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Found 16 results

  1. A friend of mine called me up and asked me if I could repair one of his Windsor chairs, and if I could come over and take a look. So to my surprise, it was the same chair I have always gravitated too whenever I am in his home. His home is one of those homes, where everything is beautiful, in an old way. He has an old fireplace area with 18th century cooking implements around it, he has several hand tool chests full of 18th century tools that are all matched and numbered from the previous 18th century owner, and if he has any late era furnishings, they are all hand made, such as this chair by maker Steven Bunn. His home is one big 18th century fantasy land full of furnishings and tools and collectibles and all sorts of things, I love visiting him. To make things a tad confusing, the maker of this chair is Steven Thomas Bunn, ok, and my friends name is Steven Bunn as well! Small world right! The chair that I love the most in his home, is now in my shop, for repairs. It's been a long time since I did any real work in my lil ol shop space in my garage, and today is nice and cool, the heat is gone, and Fall is in the air, and I really enjoyed just being out there and tooling around, and dreaming of getting my shop back in order to start making "things" like this chair, I have always wanted to build Windsor's by hand, second best thing I guess is repairing them. Let me preface this with, my repair is not the proper way to repair these chairs. My repair is close, in the sense that I used a method of repair that was used in the 18th and 19th centuries to steady loose legs, but what is not correct is that I used this method on a Windsor, whereas the proper method would have been to disassemble the rung from the legs, and the legs from the seat, re-cut a wedge tenon at the top of the round tenons that are flush with the top of the seat, using natural hide glue for the re-seating of the legs, and drive a wedge into the top of the round tenon. But to do that, would mean refinishing a portion of the top of the chair, and I cannot do that, I am not skilled enough to match this finish. The original maker used traditional milk paints, and he layered colors, and stressed the paint to make the chair look as if it has been in use for 200 years. Perhaps our pro finisher @kmealy would have been able to match the existing colors, but not me. So I chose the less invasive method, drilling one hole through each legs round tenon up through the seat and driving a dowel up into the hole. The main issue was, when you sat in the chair, the seat would rest below the top of of the round tenon, causing the round tenon to protrude past the surface of the seat. There is one major issue at play here, the chair was made in Maine, it came out here to the very dry west inland desert area, and it did what wood does, some things shrunk, and the tenons got a tad smaller than they were. It's normal, it's the nature of hand made wooden things made the traditional way. You can see the top of the tenons here. When I took this picture I already fixed the front legs, so the tenons are flush with the seat surface. They used to protrude an 8th of an inch and they were loose. You can see the paint surface broke with the tenons rising up. My repair, drill a hole angled up through the tenon and into the bottom of the seat and glued. All four are done now, I'll cut the dowels back flush, and touch up with a little burnt umber paint, just a few little Q-tip dabs should do it. If you zoom in, you'll see the makers signature, I have seen his work on his website and he does some beautiful work, definitely work I'd love to aspire too. I'll come back with images of the final repair. For now though, you can Steven Thomas Bunn's work at:
  2. A handmade Windsor chair is the most comfortable wooden dining, kitchen or casual chair there is. At Windsor Heritage, I make both traditional and contemporary Windsor chairs by hand using 18th century tools and craftsmanship. I modify the the dimensions, the style of the turnings and the design to meet the needs of my clients. My Windsor chairs can be found in homes in Canada, the United States and England. I also give chair making classes in my workshop located in Stanbridge East, one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec, Canada.
  3. From the album: John Morris's Hand Tools

    I am tooling up for Windsor chairs and this craft requires a few tools I don't have. In the image are three tenon cutters, or for you UK folks "rounding planes". These tools came as a set, a leg tenon cutter, an arm-stump tenon cutter, and a 1/2″ spindle tenon cutter, plus one six-degree reamer and one 5/16″ dowel plate. These tools are specific to the Windsor tradition but of course can be used for a wide variety of work, I am beyond ecstatic to have these on my work bench, they feel great, works of art within themselves. They'll be a pleasure to use. Thank you Elia for making these wonderful tools available to us, can't wait to use them!
  4. Just read a wonderful short story by Windsor chairmaker Elia Bizzarri, it's a short read, and a cute punchline ending. "Last week my sweetheart Morgan delivered the last four loop backs in a set of six loop backs and two sack backs. Who knew four chairs would fit in a Prius! Here’s the story I wrote about the chairs:" Read more...
  5. I have posted a couple videos from this craftsman in the past, Curtis Buchanan is a chair maker, his specialty is the Windsor in all shapes and forms, he creates his chairs starting from the purchase of his logs, and he'll fell his own from time to time as well. And he's just a neat soul as well. This video is long (20 minutes), I wouldn't expect anyone really to sit through a video this long, because these videos are like sharing music with others, they are personal, we all relate to music in our own way and the reaction you may expect from others regarding your musical tastes can be either disappointing or the music you shared may bring you together. But I feel there is something in this video for everyone. I like this video because he touches on something, most of us woodworkers have either dealt with already in trying to start up a business, or you may be currently pursuing a livelihood in the craft. Either way, I think many of you will be able to relate to Curtis' challenges and success's in starting his own woodworking business in his own shop, in his own backyard. This video is not so much about the chairs he makes, but the process he went through to become a successful and well respected artisan in his craft. He started with nothing, and he built it up to a livelihood. Segment from the 2012 series Soul's Journey: Inside The Creative Process featuring 22 artists and craftspeople in the South.
  6. Greg Pennington builds beautiful Windsors and conducts classes as well.
  7. One of my favorite websites is http://www.windsorchairresources.com/ And on the home page is a list of makers, and one of the makers is Luke Barnett. I was perusing Mr. Barnett's pages and found this Windsor he created, all his chairs are drop dead gorgeous, but this one made my heart skip a beat. Literally, I was surfing and flicking through the pages, and I saw the color, the seat, the photography, just all around waaaay neat, and my heart skipped. Just thought I'd share a little of Luke's work. A Windsor rocker an chair is definitely on my 2018 list of things to do.
  8. For me, making a Windsor chair is part of an historical journey. My ancestors emigrated from Europe to Philadelphia in 1754. Interestingly the founding and growth of our nation and the development of the American Windsor chair encompass the same century, spanning the period from 1750 to 1850. Philadelphia was the center of the Windsor universe just as it was the center of the American experiment in Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Read more...
  9. Welcome to the Chairmaker and Friends. Experience the warmth and charm of our handmade reproduction furniture, quality antiques and some of this country’s best artisan-made wares. Read more ...
  10. A wonderful website with notable chair makers and the resources they put together for folks interested in Windsor Chairs and the making.
  11. Curtis is a traditional chair maker as they were made 200 years ago. From the log to finish.
  12. One of my favorite woodworkers and TV personalities and comedian is Nick Offerman (photo at left). I became aware of him when my oldest kids got me hooked on Parks and Recreation, a sitcom and political satire series that had me rolling and laughing every time I watched it. I wish they did not end that show, but as with most great comedies and tasteful shows on television, the show did end. I receive the Nick Offerman newsletter and enjoy reading it and seeing what Nick is up to in his own woodshop. And he recently traveled to Boston to visit and take a few classes at the North Bennett Street School (another one of my favorite places to visit in cyberspace) and he sat down and started to learn the process of chair making, from log to finish. It's a great read in Nick's own words, he's a plain spoken guy and very straightforward so don't look for any flowery phrases or emotional writings from Nick Offerman, he's not that kind of guy, it's funny, he played the part in the sitcom mentioned above, and he is that way in real life. So I am sharing his blog (Taking a Seat in Boston) on North Bennett Street School and a few other interesting links as well. Have fun! LINKS Taking a Seat in Boston by Nick Offerman Offerman Woodshop Nick Offerman Facebook Page Parks and Recreation TV Show North Bennett Street School North Bennet Street School Woodworking Eduction Nick Offerman Photo Montage Offerman Newsletter (February) Peter Galbert below demonstrating for Nick Offerman at North Bennett Street School
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