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Forum topic by Danpaddles posted 02-12-2012 02:35 AM 833 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Danpaddles

554 posts in 1776 days


02-12-2012 02:35 AM

Thinking to take a Windsor chair class, continuous arm style. Well, my wife is thinking to end up with a set of chairs.

Once I take the class, how hard will it be to find the wood to make more chairs? If I am not mistaken, the spindles in the chair back are rived. I have no idea where I would find a white oak log! And the seat, is it possible to buy big hunks of ?elm, ?chestnut? what is used, and can it be located?

I have an instructor lined up, an old guy that has taught many classes, I have seen his work, and I have seen some of his student’s chairs. I’m pretty confident I will be able to build more after the class, on my own. If I can find wood. And if I can find motivation.

Any pitfalls to look out for? Is anyone out there making enough off these to pay for their time?

I have a lathe, but I am short on hand tools. I’m budgeting about 500 for hand tools, a scorp, adz, spokeshave, brace and bits. Does that sound about right? I have a decent drawknife. I expect to build a shave horse.

Is there much merit to having the seat shaped by CNC? I have heard there is considerable argument for shaping the seat to match your butt. But I will not be the only person sitting on this chair anyway! I wondered if that is one area where modern technology might be an improvement over hand work. And too, I am lazy- this sounds like a great way to save some sweat. Of course, I will have to pay the guy with the CNC some bucks for his time. And I will have to model the desired shape.

any advice, warning, or words of wisdom are welcome!

BTW- he might be looking for one or two more people to fill the class, near Terre Haute Indiana (I’ll drive from Indy) in the first week of April.

-Dan

-- Dan V. in Indy


3 replies so far

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stefang

15512 posts in 2798 days


#1 posted 02-12-2012 11:27 AM

No advice about building the chair. I did read an article in FWW a few years back about a guy who made a living making just one Windsor chair a week working about 5 hours per day. He said it was just enough to live off of. He wasn’t lazy, but he was a single father who wanted to make sure he spent enough time taking care of his daughters. Of course the economy is different now, so the market might not be as good as it was back then. His personal circumstances would also dictate what he needed in income and it wouldn’t necessarily be the same for everyone. Good luck with your class and further.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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Danpaddles

554 posts in 1776 days


#2 posted 02-12-2012 02:29 PM

I have a special needs daughter so it is great to be able to be free to get her off to school, and to pick her up after school, and watch her. Watching her doesn’t leave time to do much else. We do try to discourage her from using tools! So yes, I am looking to maybe do some of what that fellow does, pecking away at the chair when I can. In another 7 years she will likely end up in a group home setting, then maybe I will be able to work a real job for a few years.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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stefang

15512 posts in 2798 days


#3 posted 02-12-2012 08:58 PM

I hope this works out well for you Dan. I am sure you will enjoy making these chairs and I would be surprised if there isn’t a good market for them even in a tight economy. They are so superior to mass produced poor copies that there is no comparison. I do believe the seats can be done pretty quick with the right tools and patterns

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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