I want four or five Windsor chairs that can remain permanently outdoors on the front veranda of the new house. As I have blathered on about forest chairs on numerous occasions, I thought I would make a pair of them to begin with.
This particular variety of Windsor elbow-chair with its vasiform back splat follows a more general type of comb-back chair popular during the second half of the eighteenth-century.
The seats are of solid elm, the legs and back sticks are of ash, the arms are single-piece steam-bent ash bows and the arm posts, splats and crest rails can either be of ash or a drupaceous fruitwood of one sort or another.
The seats can be bell-shaped with gently curved front edges or D-shaped and flat-fronted (fig. 1). The arm posts are flat blades and simply shaped rather than the more usual turned or steam-bent items, but the most notable deviation from the archetypal Windsor is the absence of any stretchers.
I opted for bell-shaped seats and began by cutting the 24″ x 17-1/2″ x 1-3/4″ seat boards roughly to shape, then planed them flat and shaved and chamfered their edges (fig. 2).
The turned ash legs adhere to a traditional pattern popular during the second half of the eighteenth-century (fig. 3).