John Brown

John Brown  |  Oct 07, 2008  |  0 comments
Here John Brown tells of the very moment his career in chairmaking sparked into life. Along the way, in what would be typical JB style, he throws in a disparaging assessment on woodturning. In its life his column generated more readers’ letters than any other subject! Below: Back in 1997, John Brown sculpts a bow arm using a rasp. Note that he does so using an engineer’s vice I have written in my book, Welsh Stick Chairs,…

John Brown  |  Oct 06, 2008  |  0 comments
By appearances and background, the John Brown that Good Woodworking knew was a late-middle aged, middleclass gentleman. Yet in spirit he was a selfconfessed hippy. This treatise on practise and dedication again helps us to understand his approach to woodworking. Right: John Brown allowed himself only the one machine – an ancient bandsaw. Typically it lived outside under a tarpaulin taking power off a tractor! The last two years of…

John Brown  |  Oct 05, 2008  |  0 comments
One of JB’s favourite subjects was hand tools – or rather the advantages of hand tools over machines. Of course he had a holistic approach to the matter. My grandmother had y a theory that the heartbeat hadn’t altered since time began, and that the pace of life should be regulated by that fact. Even 50 years ago she could not understand what all the rush was about. She used to tell me that most of life’s ills were…

John Brown  |  Oct 04, 2008  |  0 comments
There is little question here that John Brown found an inner peace in chairmaking and we dare say he enjoyed a level of happiness in his work that few truly find. His column in early 2001 championed woodworking for beating stress. And while his copy offered a typically eclectic mix of anecdote and empiricism, it was in a small aside titled ‘A chairmaker’s notes’ that John Brown revealed (not for the first time) his tactile if…

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