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Thread: Source for wood to make windsor chair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Source for wood to make windsor chair

    I took some classes in making windsor chairs and would like to continue with that but I'm having a hard time sourcing wood. Does anyone know a source for suitable red oak, or similar, logs in Maryland or nearby?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    South West Ontario
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    I would seek out small family run saw mills. Must be some around.
    That is where all my furniture wood comes from.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  3. #3
    I am too far away to be any help. Windsor Chair posts always make me want to watch the movie The Patriot again (and to get up my nerve to try a Windsor Chair).

  4. #4
    Lot of different woods have been found in old Windsor chairs. It didn’t have to be highly esteemed wood …just wood that steams good…
    Beech was often used for steaming ,while North-Eastern white pine made good seats , which were warmer to the flesh parked there
    than fine Rosewood !

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Collier View Post
    I took some classes in making windsor chairs and would like to continue with that but I'm having a hard time sourcing wood. Does anyone know a source for suitable red oak, or similar, logs in Maryland or nearby?
    You might try contacting tree trimming services or tree removal services.

    Look for services that take care of downed trees from storms and such. You might even ask an insurance broker who they would recommend.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    Woodmizer has a sawmill locator on their website.

  7. #7
    Elia Bizzaria sells split blanks. https://handtoolwoodworking.com/tools-and-supplies/ I have not bought from him.

  8. #8
    I’m up in PA and started this same process making Curtis Buchanan democratic chair. I had luck searching for log yards and found one in Ohio, about a hr drive for me. Y&B logging.
    Anyhow look into logging companies.
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    I am shamefully uneducated on chair making. I have been processing Black Locust by cutting logs into fairly short sections and splitting them within a few days of cutting. As soon as the first cracks appear in the end, I drive in a wedge and break the log down into eights, tenths, or twelfths. This is encouraging me to try some longer billets. Would 6 feet be long enough for a Windsor?

  10. #10
    Maurice, I am working on my 15th Windsor. I have done sack backs, fan back side chair, fan back arm chair, continuous arm and comb backs. All of the legs are about the same length and 24” is a good length for those. Stretchers about 18” and arm supports around 15”. Those are the maple parts. The longest length for spindles is about 34”. However, for the parts that are bent it depends largely on the style. Crests - probably 35” would work for any of them. Then, there are arm rails, bows, and continuous arm rails. 65” would be plenty for the longest of those those.

    You would be ahead to do the bends while the wood still has some moisture content.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
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    2,568
    Your best option is to talk with local tree service / removal companies.

    The problem with buying from a log concentration yard is that they deal with long logs. Versus a tree service company that frequently cuts them down to 3 - 4’ in order to handle them.

  12. #12
    Thanks John! I just watched a couple of the splitting and bending episodes on Harry Rogers youTube channel. I am going to try splitting a 65 inch green log.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 01-14-2023 at 12:37 PM.

  13. #13
    You should watch watch Curtis Buchanan’s videos - https://m.youtube.com/user/curtisbuchanan52

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  14. Look for Blake Lowery out in Texas. He teaches classes on the Democratic chair and I believe he is started to sell just the raw materials.

  15. #15
    I managed to get some long split billets that just might make a chair back. Black Locust is not a very pretty wood. I think I will start with a rustic chair (hailing from Windsor Missouri, which is not far away)

    IMG_1243 2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 01-20-2023 at 5:24 PM. Reason: image

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