American Woodworker

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Rescue a Windsor-Style Chair – Part 2: Repairs and Embellishments

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Once I finished stripping the old finish, I started planning the necessary repairs and alterations. I had to make two new spindles.  To compensate for the missing ones, I had to re-glue a loose carved detail under the arm rest and to decide how to make the comb back a bit more elegant so that it would look nicer than the original. To be inspired and plan the change, I opened one of my books – The Windsor Style in America: The Definitive Pictorial Study of the History and Regional Characteristics of the Most Popular Furniture Form of 18th Century America 1730-1840 (Vol 1 & 2). I looked at the different shapes of the scrolls that decorate the steam-bent, curved crest rail. The most beautiful Windsors have delicately carved ears; and this is what I decided to do..

 

I examined few of the regional chairs built in New England in late 18 century, and borrowed one of the scroll designs. I made a template of half of the outline of the future crest, then I traced the design on the chair's crest and curved it. I also narrowed the crest to make it less bulky.