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For about 50 years, appliance crafted by Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers has been approved afterwards by acute customers, commissioned for popes and presidents, and installed in accommodation boardrooms and the anointed halls of the Ivy League. But if you’re attractive for a attribute of woodworker Thomas Moser’s bashful Maine beginnings, attending no added than a pea-green metal contraption, now in its fourth decade of service, tucked in the aback of Thos. Moser’s alveolate Auburn workshop.
It is not, by any amplitude of the imagination, an article of beauty. The rough-and-ready device, accepted about the boutique as “the TMC jig,” looks like a antique from medieval arsenal or a ’70s boutique class. Five anxiety alpine and covered in sawdust and broiled globs of glue, the jig has one simple job: to angle razor-thin slices of blooming or walnut copse calm into a single, aqueous arm — the signature basic of Thos. Moser’s best iconic piece, the Thos. Moser Connected Arm Chair.
When Moser was aboriginal alive to advance his flagship chair’s connected arm, he begin acceptable methods of steam-bending a distinct allotment of copse produced inconsistent results. Instead, he began flitch-cutting and laminating, a adjustment acclimated in Norway, which involves acid a distinct allotment of copse into slices a tenth of an inch thick, gluing them together, and angle them into one able piece.
The old jig dates aback to 1975, three years afterwards architect Tom Moser larboard a tenured position at Bates College to hunt his furniture-making dreams, admitting accepting a mortgage, four children, and no academic training. He had been axis out Shaker-inspired reproductions application age-old joinery techniques but capital to carve a alcove of his own. He admired the adorableness and account of the Windsor chair, a architecture from 18th-century England that looks as aerial as a spider web and as athletic as a abeyance bridge. So he adapted it, angling the legs, deepening the seat, and abacus leg braces alleged ship’s knees for stability.
But the key to Moser’s new architecture was a connected abounding arm — egg-shaped at the top, annular in the middle, and U-shaped on the sides, the aboriginal of its kind. For that, he bare to body a custom jig, and accepting it aloof appropriate took him two years of tinkering, dozens of chestnut pipes, and hundreds of kludgy misfires.
Today, David Ginsberg, a above wildlife biologist who abutting the aggregation in 2015, is one of a scattering of craftsmen who assignment with the accurate jig. Making the connected arm is a assignment that can crave years to master. Ginsberg feeds strips of copse into the jig, allegorical the copse into its aqueous shape, again straps the copse into abode and lets it sit for three hours.
Next comes the assiduous assignment of shaping, sanding, and abrasion the arm until it’s angled and buttery soft. Finally, with surgical focus, Ginsberg drills holes for spindles, alive that hours of assignment can go bottomward the cesspool if he’s off by alike a sixteenth of an inch. Still, he relishes the challenge.
“It’s so bewitched to me,” Ginsberg says, “that you can booty this raw allotment of copse and actualize this admirable object.”
Among the company’s hundreds of products, the Connected Arm Armchair has remained amid the best accepted — and aggressive affluence of imitations. It has appear to betoken Thos. Moser’s iconic style: simple, elegant, and comfortable. For years, it was allotment of the company’s logo. In 2015, back Maine College of Art opened its Legacy in Wood retrospective of Moser’s work, an absolute allowance was adherent to the Connected Arm Chair. The jig stood advanced and center.
Single Chair Sofa
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