Come to May Guild Meeting to Learn About Chairs

Tim Carney

A poll of woodworkers at The Wood Whisperer, asked, “which do you think is the most challenging project?” Of a total 1069 votes, 796 woodworkers said “building a chair” was the most challenging. (For the other projects on the list, and poll results, see the screenshot at the bottom of this post.) Many of the commenters also mentioned building musical instruments as their most challenging woodworking project.

Dining Chair by Tim Carney of Timothy's Fine Woodworking

A chair is a complicated piece of furniture to build. It should be pleasing to the eye, and pleasing to the butt (and back!) and if it’s not both of those things … well, then it’s not a well-designed chair and doesn’t fulfill it’s true purpose.

So … how many of you are interested in learning more about what, to many woodworkers, seems a difficult if not impossible challenge? You’ll get your chance on Monday May 5th at our next Guild meeting. Tim Carney will be demonstrating and talking about chairs, stools and tips and techniques for building them.

The Helena Woodworkers Guild meeting for May, 2014 will be Monday, May 5th pm. Tim will host our meeting in his woodworking shop at 3025 East Bozeman Avenue.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the evening:

  • 6:00 pm: Potluck dinner with your fellow woodworkers. Tim and Maureen will provide the main dish: Slow-cooked Bolognese Sauce on Fettucini. Be prepared for garlic and taste-bud-popping flavors! Please bring a salad, dessert or side dish to share, and a beverage of your choice. If you are super busy — or if you are new to the guild and just checking us out — don’t worry about bringing a dish. There is always enough food!
  • The evening’s program will be presented by Tim as well. He will give us tips and show us techniques for building chairs and stools, with a goal of trying to make chair building seem less intimidating than most woodworkers believe it is. Who knows … maybe someday we will convince Tim to do a workshop on building a simple yet comfortable chair (comfort is the trick.)

Meeting Details:

  • Date: Monday, May 5th
  • Time: 6:00 pm to around 8:00 ish
  • Where: 3025 East Bozeman Avenue. Tim’s shop is on the south side of the big tan building (See the detailed google map below. Zoom out to see Helena on the map.)
  • Please Bring: side dish (salad, garlic bread would be great) or dessert. Also a beverage to share
  • Also bring: a friend who might be interested in joining, or who just wants to check us out!
  • Tim Carney’s Phone Numbers: cell: 461-8621 shop: 449-2730

See you at the meeting on Monday! 

Map to Tim’s Shop at 3025 East Bozeman Ave, Helena, Montana:

Comments on the most challenging part of woodworking:

Hal P. — Putting the tools away and not tracking sawdust in the house

Jim H. — Wait, you do this? I tried once, but then forgot.



Even the most basic chair must support a body comfortably and be strong enough to take lots of rocking and rolling. This likely involves angled joinery; add some grace to the design and you’re probably working with curved parts as well. Alot of woodworkers shy away from making chairs. But there are many good reason for building them. Design a dining table or desk and it seems only fitting to complete the project by building the chairs too. Dealing with angled joinery and curved parts exposes you to making patterns, full-scale drawings, mock-ups, and thinking in three dimensions. Also, chairs are great for improving hand skills such as fitting joints and smoothing curves. — from Fine Woodworking article, “Chair Making Simplified”

Pinterest links to images of chairs (some more comfy lookin than others …) and other woodworking stuff:


This is just a screenshot of a poll on Wood Whisperer. Sorry. This doesn’t allow you to vote. Poll Results Wood Whisperer