Cypress for Windsor chairs

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DanJohnston

New User
dan
Green red oak is impossible to find here. Anyone used cypress for Windsor chair building? Or suggestion about what I can use?
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
we have several sawyers on this forum seems to me that green oak should not be difficult to find, in fact "quartersawn" Scott should be around if any body has green oak he wood
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
Dan--------The only place in a windsor chair to use cypress would be the seat blank. You will need to stay with a wood that has strength and good bending properties for the back, which is made up of the loop and spindles. First choices for that would be red oak, white oak, ash, hickory or hackberry. Other hardwoods can be used (cherry, walnut) but the success rate in bending is much lower-----white oak has the highest success rate in bending. The undercarriage (legs and stretchers) needs to be a strong hardwood also-----I usually use the same wood to match the back. If you are a purest, the seat would be white pine or poplar, the back would be one of the hartwoods I mentioned earlier and the undercarriage would be hard maple. In earlier times, the chair was then painted to blend everything together.
http://www.windsorchairresources.com/index.html This link will give you a mountain of information on the windsor chairs.

Jerry
 

DanJohnston

New User
dan
I used to have access to red oak up north but nothing like that here in coastal nc. Could I use Live Oak, that evergreen tree? Someone said the wood is all twisted. I can probably get hickory but most that i've seen has knots. I have red oak but it's probably too air dried for many years but would be ok for spindles, I just like using green woods because it shrinks tight. Thanks for the info. I'll check around. kind regards, dan
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
I used to have access to red oak up north but nothing like that here in coastal nc. Could I use Live Oak, that evergreen tree? Someone said the wood is all twisted. I can probably get hickory but most that i've seen has knots. I have red oak but it's probably too air dried for many years but would be ok for spindles, I just like using green woods because it shrinks tight. Thanks for the info. I'll check around. kind regards, dan
I think for the beat chance for success green wood is the best way to go for loops and spindles. You need good straight grain, clear wood. You need to be able to rive the material out of the log parallel to the grain. You need that parallel grain from end to end of the chair part you are making for the back. That is where the strength is for the loops and spindles.

Jerry
 

DanJohnston

New User
dan
Hi Jerry,
i learned early how non-straight gain red oak splinters, very discouraging. Here on the coast not many woods to pick from that, I think, are bendable, but am open to suggestions. In building hollow wooden surfboards bending spruce strips is easy, but not much strength in spruce.
 

Mike Wilkins

Mike
Senior User
Dan, you could try and get in contact with John Baker who is located in the Calico community, just west of Vanceboro on Highway 43. He is a custom sawyer who has an ever-changing inventory of timbers, including oak. All of his wood is air dried, as he has no kiln. 252-746-6807. Hope he can help.
 
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