About the Building Process

Design
David is inspired by Shaker and Windsor style furniture. However, he enjoys putting his own spin on the classic designs. David also relishes the opportunity to design something completely original which suits his clients needs and tastes perfectly.

Green Wood

Green Wood
Although other wood is available upon request, David prefers working with birch as it is locally available and lends itself well to the traditional art of chair-making. David selects the trees with a specific piece in mind. Thus, “every chair has a story.”
Wood is obtained from logs by splitting (riving) rather than sawing.  This allows pieces to be thinner and lighter while still maintaining their strength and integrity since the grain runs the full length of the piece. The wood is used in its natural “green” state.  This means it hasn’t been processed at a mill or run through a kiln to dry it. 

Shaping the Components
At SilverTree, David’s goal is to bring the human touch to all of his work.
As a result the majority of his work is performed using hand-tools and human powered machinery.  Most of the pieces are shaped on a shaving horse or on a pole lathe, both of which were built by David.  These devices have been used by craftsmen for centuries and create an intimate connection with the wood not possible when using large power tools. Pieces requiring a curve are bent in a traditional steam box.

Shaping

Assembly
Once all the pieces are ready, dry tenons are put into wet mortices. This method exploits the natural shrinking properties of wood.  When a dry tenon is inserted into a wet (still green) mortice, the mortice will dry and shrink fit around the tenon for a remarkably strong joint.  A tapered tenon is used where the legs join into a solid wood seat which means that use actually tightens the connection. 

Seating
Seats are hand-woven by David from fibre rush, shaker tape or cane.
Solid wood seats are carved using hand-tools.

Finish
A variety of finishes are available.