This is an Advanced Class

The 3-slat ladderback side chair as redefined by Brian Boggs

A contemporary version of the post & rung side chair with turned front legs and flat front and side rails that improve ergonomics and style. This chair uses the same bending forms and many of the same drilling jigs as the post & rung side chair.

This seven day class will take you, step-by-step, through the process of hand crafting a Brian Boggs designed Classic Side Chair. Because class size is limited to three students, you get very personalized instruction and can work at your own pace. Every process is broken down into small, manageable steps so that you can concentrate on mastering one task at a time before moving onto the next. Whenever a new process is introduced, especially for hand shaping, you are given the opportunity to practice on spare material before working on your actual chair part. In addition to showing you how, I always explain why, so that you will understand underlying concepts and how each step fits into the big picture.

In this advanced class you’ll build on the skills you acquired in the introductory class. You’ll learn how to shape the front and side rails and how to cut a very precise mortise and tenon joint. And we’ll introduce some methods of working used in production chair shops.


Learn how to

  • Hand shape curved and straight parts using a drawknife, spokeshave and scraper

  • Prep and turn the front legs

  • Shape the front and side rails and cut the mortise and tenon joint

  • Work with angles and curved parts

  • Use moisture content and grain orientation to make a long-lasting joint

  • Assemble using hide glue

  • Sharpen chairmaking tools

  • Weave a hickory bark seat

Review how to

  • Select lumber and mill parts for chairmaking

  • Steam bend the rear legs and slats



Fully illustrated manual

The class includes an 80+ page, fully illustrated manual that documents the process for building your chair from beginning to end. It serves as a step-by-step reminder of the steps taught in class. Because the manual is so complete it minimizes or eliminates the need for you to take notes. This allows you to spend all your class time learning new techniques and working on your chair.


Jigs and forms

Part of the challenge of building a chair in your home shop is making the bending forms and jigs. The Classic Side Chair uses the same bending forms, slat mortising jig, and drilling jigs (the drilling jig set requires minor modifications) as the 3-Slat Post & Rung Side Chair or the Arm Chair. The manual that is included in the class fee also has drawings and dimensions for the every form and jig needed to build this chair at home — you can use these drawings to build the jigs specific to the Classic Side Chair.


The Class Experience




Although the manual should provide you with all the information you need to make this chair in your own shop I am also available, via e-mail, to answer questions as they come up.


Located in the Shenandoah Valley

All classes take place in my shop about 5 miles from Strasburg, Virginia, a small town located in the Shenandoah Valley about 75 miles west of Washington, DC. It is close to the intersection of I-81 and I-66 so it is easy to get to.



  • To ask questions or register for a class call 540-409-7680 (please leave a message) or click here to contact me via e-mail

  • See the 2019 class schedule here

  • Class fee: $1,600. Includes 7 days of instruction, chair and seat materials, and fully illustrated manual.

  • Class size: Maximum of 3 students

  • Materials: Ash, cherry, or walnut. Hickory bark seat.

  • Prerequisite: Post & Rung Side Chair Class or Arm Chair Class taken with me or David Douyard. Or any class taught by Brian Boggs in the past.

  • Deposit: A $250 deposit is required to reserve a class spot