A Set of Six Claremont Fan-back Windsor Chairs – Part Five

A local woodworker was recently given a European Ash tree growing behind the Bon Accord in Sale, Gippsland, and offered me some of the green logs for my chairs. Turning long streamers off green ash is always more pleasurable than turning the dried wood, so I leapt at the opportunity.

Usually green ash virtually falls apart at the merest threat of introducing a froe to it, but all attempts by me on this occasion to rive the ash in a normal fashion failed hideously. The bifurcated tree had grown tortuously beside a shed (fig. 1) and the resultant wood was somewhat contrary.

felled_ash_tree_01aFig. 1. Not the clearest ash I’ve ever seen, but gift horses etc. …

Fortunately for me though, the chap was keen to have a go at splitting with a froe and he kindly rent the ash into turning blanks for me. The gnarly wood produced some attractively figured and striped turnings (fig. 2).

6cfbwc_200313_01aFig. 2. Striped stretchers.

I assembled two of the six chair bases (fig. 3) and once the remainder of the legs have been turned and the chair bases assembled, I’ll finish saddling the seats prior to assembling the chair backs.

6cfbwc_200313_02aFig. 3. Two ‘stools’.

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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4 Responses to A Set of Six Claremont Fan-back Windsor Chairs – Part Five

  1. burbidge says:

    Nice wood from an award-winning B&B!

    I wonder if there are wood worker friendly hotel listings?


  2. Rob says:

    Any sign of Chalara fraxinea in Euopean ash growing in Australia, Jack?

    This fungal disease is spreading right across the UK – here is a map of the distribution as of 18th March:


    Apparently it originated in the Manchurian ash which grows closer to you than to us.

    Lovely chairs!


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