windsor chair

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Project by johnjoiner posted 02-24-2010 06:55 AM 2152 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a bow-back windsor chair with brace. The turnings are in the New England taper style. I built it in a 6-day class I took at Mike Siemsen's school of woodworking. Mike runs the school but he brought in Jim Van Hoven to teach this chair class.

This was no kit-project class. We each turned our own legs, shaped the seats, rived and shaved all ten spindles, rived, steam-bent and shaped the bows, and drilled and reamed all our own holes. It was quite the experience! I learned a ton.

I had to finish it at home, but with direction from Jim. It’s finished with water-based stain, two coats of milk paint (red, then black), boiled linseed oil, and wax.

The turnings are hard maple, the seat white pine, and the bow and spindles oak.

Thanks for looking.

-- johnjoiner

12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4584 days

#1 posted 02-24-2010 07:09 AM

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 4113 days

#2 posted 02-24-2010 07:27 AM

Great job on the chair and finish. It sounds like a class worth taking.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Skylark53's profile


2852 posts in 4067 days

#3 posted 02-24-2010 07:38 AM

Real nice. That was a week you’ll always remember and benefit from. Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4598 days

#4 posted 02-24-2010 07:41 AM

Very nice looking chair. I like the contour on the seat. Great job!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

837 posts in 4840 days

#5 posted 02-24-2010 07:41 AM

Wow, well done. Challenging Process. Beautiful chair.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View PCM's profile


135 posts in 4052 days

#6 posted 02-24-2010 11:14 AM

Very impressive.

View michelletwo's profile


2794 posts in 4023 days

#7 posted 02-24-2010 02:50 PM

Fantastic job on your chair.. I make windsors, shaker rockers, etc. I have never made the back supports on mine (lazy?) . One thing that catches my eye right away is the seat. you sure got a great thin, nicely shaped seat. On the other hand, I have never seen the square bow that you made. Is that your instructors way of making them.? Great FIRST!!!! you oughta be proud

View carter choate's profile

carter choate

19 posts in 4061 days

#8 posted 02-24-2010 03:15 PM

That is a beautiful chair. From looking at it and reading what has to be done I think you could build a small shed with the time and thought that goes into it. I think that is why I shy away from chairs, they just look so difficult. anyway, I know it is comfortable to sit in . I hope you enjoy it for a long time,congrats

-- poor folks have poor ways-m. choate

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 4818 days

#9 posted 02-24-2010 11:29 PM

Great looking chair John!!!

I will be going to New Hampshire for four days in April to make a Bow Back Windsor with Mike Dunbar at the Windsor Institute. Did you use the Vanhovenometer to drill the holes for the legs on this one? Making these chairs is such a good time I hope you enjoyed your class. It’s hard to beat going to a class and coming home with the chair and the knowledge to keep on building them. What a great feeling of accomplishment.

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

View mcchairs's profile


52 posts in 4098 days

#10 posted 02-25-2010 01:09 PM

Well done , keep doing it .

-- Do you like it here or would you rather be working ? . [email protected]

View BobCook's profile


3 posts in 4018 days

#11 posted 02-27-2010 05:55 PM

Outstanding job !! Nicely done !

-- Bob, Cape Breton

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 4900 days

#12 posted 03-02-2010 09:22 PM

michelletwo: I think that the shaping we did on the bow is traditional. It is flat on the front with a pair of grooves we put in using scratch-stock, and the back is rounded.

FJDIII: Not only did we use the Vanhovenometer, but Jim gave us each one to keep that he’d made from maple and walnut! We all enjoyed the class a lot.

-- johnjoiner

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