Windsor Chairmaking

I'd like to make some chairs similar to windsor chairs (solid wood bottoms with stick legs and back). I know I'll need some green wood. What set of hand tools will I need to make the construction (reasonably) easy?
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I haven't done this myself yet but when I do I will enroll in the John Campbell school. I have seen what they can do in a week and they have an excellent winsor chair program.
no affiliation, just a satisfied customer (shaker boxes)
BRuce
Phisherman wrote:

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BRuce


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I have never built a Windsor chair, but to do so I would assume you need at the very least: Block planes, drawknife, assorted spokeshaves and some kinds of carving tools. Again this is just a guess.
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Tradiitonally,
Wedges to split the planks
Bowsaw to cut out the seat
Froe and mallet to cleave the sticks and legs
Brace and shell bit to bore the holes
Drawknife and shavehorse to rough the sticks
Pole lathe and hook/gouge to turn the legs
Scorp to contour the seat
Steam box to heat the back
Former to bend it
Spokeshaves to clean up rounded members.
Glue and wedges
In summary, tools minimal, skill-of-hand, considerable.
The nearest I've personally done is a captain's chair, which doesn't involve steam bending. To bring things up-to-date, you'd want to make a compound angle jig for your drill press to ease the seat boring (as I did) - the old boys did it by hand-and-eye, but they had many thousands of chairs practice.
Before you tackle it, you really ought to read Michael Dunbar's book, Make a Windsor Chair with Michael Dunbar, if you're after the Americam slant on Windsor chairmaking. Or Jack Sheppard's book "Country Chairmaking" of you want to do it properly, the authentic British way.
Did I just start a Revolution there? :-))
Best of luck,
Frank

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My wife and I just recently finished a Windsor chairmaking course (I made a sack-back and I'm sitting on the bow-back my wife made). In addition to the tools listed below we used a tapered reamer, adze, a couple different axes, and some "rounder" planes (much like a pencil sharpener).
If you plan to make some chairs I would definately recommend trying a course. There's many tricks and tips a chairmaker can give you that make even the difficult parts seem easy. I drilled the 42 compound-angled holes for the back spindles by hand (with brace and spoon bits) quite easily and quickly after being shown how. I think it would have been more difficult and taken longer with jigs and a drill press.
By the way, I had read Mike Dunbar's book before taking the course, but there's no substitute for experienced instruction.
Frank McVey wrote:

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Darren Wadden


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Read http://www.windsorchairresources.com/process.html and see...
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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writes:

Dear Woodworkers:
I invite you to please take a look at our web site www.americansycamoreretreat.com we teach several Windsor chair classes with Blaine Berry and also a Welsch stick chair with Don Weber "The Bodger". We have all the tools here at the school and I would be glad to answer any tool or techniques questions that you might have. Thanks, Mike from American Sycamore
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Get - The Chairmaker's Workshop - by Drew Langsner. It's the most thorough source of information.
Langsner also conducts workshops.
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wrote:

So does Mike Dunbar. Maybe a Woodcraft store in your area will offer a class on it. Mine does, I'm going to take it. FWIW.
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Having only a semblance of relationship with this topic, is there anyone out there who has watched the TV show "Happy Family" and can tell me where I can find for purchase the kitchen chairs used on the set?
They are Windsor in style, but the top of the back is slightly flattened, not a continuous round curve. I've looked in most of the brick and morter stores in my area and online for this style but can't find them. :-(
Ladd
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