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

2020 Chair Courses

There are two Windsor Chair Making Courses planned for 2020, one to run from 28th March to 6th April and the other to run from 19th  to 28th September. At this stage both courses are full but names are being taken for the waiting list. If you are disappointed about this why not try our five day Windsor Stool Making Course as a warm up. Details below.

The cost of the 10 day chair course in 2020 will be $1500. Scroll down the page to read the course description.

2019 Chair Courses

Both Chair Making Courses for the year  have been run with a total of 16 chairs being completed. This brings to 82 the number of chairs to come out of the Brooklyn Workshop from 13 courses over the last 8 years.


Make a Windsor Stool  with Geoff  & Colina Tonkin

Five  Windsor Stool making courses were run in 2019  The dates for the first two courses of 2020 have been set as Monday 20th to Friday 24th April and Monday 4th to Friday 8th May. The cost of these courses is $600. There are still limited vacancies in these courses so please inquire. More stool making courses are planned for later in the year.

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 our courses.



Windsor Stools and their Makers in 2019 



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: $ 1500

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:

>> 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