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Woodworking & Furniturecraft

Fine Furniture: Windsor Comb Back Rocking Chair

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Course Overview

In order for a piece of furniture to become a treasured family heirloom, someone has to build it. And who better to build your family’s next prized possession than you? Using materials like cherry and white pine and design inspiration from early American furniture, students will build a windsor comb back rocker designed for comfort, portability and strength. Skills covered will include drilling for compound leg angles, mortise and tenon joinery, and hand tool use, including the travisher, drawknife, scorp, and spokeshave. Rockers, seats, and arm tenons will be through-mortised and wedged. The radius of the rocker will be tailored to each student. 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 rocker.  It has a generous seat, wide serpentine arms, and flexible back spindles leaving a gap so the sitter’s spine doesn’t fight for space. This chair will look great in traditional or contemporary settings. Making a Windsor Chair looks complicated but broken down into many smaller steps, it is really quite doable for the average teen or adult without superhuman strength or stamina. Hand tools like a compass plane or a travisher may seem awkward at first, but like riding a bicycle, quickly become second nature. Classes are designed for all woodworking skill levels.

Students ages 16 and up are welcome in this class. Couples working together on one project are also welcome to register and attend this course for one tuition and materials fee.

This course has a materials fee of $250 payable to the instructor during class

Required Tools and Materials

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, ready to work on your feet all day.   

  • All required turnings, tools and raw materials will be provided however students are welcome to bring along a favorite stick of wood they would like to incorporate into the chair’s design. Questions on this? Contact me prior to class. (Instructor contact info will be in your confirmation email)

  • If students have an orbital sander and rechargeable drill it can be helpful to bring along.

  • Bring a sheet of big paper if you want to copy a seat pattern and jot down drill angles etc.  All secrets will be revealed!  


Mon, Sep 20th, 2021  –  Fri, Sep 24th, 2021

Course Details

Hours: Day 1: 4-7 pm Days 2-5: 9 am-4 pm
Tuition: $380.00
Latest Update: View recent changes →

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 Rocking Chair