Windsor Chair

  • Advertise with us
Project by Paul posted 08-24-2007 04:10 AM 2896 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

4444 posts in 3958 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

14172 posts in 3978 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


2603 posts in 4172 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!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4156 days

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

wow…. great achievement

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1229 posts in 3995 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


660 posts in 4088 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


35120 posts in 4396 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 soon moving to Virginia †

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4088 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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics