Caleb James is a toolmaker and chairmaker based in Greenville, SC. Well-known for his own line of spokeshaves and hand tools, Caleb is devoted to working in the style of Danish Modern chairmaking.

The Art of Chairmaking

“Break away from that notion that to be a good designer you have to come up with something that is 100% original. That’s a mistake.”

As Caleb puts it, he’s “a traditionalist, but not one that’s stuck in the past.” A longtime student of the Danish Modern aesthetic, Caleb draws inspiration for his own designs from what has come before. In this four-part class, Caleb reveals his process and chairmaking technique, with tips ranging from hand tools and hand shaping to design and template making.

Lessons in this Masterclass

Lesson 01 |Chair Design

Ever wonder what the difference between a turner’s chair and cabinet maker’s chair is? Caleb dives into the history of Danish Modern Chairmaking and shows off a variety of chair designs.

Lesson 02 |Card Scraper Techniques

Learn about the sharpening practices, maintenance, and techniques of one of Caleb’s favorite tools: the card scraper.

Lesson 03 |Hand Shaping

From a spar gauge to spokeshave, learn how Caleb hand shapes organic forms to perfection and how you can apply these techniques in your own practice.

Lesson 04 |Making Templates With Origin

Origin excels at making custom templates for chairmaking. Watch how Caleb uses Origin in his shop.

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Lessons in this Masterclass

01 | Chair Design

02 | Card Scraper Techniques

03 | Hand Shaping

04 | Making Templates With Origin

CJ3 Stacking Chair

Based on the Danish Modern chairmaking tradition, this Stacking Chair is both an introduction to chairmaking techniques and a template to help you design chairs of your own.

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