A Wooden Waterfall
The evolution of a master maker's waterfall arm chair
Synopsis: Hank Gilpin has made more than 80 armchairs using his waterfall arm design. The signature arm is cut from a rectangular blank and joins the back leg, front leg, and low side stretchers to form a flat frame. Because of the design, there is no need for side seat rails. See how the armchair has evolved over the years.
Hank Gilpin’s first waterfall armchair (see the back cover) spawned a series of related designs. Building in sets of 2, 4, 12, and even 24, he has made more than 80 of them. The signature arm—“the triple-blip arm,” as he calls it—is cut from a rectangular blank and joins the back leg, front leg, and low side stretchers to form a flat frame. Gilpin borrowed this approach from a chair by Duncan Phyfe, and it makes his chair far easier to build. He first glues up the two side frames, then…