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CHR300E23 Make a Dining Chair with Michael Fortune

May, 22 - May, 27 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST

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Make a Dining Chair with Michael Fortune

For many woodworkers, chair-making seems daunting. It represents a big jump in skill development and is a fantastic learning opportunity.


Chairs are subject to tremendous physical stresses, but they must also be comfortable and attractive if they are to be useful. To meet all of those needs, there are several important details that must be considered.

In designing a chair, the woodworker must balance aesthetics with utility, always considering the interplay between style and strength. The best solutions produce both satisfying proportions and sturdy joints.


But how do you get there?

Master furniture-maker Michael Fortune leads this special six-day course on chair-making, in which each student will build their own chair based on of Michael’s tried-and-true designs.

Michael will guide us through his design process, as well as possible design variations and construction techniques. You will emerge from this class with an appreciation of the factors needed to make a good chair, including ergonomics, joint strength, comfort, size, and shaping.

The finished chair will be a welcome addition to any room as an occasional chair or, if you are adventurous, you can practice your newly acquired skills in your own shop by making a whole set.

You will learn:

  • How to design a chair based on intended use
  • What factors to consider when designing a chair
  • Joint design and construction
  • Lay out and make compound cuts
  • Chair shaping
  • Cutting patterns on the bandsaw
  • Cutting compound tapers on the table saw
  • And more!

Prerequisite: Fundamentals I or equivalent.

Please read and understand our Refund and Cancellation policies. By making payment you acknowledge that you have read and understood these policies.

Please note: Classes are filled on a “first-come-first-served” basis. If you are paying by cash or check, your registration is not complete until payment is received.


Eye, hearing and dust protection are required in the machine room or when operating machines in the bench room.

Long sleeves and loose-fitting clothing are not allowed around the power equipment. Long hair must be pulled back and secured.

Closed-toe shoes are required. Open-toed shoes or sandals are not allowed.

COVID Policy: Masks are optional, however, if you are exhibiting symptoms of any contagious illness or if you have had a positive test for COVID or influenza within the past 5 days, please notify the school and do not attend class.

Thank you for your understanding.

Meet your Instructor

Designer/maker, teacher and mentor Michael C. Fortune is one of Canada’s most respected and creative contemporary furniture masters. He is acknowledged for both his technical and design expertise, giving lectures and workshops across Canada and the United States. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide. In 1993 Michael received the prestigious Prix Saidye Bronfman, Canada’s highest award in the crafts, and in 2007 he received the Award of Distinction from The Furniture Society. For more information, visit www.michaelfortune.com.


May 22, 2023@9:00 am MST
May 27, 2023@5:00 pm MST
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Southwest School of Woodworking
621 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85007 United States
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