Chairmaker's Notebook

Note: Price includes free shipping to the U.S. and Canada. Download an excerpt from this book here.

Written & illustrated by Peter Galbert

Whether you are an aspiring professional chairmaker, an experienced green woodworker or a home woodworker curious about the craft, “Chairmaker’s Notebook” is an in-depth guide to building your first Windsor chair or an even-better 30th one. Using more than 500 hand-drawn illustrations, Peter Galbert walks you through the entire process, from selecting wood at the log yard, to the chairs’ robust joinery, to applying a hand-burnished finish.

And if you’ve never thought about building a chair, this book might convince you to try. Building a chair will open your eyes to ways of working wood that you might miss if you stay in the rectilinear world of boxes.

Once you understand chairmaking, then odd and compound angles become child’s play. You will know how wood works in a deeper way (and how to exploit it). And you will gain access to an arsenal of open-ended tools, such as the drawknife, that will fundamentally change the way you work – plus expand the shapes and surfaces you can produce.

At 406 pages, “Chairmaker’s Notebook” is an in-depth look at the craft from the hand of a professional chairmaker, teacher and artist. During the last 15 years, Galbert has developed processes, tools and ways of understanding joinery that have simplified the way people build chairs using hand tools. He has traveled the world to teach his techniques to other chairmakers. And he spent more than three years drawing out every step of the process for the illustrations in “Chairmaker’s Notebook.”

The result is a book on chairmaking that starts with understanding a single stick you would find on a walk in the woods and takes you into advanced areas of the chair craft that no other book has ventured.

Like all Lost Art Press books, “Chairmaker’s Notebook” is produced entirely in the United States. The text is printed on heavy #80 matte 8.5" x 11" paper, and its signatures are sewn together and then bound in cloth tape to last several lifetimes. The book is hardbound, covered in cloth and a heavy full-color dust jacket.

The book is also available for download as a pdf. If you need a tutorial on adding our digital books to your iPad, click here.

Full-size plans for the chairs featured in this book are available for purchase here.

Peter Galbert, author of “Chairmaker’s Notebook,” is widely considered to be one of the finest chairmakers alive today. He’s also a sculptor and painter. And teacher. And writer. He’s an inventor of clever chairmaking tools, which have propelled several prosperous toolmaking businesses. He’s lived in Manhattan, in upstate New York and central Massachusetts, raising goats and chickens, and in Boston. He cooks. He travels (most recently with his partner, renowned landscape architect Stephanie Hubbard, to Baja where they dreamed of another life spent rescuing Mexican street dogs together). Nick Offerman, in his book “Good Clean Fun,” dedicated an entire chapter to him. The man is not yet 50.

And yet, he’ll probably cringe when reading this.

A self-described introvert, Peter says he feels like he’s already received more exposure in life than he should. Fellow woodworkers joke, using the word “hate” when talking about him, which is actually another word for “admire” (tinged with jealousy). For Peter is a rare human — talented, yet approachable. Intelligent, yet unpretentious. And he’s a strong believer in the importance of connecting with others — a belief that stemmed from several isolating stints in high-end furniture and cabinetmaking shops in Manhattan.

Read more about Peter Galbert in this full profile.