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Windsor Chair

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Project by Paul posted 08-24-2007 04:10 AM 2068 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this Windsor chair in a week-long Windsor Chair class I took with David Wright, Windsor chair maker from Berea, KY.

Traditional green wood construction. Mr. Wright rived (split the wood with the grain) a “kit” of all the necesssary rough sticks of wood from the green log for each class member to make the legs, spindles, arms, stretchers, etc. – The seat blank was the only dry wood.

Then, we sat all week on a shaving horse with a drawshave and spokeshave making the back spindles, the steam bent back bow and steam bent arm bow by hand. We used a hand scorp, draw shave & spokeshave to scoop out and shape the seat. Brace and bit for holes to recieve spindles, legs, etc., – back spindles and legs all wedged. It was my first foray into turning as well for the legs and stretcher parts. I understand that a famous Windsor Chair maker, who wrote a book on the subject, provides pre-turned legs for his students. This was a fun class but I was physically exhausted at the end of the week.

After turning the legs and stretcher parts, some are put into a simple drying kiln and others are left green. The grain in the green stretcher parts is oriented in such a way to the dry stetcher parts that after assembly and the wood of the green parts dries, the parts lock together. We used very tight tenons and glue, too, but as the round green parts dry they actually dry into a slightly oval shape in a round hole which binds the parts together mechanically as well. It’s not “supposed” to ever come apart. Traditional mik paint finish.

Someday, I would like to try make another.

-- Paul, Texas





8 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2717 days


#1 posted 08-24-2007 05:10 AM

AS good as this one looks I don’t think I’d wait at all. Get in there and make a bunch. good work

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13270 posts in 2737 days


#2 posted 08-24-2007 06:58 AM

pretty cool, someday I hope to make one of those. Bet it was a fun project !!

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 2931 days


#3 posted 08-24-2007 07:36 AM

I’ve always thought that the mark of a skilled crafter of wood was his/her ability 6o make chairs – congratulations!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2915 days


#4 posted 08-24-2007 11:42 AM

wow…. great achievement

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1158 posts in 2753 days


#5 posted 08-28-2007 05:01 AM

Fantastic way to spend a weeks vacation. Wonderful work! Had you made any type of chairs before this? I always thought chairs were the most complex thing you can do as a woodworker and I’ve yet to tackle something like this. Hope to aspire to this level someday.

-- Bob A in NJ

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2847 days


#6 posted 08-29-2007 04:56 AM

Bob – This was my first chair. Yes, a wonderful way to spend vacation!

Thank all for the compliments!

-- Paul, Texas

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3155 days


#7 posted 08-29-2007 05:36 AM

Great chair Paul. I didn’t see what the wood was. Do you know?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2847 days


#8 posted 08-29-2007 05:35 PM

The seat is clear pine and the rest is red oak, if memory serves me correctly. There may be as many as three different woods in traditional Windsor Chairs – one for each section of the chair – bow back (strength & bending qualities), seat (ease of shaping with hand scorp/tools) and legs/stretchers (strength)

-- Paul, Texas

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