The Windsor Chair Project

windsor chair

This windsor chair project was completed several years ago from a book of windsor plans by Robert Marquis.


The book, Making The Classic Windsor Chair, is still available at places like Amazon. Judging from the asking price it now appears to be a collectors item.

This particular chair, called a "Sack Back", is only one of several chair designs in the book. Although most of the original chairs were painted I chose to stain these.

Making all the jigs and the first chair took about 10 shop hours. Now, with the machines set up and the jigs in place it's very easy to build several chairs in a day.

Some of the techniques used to make some of the parts were quite interesting. Specifically I'm referring to tapering the long back spindles and profiling the seat with a table saw.

I came up with my own method of tapering the back spindles. Using a 48" sanding belt and a hand drill along with a shop made jig that would push the spindle closer and closer to the sanding belt I could taper a spindle in seconds. It worked great then and still does. I still haven't found a better way to taper these long spindles.

Profiling the seat with a table saw was pretty interesting too. While I was making the jig that was outlined in the book I still couldn't figure out how it worked. Once I started shaping the seat it turned out to be simple and easy.

I'm sure there are several different ways to build these chairs. I've always planned to check out some of the other books with windsor chair plans but so far it hasn't happened. The plans and jigs I used then still work great when I need them.


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