Building Traditional Windsor Chairs
We offer two-person courses for intermediate to experienced woodworkers who want to build fine chairs. We demonstrate and practice traditional green woodworking techniques, from splitting out logs and spindle shaving, to seat carving, steam bending, leg turning, and hand joinery. Together we will progress step by step, and take the time to get it right. All materials and tools will be provided, and students leave the class with an assembled chair that will last a lifetime.
Our workshop is located on the family homestead in Woodbury, VT, and is filled with the history of decades worth of chair making.
For an in-depth overview of our course, take a look at this article in Northern Woodlands, by former student Stephen Long.
Course Dates for 2018:
April 16 - 21 -- Side Chair -- FULL
May 27 – June 2 -- Arm Chair -- FULL
June 6 – June 12 -- Arm Chair -- FULL
July 22 - 27 -- Side Chair -- FULL
August 13 - 19 -- Arm Chair -- FULL
September 16 - 21 -- Side Chair -- FULL
October 8 - 14 -- Arm Chair -- FULL
November 5 - 10 -- Side Chair -- FULL
*we also offer some flexible dates - please contact us for additional scheduling options.
*side chair classes are open to all woodworkers -
*arm chair classes require previous chair making or similar experience.
*please contact us for available housing options.
Side Chair Courses - $1300
Arm Chair Courses - $1600
Side Chair Course Schedule
***The Arm Chair course schedule is the same, but with an extra day. Due to the additional components and complexity, some steps will take longer and have to carry over to the next day.
Day 1 - We start the week by riving spindle blanks from a white oak log, learning the strategies and techniques for the basis of most green woodworking - follow the grain! By the end of the day we will have shaped all of our spindles on the shavehorse using the drawknife and spokeshave.
Day 2 - Building on the techniques learned in making spindles, pieces for back bows or crests are again riven from white oak and shaped on the shavehorse. The pieces are then steamed and bent over wooden forms to dry and cure.
Day 3 - One of the benefits or our small class size is that we can devote a whole day to lathe work. I will walk you through turning simple bamboo style turnings, demonstrating and watching your technique throughout the day. Our turnings are made from straight grained sugar maple. I do the rough turning in advance so that you have time to get down to the finer work.
Day 4 - We carve our seats from a single plank of eastern white pine. Carving progresses methodically step by step - layout, drilling leg holes using bit and brace, roughing with the adze, shaping with the inshave and drawknife, and smoothing with the travisher and spokeshave.
Day 5 - Assembling the undercarriage! We start the day by reaming and fitting legs to seats, then map out and drill holes for stretcher mortises, and bang everything together using hide glue and wedges.
Day 6 - Final assembly! Back pieces come off their forms, and are tenoned to fit the seat. We give the spindles their final cleanup and shaping, and then dry fit everything (a lot of pieces have to come together at once, so this dry-run is critical). Once we're certain that everything will assemble smoothly, it's time for more hide glue and wedges.
$200 for 1 Day workshops, $300 for 2 day
From beginner to advanced, we offer one-on-one instruction that is tailored to the interests of the student. Topics include Introduction to Greenwood turning (from splitting out a log through a completed turning), Bowl turning, and Baluster leg turning. Courses can be taken as stand alone 1-2 day workshops, or as an add-on to our Windsor chair courses.
Build a Windsor Footstool
This two day hands-on workshop is open to all experience levels. Students will progress from splitting out a log through a completed bamboo style turning, and use hand joinery techniques to fit their turned legs together into a durable and beautiful addition to any home.
Please call or email to schedule a class, or with any questions you may have.