Windsor Chair Making

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Windsor Chair Making

Postby NorfolkNige » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:45 pm

In response to the other chairmaking thread here is another one. Coincidentally Brenda and I have booked ourselves onto a Windsor Chair making course at the end of February. We saw The Windsor Workshop at the Cressing Temple Barns 'do' last year and both decided it would make an interesting experience for a weeks holiday. As we are still in the build stage of our pole lathe I thought that learning a lot of the techniques in a comfortable (relative to out doors on the weather) would be a good idea as Brenda doesn't 'do cold' :) We might even put our chairs up for sale in our Post Office: you never know, it might be the start of a whole new outlet for hand made chairs in Norfolk :)

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Re: Windsor Chair Making

Postby NorfolkNige » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:54 pm

Brenda and I have been on our chairmaking course and what a fantastic experience it was. Brenda has never approached a bit of wood with a sharp object in her life though she is an imensley practical person who has made a lot of her own clothes, knits and was a hairdresser by trade and apprenticeship. However in a week she went from never having used woodworking tools to producing the chair below :)
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Brenda chose an English style chair which is 'blockier' and more sturdy looking than the American style I chose. The picture below gives a better view of the seat style and layout of the legs.
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I am very happy to say that allthough I have a varied engineering background and have used a variety of tools over the years, you would not be able to tell any difference in our levels of skill. I think this is because most of the tools and techniques were completely new to us both as I certainly have never used an adze or travisher before !

Below is the American style chair I chose to make.
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And another view with a slightly better view of the seat style and the more, I think, elegant leg layout.
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If anybody is thinking of taking one of James Mursels courses I cannot recommend them highly enough.

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Re: Windsor Chair Making

Postby NorfolkNige » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:00 pm

We started day one of the course splitting Ash logs with wedges and then splitting them down further with a froe until we had billets of green Ash that would go in the lathe to turn the legs and stretchers.

We also had to steam and bend the bow backs for our chairs again with green Ash. I was surprised at the short period of time required to steam the backs, it only taking 10 minutes in James' home made steamer.

There is a time lapse video of the course on James Windsor Workshop website.

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Re: Windsor Chair Making

Postby 81stBRAT » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:50 pm

Very well done, talented students. :D
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Re: Windsor Chair Making

Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:19 pm

brilliant chairs, really nice. well done, if only i had the time/skill :D
learning more every day
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