Build a Gibson Chair Video – Lost Art Press

One of my earlier Gibson chairs. This one without a saddle.

Megan and are now filming and editing a long-form video about how I build a Gibson chair, one of my favorite Irish chairs.

The video, which should be released late next week, will include a pdf of the full-size templates needed to build the chair, plus drawings for the simple jigs I use, plus a cutting list and sources for all the tools and equipment shown in the video.

The video will be $50 for the first 30 days it is on the market. After that it will be $75.

Gibson chairs look unusual to people at first. They are low and have a back that rakes at 25° – a shocking tilt angle. It might seem like a chair for sleeping, but I assure you it’s not. It sits very much like a comfortable comb-back chair. In fact, in Ireland, these are sometimes called “kitchen chairs” because they are used for eating in the kitchen.

My version of the Gibson is a little different than the originals (we hope to do a book dedicated to the chair sometime in the future). Like almost all traditional Irish chairs, Gibsons have a flat seat. The seat in this video will be saddled, both for looks and comfort. I don’t think the form really needs a saddle, but it does look like a more expensive chair.

I’ve also made a few other small alterations here and there to the chair that I explain in the video.

I’ve tried to make the construction process as accessible as possible. All the mortises are straight holes (no tapered joints), so you can use augers you already own. The tenons are made with plug/tenon cutters chucked in a cordless drill, which are cheap and easily available. (Or you can use a Power Tenon Cutter from Veritas, which I also show in the video.) There is no steambending. You don’t need a lathe or a shavehorse. Most of the work is at the bench or the band saw.

Like all our videos, this one will have no Digital Rights Management (DRM) nonsense. So you will be able to download the video and put them on any of your devices, including your phone, laptop and pad. 

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. The next video will be on building my hobbit chair. I’ve convinced myself that it is different enough than Bilbo’s and I won’t be thrown into the fires of Mordor, which are filled with lawyers.

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