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

2018 – 19 Courses

The second course at Molong for 2018 finished on 24th September. In all eight students made four double bow Windsor Chairs, one captains chair, one stool and perhaps a highlight of the course one couple made a  settle.  Have a look at the images below. The April 2019 course which is scheduled to run from 6th to 15th April is full with a waiting list and the dates for the September Course have been set as from Saturday 21st to Monday 30th of September 2019.  This course is also full although a vacancy may appear closer to the the course dates. These courses are becoming very popular with many spots on them filled by returnees coming back to make a second, third or even fourth chair.

The cost of the 10 day course in 2019 will  $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 planned for late October  with dates to be confirmed. I already have four names for this course but please inquire if you are interested.

The cost of next year’s stool courses  will be $550.

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

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

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

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