conservation lab within woodworking. But it evolved into something larger, showing the process of making backstools and being used internally for this talk. We may also use it for getting funding for the upholstery process. You only saw the first minute and half of it. The rest of it shows Bill and Ralph assembling a chair, which of course you saw Bill and Perry do at the end of the lecture. I'm going to see if we can have that posted on our YouTube channel so that I can share it with a larger audience.
    Last edited by Richo B; 07-30-2017 at 11:40 PM.

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    Re: Chair construction day at Tryon Palace

    Yes, the entire video would be nice! Thanks!

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