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Woodworking & Furniturecraft

Fine Furniture: Windsor Comb-Back Armchair

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Course Overview

The Windsor chair has graced American homes since the mid-eighteenth century, before there was even a “United States” to speak of. Rich in tradition and lore, and instantly recognizable for its clean lines and simple form, the Windsor chair is a classic project. With a comfortable design as a top priority, students will practice layout and drilling for compound leg angles, mortise and tenon joinery and shaping, and fitting a variety of local wood species from the Great Lakes region: white pine, poplar, cherry, maple, ash and oak. Legs will be through-mortised, glued and wedged. The finished chair will be engineered for comfort, portability, and strength and will complement traditional and contemporary settings. All students will take home a completed chair that is glued up, leveled and ready for paint or clear finish at home.

A note from the instructor: There are too many uncomfortable chairs in this world so comfort was my top priority when designing this chair: a generous and deeply excavated seat, wide serpentine arms to rest forearms and flexible back spindles drilled on one-inch centers to leave a gap so the sitter’s spine doesn’t have to fight for space. This chair will look great in traditional or contemporary settings. Your learning experience will begin by making drilling jigs to ensure spindles and legs are seated with their proper compound angles. Bring a mat board to copy the seat pattern. All secrets will be revealed!

Session Information

Also consider David's Tools for Chairmaking class, which takes place the day before this course begins, and serves as a great lead-in to this course.


Tue, Sep 17th, 2019  –  Sat, Sep 21st, 2019

Course Details

Length: 4¼ Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Day 1: 5pm-8pm; Days 2-5: 9am-4pm
Tuition: $400.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies ($200 payable to instructor)


You will need the following tools for this class:

All required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.

Optional Tools

  • Paper or matt board to copy the seat pattern
  • Tools from home if they would like to incorporate them into their work.
    • Draw knives
    • Spoke shaves
    • Hand planes
    • Travishers etc.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, David Abeel
David Abeel
Traverse City, MI

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Fine Furniture: Windsor Comb Back Arm Chair - 9/17/2019