Fine Furniture: Windsor Comb-Back Armchair
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!