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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 02-10-2019 04:53 PM 204 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117468 posts in 3848 days

02-10-2019 04:53 PM

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High everyone
I’ve thought about making a continuous arm Windsor chair for a long time perhaps close to 30 years, I’ve bought many of the tools to do it all by hand and they have set unused for all these years .I’ve known about Mike Dunbar acquired his first book and read about him in FineWoodworking and his Windsor Institute and thought someday I would make the trip back east to take his class and make a chair, well time and cost had always been an obstacle and looking online I realized he no longer taught at the Windsor Institute and had retired. I did some research here on Ljs and many people had recommended Curtis Buchanan so I started to watch some of his videos online and they are great,but one day I saw on Facebook that someone had a link to Mike Dunbar on Youtube and was delighted to see Mike has done a series on making a Sack Back Windsor, even though I thought Curtises videos where great I like the detail Mike goes into with his almost 30 years of teaching, given that I’d already purchased Curtis drawings and Mike has not done a series on the continuous arm chair yet I think I will end up using a mix of the two fine gentleman approach to attempt a build of the continuous arm Windsor in the future, hopefully, sooner rather than later. I would really like to hear from anyone here who has built the continuous arm Windsor or any Windsor and what their thoughts are about who offers the best approach and perhaps their take on if the build can be done with more than just hand tools.
Thanks, Jim

For those interested here are links to both chair builders

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

3 replies so far

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#1 posted 02-10-2019 06:59 PM

I have watched a few Youtube videos of folks making these chairs and it always impresses me how such a fine piece of furniture can be made with such simple hand tools and a shaving horse. I guess the ancient chair bodger would probably laugh at all the machine tools we use today to produce much simpler projects. I hope you try this out Jim. I’m sure you will get a lot of satisfaction from both the work and the result.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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117468 posts in 3848 days

#2 posted 02-10-2019 07:51 PM

My Wife has always wanted a continuous arm Windsor chair and I’ve always liked the idea of making one,but it’s a nothing like any chair I’ve ever done which are but a few anyway,so having a step by step video is most helpful but a bit foreign to the way I build most things, I usually make my own plans. The couple of things I’ve made that I followed a plan or video instructions are some of my most satisfying builds because they were items I never saw myself making.
When watching the two videos I see that Curtis only uses a bandsaw and lathe in the power tool realm and Mike seems to only to add a couple more power tools more than that a planer and cordless drill.
So I guess If I’m going to give this ago I’ll have to learn how to use a drawknife, spokeshave, and frow and acquire a tapered reamer, to try and get good results. So depending how far back you go in time depends if most the tools would be familiar to Bodgers or not, and yes they had cordless drills,the brace :)

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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341 posts in 176 days

#3 posted 02-11-2019 08:11 PM

I went to a Lie Nielsen event here in SoCal a couple weeks ago, and Russ Filbeck was there demoing chairmaking. I’m nowhere near ready for something like that, but he does offer classes locally to me when its time. It doesn’t look like he will be at the LN event in Oregon unfortunately but here is his website:

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