Make a Double Bow Windsor Chair with Howard Archbold and Geoff Tonkin
Two courses both with seven people where completed in April 2017.
Name are now being taken for the next Molong Windsor Chair making course scheduled to run in April 2018. A second course will only be considered when the first course is full. At the moment there are still three vacancies in this course. Reservations will be confirmed with a deposit later in the year. The cost of the 10 day course will remain at 2017 prices, $1400
Chair Makers from this year’s Molong Courses
Making a Windsor Chair takes 10 consecutive days whilst making the stool is a five day course. Windsor stool making covers most of the techniques used in making a Windsor chair, except steam bending . Stool making course are now held seperately from the chair making courses. There is one scheduled for later in the year and costs $450. Please enquire.
Windsor chair and stool making involves actually birthing your piece from a local green tree. It is a technique that was used in the 18thC English forests and has remained pretty much unchanged ever since. In the Molong courses we use stringybark Eucalyptus macrorhyncha and robinia pseudoacacia.
Seats are carved from slabs of camphor laurel and ash is used for the steam bent arm and back bow.
Because the wood is split or riven and not sawn, chairs and stools are light but strong. The green wood tennon of the chair and stool components are dried in warm sand before inserting into a mortise that is still composed of green wood. Over time this shrinks around the tennon locking the joint and thus replicating a centuries old woodworking technique.
Chairmaking students usually start with a Double Bow Windsor Chair but be warned – chairmaking can become addictive. Only hand tools are used in construction including a foot operated pole lathe, a shave horse, draw knife, adze, spoke shaves and hand planes. ( see image below) Components are turned on the pole lathe, bent in a steam box or worked on a shave horse using hand tools. The end result is a beautiful chair to take home, made using the same techniques that evolved in the UK 250 years ago. Using a pole lathe is a great introduction to wood turning and particularly appeals to beginners both male and female. One of the highlights of the course is the chair makers’ dinner to which participants are invited to bring their partners.
Windsor stools have either three or four legs, turned on the pole lathe or drawn on a shave horse, with or without stretchers between them. The seat is shaped and the height of your stool adjusted to your individual requirements.
Brooklyn workshop during the 2015 course
Chair makers and stool makers from the Molong course held during April 2016
Click on this link to watch a short video by Rowan which pretty much captures the essence of the whole course.
Cost: Chair Course: $ 1400
Tools and Materials: everything included except your lunch
Location: ‘Brooklyn’ 10km from Molong in the Central West of NSW, Australia
Accommodation: Please inquire
Chair makers and stool makers from the 2015 Molong course
Chair makers from the 2014 Molong Windsor Chair and Stool Making Courses
Chair makers from the 2013 Molong Windsor Chair and Stool Making Courses
Other courses on offer:
> Make and Learn to Play the Irish Bodhran
> Make a Small Wooden Box or Wooden Tray
> Learn to Play the Didgeridoo
> Make a Cigar Box Guitar
‘There’s a chair in there’
For further information contact Geoff Tonkin