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About The Windsor Chair Shop


The Craftsmen

 

Marshall has been handcrafting fine home furnishings for most of his life - his love for Windsor Chairs started in the late 70's.

Kevin has been around woodworking all his life and learned the craft from his Dad. He's been creating fine Windsor chairs
for about 25 years.
x

 

Marshall H. Ford

 

 

 

Kevin S. Ford

 

Our Shop

At the Windsor Chair Shop, all products are made in our shop including bent parts, spindles, turnings and chair seats. Even the wood used comes from our land! The only outside purchase we make are the paints and glue used.

Inside Our Wood Shop

   

Kevin Assembling A Chair

Turned Spindles

Bow Bending Jigs

 

Bows In The Bending Stage

 

Rough Board Stock

 

On Site Saw Mill

     

All of the wood for our chairs is cut right off our land processed at our on-site sawmill. As you can see, we are fortunate to have very large, mature trees on our property. We cut full boards, up to 18' long with no knots, which allows us to produce solid, one piece seat stocks.

About The Windsor Chair

A Windsor chair is composed of several kinds of woods. The merit consists not in the kind of wood, but in its shape. The obvious reason for using pine for the seat is that it was very easily worked and neither warped, swelled, or shrunk so much as other woods. The legs and stretchers are usually maple; the bow (or hoop), the top rail, and spindles were hickory, white oak, or ash.

Seats are hand planed and carved from 2" native pine, using a draw knife, spoke shave and inshave to deeply scoop and finish the seat in the traditional manner and comfort of the Original Windsor. Stretchers and legs are turned from hard maple with only the Craftsman's eye to guide him, resulting in slight differences, not noticeable to the eye in the finished chair, which is individually assembled and finished by hand. The steam bending of bows is done with carefully selected woods of hickory and ash.

An important matter of style is the rake of the legs, otherwise called splay or slant. A Windsor without this rake is graceless. No other type of chair has splayed legs, because in a Windsor only, does the leg go into a hole in the seat. 

The bulbs in the side stretchers were no doubt formed to give greater strength at the junction with the cross stretchers, but the cross stretcher itself was then supplied with a bulb because its shape was discovered to be graceful, and was probably first made bulbous through the accident of using an extra side stretcher for the cross stretcher.

Finishes and Colors

A brightly shining Windsor is offensive. The early finish was often the old Indian red. This was more a stain than a paint. A modern substitute for it, under the same name, is obtainable. Red paint is also a popular old finish. There was not too much color in our ancestor's lives and they loved to make it appear in their furniture. Dark green seems to have been the most popular color and most satisfactory. Windsors in old advertisements often mentioned as green. It is a very desirable color. Black, not so common originally, is a most excellent finish, it is harmonious with any other furniture. As there are not heavy broad lines in Windsors, black is not somber, and will be found the most satisfactory of all for the modern furniture. 

Custom finishes are available upon request. Please contact us to discuss your desired finish and determine any additional costs.

The Windsor Chair Shop

539 Province Road

Belmont, New Hampshire 03220 USA

Telephone: (603) 524-9560

E-Mail:  mhford@metrocast.net