Since 1987 I have been a Windsor Chairmaker, working in the traditional manner that a shop from the 18th century would employ. In this historical perspective every aspect of chairmaking, from the design style, tools used, the choice of woods, the joinery considerations, the methods of construction and finish are all evident in the completed chair. A chair with its uniqueness of line, beauty in functional form and exhibiting an appeal of elegance since they appeared in the early 18th century.
Perhaps no other chair has garnered such a reverence, perhaps rightfully so. All of which caught my attention some 30 years ago. When you look deep within the chair, you soon discover why these chairs are so unique especially from a woodworkers perspective. First there is the whole method of construction involving the few and basic hand tools used. The drawknife and spokeshave that cut off excess wood rapidly yet can shape the intricate arms and spindles that make up the back of the chair. Seats are shaped into their comfortable form by the Inshave and Travisher. Chisels that carve the volutes in the crest and knuckle handhold. Tools at the lathe shape rough rived wood into elegant legs, stretchers and arm posts.