Sack Back Windsor

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Project by F Dudak posted 12-29-2007 04:06 AM 1499 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Travelled to New Hampshire this summer to take a Windsor Chair Class with none other than the Windsor Chair Guru himself, Mike Dunbar. It was a 5 day class and we needed a full 4 1/2 days to get the chair completed and ready for paint. All chairs were taken home unfinished with instruction on how to prepare the chair for a milk paint finish. The class was not only a tutorial on how to build a Windsor Chair but a lesson on how to develop methods for mistake prevention. Each project that we take on will inevitabley send us down a path towards a possible mishap leading us to get discouraged from time to time. Mike has taken his many years of teaching chair building and put them to good use for not only does he teach you how to make a chair but he teaches you how to keep your ego in tact through his preventative medicine. His philosophy is to try and prevent mistakes before they happen by adding fail safes along the way. Now I’m not saying that people still didn’t make mistakes because attempting a chair for the first time is no easy project. What I am saying is that I came away with a new mentality about how to approach most any project that I will tackle in the future.

The most intriging thing about the whole experience was watching Mike and his instructors turn people into chairmakers, from all walks of life, in one week.

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

23 comments so far

View rjack's profile


110 posts in 2670 days

#1 posted 12-29-2007 05:26 AM

It is nice work and looks very hard to build!

-- Roger - Havertown, Pennsylvania

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Dan'um Style

13572 posts in 2798 days

#2 posted 12-29-2007 05:51 AM

beautiful chair and good story.

welcome to lumberjocks.

looking forward to seeing more of your work.

this one is especially well done.

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

View gene's profile


2184 posts in 2699 days

#3 posted 12-29-2007 05:14 PM

Knowing what it takes, to build a chair. You have done a great job with yours. And proud , you should be.
Nice tutorial also. Thanks for sharing.
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

View gizmodyne's profile


1765 posts in 2905 days

#4 posted 12-29-2007 05:28 PM

Great chair. I have seen these built at my school. They take an amazing amount of elbow grease and trust in one’s eye for the drilling.

Impressive. Keep up the posts and the good work.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 2977 days

#5 posted 12-29-2007 06:17 PM

Great job. The chair looks well done.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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1826 posts in 2839 days

#6 posted 12-29-2007 06:24 PM

Looks like you brought home a lot more than a nice chair. Mabye we’ll learn some from your experience. Thanks

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

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F Dudak

342 posts in 2626 days

#7 posted 12-30-2007 05:58 AM

Thanks for the kind words! It was great to work with my hands again! For medical reasons 4 years ago I had to give up residential construction. I am currently employed in the vaccine department of a large pharma company. Certainly a big turn around for me as I loved working outdoors and working with my hands. The thing that was most pleasing about the chair was the old fashioned tools , no cords, no loud noise, or equipment to set up. I think the draw knife will be my friend for many years to come!


-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View Karson's profile


34929 posts in 3216 days

#8 posted 12-30-2007 06:01 AM

Great chair. Now are you making a full set for a dining room.

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

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F Dudak

342 posts in 2626 days

#9 posted 12-30-2007 06:14 AM


Went yesterday to get the materials for a steam box! Picked up logs a few weeks ago and have been working on getting parts ready for more chairs. I’m hooked on the whole chairmaking thing. My wife got me another class with Mike Dunbar for our anniversary and another one for a Christmas present. So I will be returning to New Hampshire on May 5th for a rocking chair class and Aug 4th another sack back class. She will get that dining room set one way or another! LOL


-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View Karson's profile


34929 posts in 3216 days

#10 posted 12-30-2007 06:49 AM

Thanks. Good luck on your new classes and getting your wife’s chairs done.

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

View cajunpen's profile


14461 posts in 2881 days

#11 posted 12-30-2007 07:38 AM

Beautiful chair and story. I don’t know what he charges for the class, but it sounds like you got your money’s worth.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1118 posts in 2717 days

#12 posted 12-30-2007 09:17 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks and thanks for showing your beautiful chair. What a great idea for gifts from your wife! Windsor chairs are rarely painted over here but I do like the finish on this one.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 2852 days

#13 posted 12-31-2007 12:04 AM

I’m always impressed with chair makers. Well done!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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Kevin Violette

235 posts in 2679 days

#14 posted 12-31-2007 05:24 AM

I too make windsor chairs. This one looks great! Great idea for the wife to get you more classes.

-- Kevin -- (

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3062 days

#15 posted 12-31-2007 02:30 PM

Beautiful chair, I’d love to do that just can’t afford the class. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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