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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. It's been a long time, a longggggg time since I've posted here. Just been so dang busy! Some may remember me, others may not. Anyways, I'm thinking of tackling my first chair and I'd like it to be a Windsor chair/rocker. My grandfather built a dining set of 6 armless and 2 armed Windsors. (he also built 15 boats!) Unfortunately he passed away a few months ago so I cannot ask him how he made his chairs. However, I've inherited all of his tools, books, some jigs and plans. One of the books is "Measured Shop Drawings for American Furniture" by Thos. Moser. In this book, by grandfather had quite a few numbers scribbled on the page where the windsors are, they mean nothing to me though. Here are some of my questions:

I understand you turn the legs all on the lathe and the spindles are traditionally done on a drawhorse, can the spindles be done on a lathe as well or no due to the straight grained nature of the spindles and also the green wood drying and expanding into the dried seat which creates the bond?

If they cannot be turned on the lathe, could anyone recommend a good book on building the chairs and also how to build a draw horse. In the book I'm currently refering to, my grandfather circled "Windsor Chairmaking (Sterling, 1982). I am assuming he may have purchased this book, however it is not one that I got in my collection. I believe this is the book by Thos. Moser, but am not sure. Is this a good book?

I am sure whatever book I get will cover it but will I need an aze and a froe?

Any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-Tyler
 

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Unless your a very skilled turner the chair spindles will be too long and thin to turn successfully. you could feasibly simply make them thicker but that would ruin the looks of the chair. The thin back spindles give it some flex and make it comfortable.
Using a draw knife and spoke shave is not difficult and actually kind of fun if you have them.
John Alexander's book on chair making is excellent and I Highly recommend it. Wow I'm surprised at the price. I think I paid about $20 for mine many years ago.
Make A Chair From A Tree : An Introduction To Working Green Wood: John D., Jr. Alexander: 9780918804013: Amazon.com: Books
You might also look at books by Drew Langsner
The Chairmaker's Workshop: Handcrafting Windsor and Post-and-Rung Chairs: Drew Langsner: 9781579902308: Amazon.com: Books
Also do a search on Mike Dunbar, Peter Galbert, and Curtiss Buchanan. All make Windsors and teach and may have books or videos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John,

Thank you for the reply, I am a good woodturner but most likely not that good, since the spindles would have to be long and skinny. Thank you for the book titles. I will do a little research on them. I see what you mean about the high price of the first book, however there is a site called Half.com which is a sister of ebay. It's basically a used bookstore and you can find many many titles that are out of print for cheap. I will likely buy two or 3 books. I'll keep the forum posted on how I progress.
 

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This looks like a pretty good one for the shaving horse.
Or if you lookup Roy Underhill (Woodwright) I believe the has plans listed also.
If you are going to form the seat an aze can be used but I would use my 7” angle grinder with a sanding disc. :yes:
A froe is helpful if you are going to split green wood for the legs or spindles. Roy made one out of an old automotive spring (already had the eye for the handle).
 
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