Make a Double Bow Windsor Chair  with Howard Archbold and Geoff Tonkin

2019 Courses

The first Windsor Chair Making course  for 2019 at Molong  finished on the 15th April with 8 students successfully completing 8 chairs. Quite a variety of chairs this time with 2 Continuous Arm, 2 Captain’s, 1 rocking, 1 double bow and two side chairs. There are some images below.  Names are now being taken for the April 2020 course and as courses fill rapidly with returnees it is suggested you book in early.

The second course for 2019 is scheduled to run from 21st to 30th of September. This course is full with a waiting list so please consider next April’s course to guarantee yourself a unique chair making experience. Over the past seven years 74 chairs, 1 settle and 31 stools have been completed on courses in our workshop here at “Brooklyn” Molong NSW.

The cost of the 10 day course in 2019 is $1450

Make a Windsor Stool  with Geoff Tonkin

Three Windsor Stool making courses are planned for 2019. The first one in late April has been booked by a family group. The second course is scheduled to run from Monday 6th to Friday 10th May. There is one vacancy on this course. A third course is scheduled to run from Monday 28th   October  to Friday 1st November.  We already have four names for this course but please inquire if you are interested.

The cost of the stool courses  is $550.

For a complete course description of both courses scroll down the page to “course description“.

Click on this link to watch a short video by Rowan which pretty much captures the essence of the whole course.



Stool Makers from the April 2019 Course


Chair Makers from the September 2018 Course



Chair Makers from the April 2018 Course.   This was the tenth chair making course run here at our Molong Workshop


Stool Makers from the October 2018 Course

Stool Makers from the March 2018 Course


Chair Makers from the 2017 Courses


Course description

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 separately from the chair making courses.  Please inquire.

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.   Sometimes called false acacia this is a tree of North American providence which because they are deciduous early settlers planted around sheds and yards to provide summer shade and winter sun. 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.

Tools of Trade    Tony's stool

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

Tony stool Tim Rowan 1 Mike John 1 Ian & Howard John stool Gabriel Dinner 3 Chairs from Molong workshops Bob Shave horse derby

John stool 1   Gabriel's chair 1   Gabriel's chair Tony's stool

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 dinner 1 Gabriel Harry & Tania

The Lee's Paul John Templeton 1

Chair makers from the 2014 Molong Windsor Chair and Stool Making Courses

Day 1 Russell Day 10

Chair makers from the 2013 Molong Windsor Chair and Stool Making Courses

Anne Burn's chair Reg and Cameron's chair Dennis's chair

John Templeton's stool Judy's chair


Other courses on offer:

Make and Learn to Play the Irish Bodhran
>> Learn to Play the Didgeridoo
Make a Cigar Box Guitar

Basic Tool Making                                “There’s a chair in there’

For further information contact Geoff Tonkin

Tel: 02-63668174
Mobile: 0427677226