Continuous Arm Chair

  • Advertise with us
Project by Tony posted 07-30-2019 02:21 PM 549 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Windsor chair is a timeless classic that dates back to the end of the 17th century. No one knows for certain, but one tale is that a farmer, who lived near the town of Windsor in England, added a back to a stool thereby creating the “Windsor chair”. The design was quickly adapted in North America and a range of styles were developed throughout New England and what was Upper and Lower Canada.

Making a Windsor chair begins with a green oak log, which is split and rived by hand to produce blanks for the bows, arms and spindles of the chair.

The rivings are then shaped using a drawknife and spokeshave to form the spindles and the arm.

The arm is steam bent using a simple steam box and a bending form.

At this stage, I glue up and plane a seat blank from 8/4” eastern white pine

The seat blank is then cut to shape and carved using a scorp, compass plane, travisher and spokeshave.

Mortises for the legs and arm stumps are drilled using a brace and spoon bits, following which the mortises are reamed using a tapered reamer.

The legs are dry fit and measurements are taken for the stretcher lengths and appropriate stretcher mortise angles.

The undercarriage is assembled and wedged up.

Spindle mortises are drilled in the seat.

The arm stumps and arm are fitted to the chair.

The spindle mortises are drilled in the arm.

The spindles are fit and wedged.

The wedges are trimmed flush and scraped.

The chair is then painted with milk paint and sealed with tung oil.

And voila!

Hope you enjoyed!

-- Tony,

11 comments so far

View torus's profile


366 posts in 977 days

#1 posted 07-30-2019 02:52 PM


Thanks for the build progress pictures.

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View Redoak49's profile


4283 posts in 2553 days

#2 posted 07-30-2019 03:13 PM

Nice job and great write up.

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2675 days

#3 posted 07-30-2019 03:32 PM

Nice work!

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View oldrivers's profile


1892 posts in 2131 days

#4 posted 07-30-2019 03:40 PM

Outstanding! You build a Beautiful sturdy chair. The documentation is super I love that. I stand amazed how you do each process by hand to me that makes you work so great and adds value to the Authenticity of each chair. Great work congratulations.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Tony's profile


3 posts in 135 days

#5 posted 07-30-2019 05:20 PM

Thanks for your kind comments!

-- Tony,

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16260 posts in 3182 days

#6 posted 07-30-2019 05:27 PM

Beautiful work, Tony. Thank you for posting, you make it look so easy!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Peteybadboy's profile


1356 posts in 2514 days

#7 posted 07-30-2019 06:06 PM

Great work! You are keeping that art and set of skills alive. Thanks for posting.

-- Petey

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4316 posts in 1146 days

#8 posted 07-30-2019 09:08 PM

A fine-looking example! Nice work!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View RCCinNC's profile


74 posts in 891 days

#9 posted 07-30-2019 11:01 PM

Wonderful old school chair build….a skill set that I have never exercised as I was blinded by the siren (excuse the mixed metaphor) of modern power tools at an early age. Only thing missing is that you’re not dressed in Colonial era clothing and creating your chair in a living museum carpentry shop! If you’ve never seen the movie “The Patriot”….I recommend you do…at least the first five minutes, anyway. You could teach Mel Gibson a thing or two about Windsor chair building! ; )

Nicely done!

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

View awsum55's profile


717 posts in 1073 days

#10 posted 07-31-2019 08:18 PM

Thanks Tony for posting all the steps you had to do to create this awesome chair. That chair requires so many different angles to be drilled for the spokes and legs and it came out great. Congrats on your DT3

-- John D, OP, KS

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics