Building a Windsor Chair

Building a Windsor Chair 2023-02-16

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In this resource I would like to show the step by step construction of a bowback windsor chair being made in my shop. The chair I am focusing on here is one of the more basic designs but it is my most often requested chair.

steambox 2.JPG

bowback windsor Steambox with propane gas to make steam.
hoop form and examples.JPG

form on left is what you wrap the piece to bend.. Depending on the day's temperature, I like to steam when its cool outside.

When its warm I like to shape the seat with hand tools:
shaping the seat with hand tools.JPG


before long I like to ream out the holes for the legs. This will give me a nice tight mechanical joint. Yes I use some glue in the final assembly step.


Using the travisher to shape the saddle seat. It gives you a nce smooth surface and no sanding required. I have several with different curves.

AFter the seat is shaped and smoothed out, I get my drawknife out to put the bottom shape to the seat while it sits in the vise.
I might add I use a full 8/4 piece of white pine for the seat blank. Not so much for a historical reason but the pine is a soft wood and that's what makes the chair seat easy to shape and it is then a light weight seat at the table or in the open.bowback.JPGsteambox 2.JPGhoop form and examples.JPGshaping the seat with hand tools.JPGtravisher.jpgReamer.jpg
  • chairs side by side.jpg
    chairs side by side.jpg
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This is good basic article. Wetting the appetite for more information. It would be cool if you would do separate articles on the different steps and set ups for this type of project.
I can do that shortly I have to finish some veneer projects first. Thanks for the reply. I was going to ask you about the French polish classes in the future. I can help with this as I have done lots of FP.

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