Saturday, September 1, 2012

Comb Back Windsor Arm Chair

About a year ago I had a nice opportunity to come and work in the shop of Curtis Buchanan a windsor chairmaker in Jonesborough, TN. We spent two weeks, including weekends, pouring over the construction of one of his better known pieces. Many have been watching his youtube series on the making of his Comb Back Windsor Arm Chair. If you haven't seen it yet then you have to check out this link, for sure.

Below is a picture of the chair I made based on his original design.

I was there when he was about 2/3 of the way through making his popular video series and my time there allowed us to work on some projects that both aided me to understand his traditional methods to a greater degree while I helped on some behind the scene things that hopefully will be coming out soon. I am very excited about them and as they progress I will touch on them more.

Until then I thought it would be fun to share some of my observations while building this chair myself and a few notes that might help the new chairmaker understand some of the finer details. This is a very complex chair.

I plan to share first my observations about the carving of the volutes for the knuckles and ears, so stay tuned.


  1. hello,

    nice looking chair! i got here via peter galbert's blog. can i ask what the approximate diameter of the vase and cylinders are on the legs?

    thanks!! j.

    1. John,

      I do the top vase at 1-5/8", neck 3/4", large vase 2-1/16", cove 3/4", bead 1-3/4", cylinder on down at 1-5/8" with lower cove at 3/4" as well. Front leg is about 19 1/2" long. Reduce the back leg length by shortening the cylinder according to your design. Generally 3/4" is about right.

      Hope that helps!

  2. I made this amazing chair but, being a total DIY idiot, I mixed up the steps and put the finish on before I had done the transfers of the wine logos onto the wood, so of course they didn't actually transfer. Is there anything I can do to fix this or am I stuck with my table without the wine logos? Thanks for the awesome idea and the instructions.