American Windsor Chair Class
American Windsor Chairmaking


with Drew Langsner

Make a Classic American

Bow-Back Windsor Side Chair

In this chairmaking seminar participants learn how to handcraft a Windsor chair typical of those made in Philadelphia and New York in the late 1700's. The project is a bow-back side chair. It is our opinion that starting with a more difficult pattern, such as a sack-back or continuous-arm Windsor, is a mistake for an introductory course. The bow-back has been selected so that you will have an opportunity to learn and practice the many challenging techniques of Windsor chairmaking. Once you have some skill in the various Windsor chair techniques and have an understanding of how to deal with the many different angles found in these chairs it becomes realistic to make a Windsor in any other style, or to design your own version.

The Windsor chair seminar begins with riving and shaving red oak spindles and a back bow, which is then steamed and bent. This is followed by a lesson in turning the bamboo (double bobbin) pattern hardwood legs and stretchers at a lathe. A full day is allowed for saddling classic shield pattern seats, which are hewed with a hollowing adze, and then finished with an inshave, travisher, drawknife, and spokeshave. Use of these specialized tools is provided for the class; we discourage buying expensive tools before the course.

Don’t Settle for a Fractional Class!

Unlike some other schools, Country Workshops’ American Windsor tutorial includes:
- Doing your own turnings, from air dried hard maple or similar quality material.
- Riving and shaving the spindles from green wood (usually oak) for your chair.
 - A comprehensive lecture on understanding and using sight lines and resultant angles.
- Use of our shop tools, both traditional and contemporary. Each participant has use of a Country Workshops workbench, shaving horse, drawknife, spokeshave, hollowing adze, inshave, travisher, reamer and the appropriate turning tools.
In addition, tuition includes your room, meals and the materials for the course.
Assembly begins when each component is shaped and dried to its appropriate moisture content. Each student completes a chair utilizing components that are made during the class. Unlike many other woodworking schools, we do not supply pre-made turnings, or take other shortcuts, such as using a jigged drill press for boring the leg and spindle mortises. Because of the many craft skills required for making an American Windsor, we suggest that you take our ladderback chair or the rustic Windsor chair class as a prerequisite course.

* Our Winter 2010 American Windsor Tutorials have been extended to 6 full days. We have learned that students need the extra class day for this particularly challenging project. Country Workshops supplies all of the specialty tools used for making traditional Windsor chairs. The tutorial is limited to 4 students. The $1150 tuition includes materials, a private room, and meals.

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Drew Langsner
828-656-2280 (Daily, 9-6 Eastern time)

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