A Double Bow Windsor Chair – Part Six

Note to self: The next time you want to bend a 1-1/4″ x 1-1/8″ (32mm x 28mm) section arm bow, have patience and wait until you can lay your hands on some freshly felled stock.

I came frustratingly close to perfection on several occasions, but all up, I wasted six air dried ash sticks (four of them tapered) and two air dried oak sticks before achieving success. That success only came about when I reduced the width of the stock and ended up bending a uniform 1-1/8″ (28mm) square section of oak. That eighth-of-an-inch made all the difference. Thanks to Glen for coming to my aid with a suitable lump of oak.

Fig. 1. The quercine arm bow.

Two of the failed ash arm bows yielded a couple of decent bends which will become the arm posts. I cut the bends from the arm bows and rounded them in preparation for inserting them into the seat.

Fig. 2. Bent arm posts.

I sawed and planed a piece of 3/8″ (10mm) thick oak and after drawing the outline of the backsplat onto it; I cut it out and tidied it up.

Fig. 3. Shaped backsplat.

The arm post holes were bored into the seat and the arms were temporarily knocked into place to enable their tops to be sawn off level with the underside of the arm bow.

Fig. 4. Fitting the arm posts.

The tops of this type of arm post were traditionally nailed and/or screwed to the underside of the arm bow (fig. 5).

Fig. 5. Large steel screw attaching arm post to arm. Note also the use of branch wood for the arm bow.

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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