Dry Fitting a Walnut Chair with Brian Weldy at Colonial Williamsburg

//Dry Fitting a Walnut Chair with Brian Weldy at Colonial Williamsburg

In the above video, Colonial Williamsburg Journeyman Cabinetmaker Brian Weldy shares a special tutorial on how to assemble, dry fit, and clamp up a traditional 18th century walnut chair, using clamps, winding sticks, a wooden mallet, and a folding rule.


This video was filmed a couple months ago, but on my visit to the Hay Cabinetmaking Shop just a few days ago (on the 4th of July) Brian was happy to inform me that he had finished his 7-year apprenticeship (wow) and had been promoted to a Journeyman Cabinetmaker!


It amazes me how much time the 18th century craftsmen had to put into learning their trade before they could move up in their profession. Brian is certainly a very skilled cabinetmaker and artist, as evidenced by his work on these walnut chairs.



I filmed this skill tutorial (and several other tutorials) inside the 18th Century Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop at Colonial Williamsburg.

Here are all my videos & articles of the Anthony Hay’s Cabinetmaking Shop at Colonial Williamsburg:




Below are a few photographs that I took at the Anthony Hay cabinet maker shop at historical Colonial Williamsburg:


Discover a treasure trove of woodworking knowledge by visiting the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop blog.





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About the Author:

"I'm wildly passionate about traditional woodworking with hand tools, and want to rekindle this lost art. At WoodAndShop I teach you the skills that I learn, and also share anything fascinating that I discover about traditional woodworking. That includes tours of traditional workshops, beautiful furniture, and my favorite tools and books. I hope you enjoy my videos, photos, and articles. Please feel free to leave constructive comments!"

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3 Comments on "Dry Fitting a Walnut Chair with Brian Weldy at Colonial Williamsburg"

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Interesting Video Josh, thanks for sharing! Also, I’m just curious; Did they mention the use of any sandpaper at the shop? I’ve wondered how they smooth the carvings and curved pieces..


They don’t use sandpaper at the shop but when required they use ‘shagreen’, an old term for shark skin.


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