employ 200 year-old joinery techniques and traditional materials. Hard maple for the legs, and white oak or hickory for chair backs and spindles, and a single plank pine or popular for seat bottoms. The seat pattern is drawn on the blank, holes are hand drilled for the legs and spindles, and then the contour of the seat is hand scooped with an inshave and travisher. The maple, white oak and hickory are rived from a green log, which means the wood is wet and has not been dried. Riving or splitting out chair pieces from a green log ensures a continuous grain of wood in each piece. This quality of continuous grain gives each component its strength after assembly. After turning the legs on the lathe and shaping the chair back and spindles on a shaving horse, these pieces are steam bent, and dried in drying box. The shaving horse is a primitive wooden foot operated clamp that has a bench seat. For making chair backs and spindles, this becomes your workbench. Once the moisture content has been lowered in these pieces, they are sized to final dimensions and the assembly process begins. The legs are fitted into tapered sockets in the seat bottom and secured with wedges.
The chair back and spindles are then attached into the seat bottom and again secured with wedges. The fitting of these pieces into the single plank seat bottom, as opposed to an all-in-one back and leg piece attached to the seat bottom like other chairs, is the reason for the exceptional stability of the Windsor chair design.
These techniques have been utilized for over 200 years and with proper care, these Windsor chairs will become an heirloom in your family.
Styles of Legs:
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