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CLASSIC DESIGNS

by MATTHEW BURAK

ASSEMBLY OF THE

Continuous Arm Windsor Chair


GENERAL TIPS
Remove excess glue. Your work in the finishing stage will be more successful if you are vigilant about cleaning excess glue. Keep a cup of warm water nearby. Use a toothbrush and the warm water to thoroughly wash away extra glue and hard-to-see residue. Use a clean, dry rag to finish the clean-up and dry the wood. Dry fit all parts to get comfortable with the assembly process. Use reference or witness marks when you dry-fit the parts. It will make your final alignment upon glue-up much faster.

General Sequence of Assembly


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Check all parts and lay them out Detail the seat Shape the bow Assemble stretcher Assemble undercarriage (stretcher and legs) 6. Fit undercarriage to seat 7. Assemble the back

Finishing is a project in itself. Any woodworking project can be enhanced or diminished by the level of work that goes into the finishing. A good finish takes time to apply, so allow for this in the project cycle.

1. Check All Parts and Lay Them Out


Familiarize yourself with the parts. Get them oriented around your work table so that little confusion exists about whats a right vs. a left; a front vs. a rear, etc. PARTS A LIST B C D E F G H Bow Legs Side Stretchers Medial Stretcher Seat Spindle Set Handblocks Arm Supports

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Hand tools you may want


hand plane, block plane, hammer or mallet, spokeshaves, scorp, drawknife, fish-tail gouge, chisels, scratch beader

You can give the seat more refinement by shaping the thickness back to the line drawn on the bottom. Start with a draw knife for the rough-in and finish up with a spokeshave.

2. Detail the Seat


The seat is the foundation of the chair. Start your assembly here.

The seat blank has been prepared (sawn, machine scorped and bored). Now, finish detailing the seat by using a scorp, block plane, or spoke shave to give the final shape to the seat. For those more comfortable with power equipment, power sanders and grinders can be used. Smooth away the tool marks left by the machine shaping of the seat blank. CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK
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For the top do the rough-in with a scorp and the finish surfacing using a curved plane and spokeshave. www.ClassicDesigns.com

3. Shape the Bow


Mating surfaces of handblock and bow have been machined and are ready to glue. Glue handblock on flush with arm tip; clamp until dry. Plane, bandsaw or sand block flush with top and bottom of arm.

Use a spokeshave to clean up the saw marks and detail edges of hand grip. Chamfer the bottom edges heavily and the top edge lightly for a delicate look.

Continue to shape along the bow, transitioning from the flat of the hand into the D-shape cross section of the bow itself.
Note: For scratch beading the flat face of the bow, see sidebar on page 4.

Trace hand grip pattern onto bow. (Pattern on pg 10.)

Be sure to keep hand grips in same plane. Use a straight edge to check for this. Saw away excess. CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK
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Set aside the detailed bow for now. Proceed to working on the undercarriage. www.ClassicDesigns.com

BOW OPTIONS
Many historic Windsors have decorative profiling on the front face of the bow. The traditional way of crafting this detail has been to cut it in with a scratch-bead cutter. This gives the finished chair the unique characteristics that only hand tooling creates. To make a scratch bead, simply grind or file the profile you want into a piece of a cabinet scraper or old band saw blade. Secure the cutter between two blocks of wood that have a right angle corner to act as the fence. The beauty of this tool is that it will allow you to stop your profile short of the hand blocks (12 from the finished tip of the continuous arm bows and 1 short of the seat on the side chair bow). Set up correctly you can achieve very quick results with this tool.

5. Assemble the Undercarriage.

Apply glue to the stretcher mortises of the back legs. Put the legs lightly into their correct seat mortises. Legs are marked F front and B back.

4. Assemble Stretcher.

Coat the rear tenons of the stretcher with glue. Insert the stretcher assembly into the back legs, align the stretcher and tap firmly into place.

Apply glue to mating surfaces. Gently push parts into place. Check that side stretchers are in the same plane by laying the assembly flat on workbench. Drive home the assembly using scrap wood to protect the surfaces from marring.

Insert the two front legs, adding glue to the proper stretcher tenon and leg mortise as you go. To do this you will need to bend up the side stretchers to allow the leg to slide past.

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6. Fit Undercarriage in Seat.

Use a block of scrap wood to drive the parts together for a good fit.

Flip the assembly right side up. Step back to make sure your alignment is correct. Cut off surplus tenon to 3/8 proud of seat. Open up the kerf in the protruding leg tenons with a chisel. Apply glue to wedges and drive into tenon kerfs to secure leg/seat joint.

Remove the undercarriage assembly from the seat, apply glue to the leg tenons and seat mortises. Moving from leg to leg, restart the tenons into the seat mortises. Tap the legs firmly into the seat mortises as you go around, until the tenon shoulders are firmly up against the seat bottom. Do not overdrive, or the seat may split. Cut off surplus tenons. For a pristine look, cut them off close to the seat and sand flush. For an antique look, leave the tenons up 1/16 to 1/8 and gently remove sharp edges using a fish-tail gouge, lowangle spokeshave and sandpaper. Hint: Always cut with the chisel toward the center of the tenon to guard against chip out. CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK
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Level the seat using a straight edge placed across the flats on the seat. Shim under the legs to achieve the equal measurements from the bench top to the right & left sides of your straight edge. To set the seat height, measure the distance from bench top to the high point in the front of the seat. You need to remove enough from the front legs so this measurement becomes 18". Cut a marking block that is of equal thickness to the amount the legs need to be shortened. Undercut this block so you can easily scribe around the front legs marking them for shortening. Cut legs off where marked.

With the front legs cut to their final lengths, hang the back legs over the edge of the bench. Prop the back of the seat with a stick so that the top of the seat is 17 1/2 above the bench top. Cut the legs flush with and parallel with the bench top.

Chamfer the ends of the legs where they meet the floor to guard against chip-out.

With the undercarriage glued up and dry, and before insertion of the upper spindles begin to restrict the space, detail the areas at the tops of the legs where they protrude through the seat.

CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK

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7. Assemble Back - Arm Supports

Pre-fit four short spindles and long center spindle into place. Tap gently to seat spindle. Remove, add glue and reinsert. Drill the bow for the arm supports. Use rubber bands to temporarily secure the bow to the arm supports and the long spindle. Set the height of the top edge of the bow at about 23 1/4 above the seat. Set the handblocks to an elevation that will allow them to set onto the haunch of the arm support tenon. Check to make sure the elements look balanced.

Protect stretcher from dripping arm post glue with rags or scrap wood. Apply glue to tenon of arm post and to hole in seat. To guard against spitting of seat, orient kerf in arm post to be cross-grain to seat. Twist arm post into hole using body weight. Do not overdrive.

Invert chair. Trim arm post tail to 1/2 length or so. Open kerf with chisel. Glue and insert wedge into kerf. Cut off flush or slightly proud of underside of seat. Align hand grip pattern onto bow again. Mark bow with location of hole centers for arm supports and short spindles. CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK
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Using the angle of the spindles and arm posts as a guide, drill holes in bow using a 3/8 bit for the spindles and a 9/16 bit for the arm posts.

With all holes bored, check fit of spindle tips in bow holes. They should not be too tight as these tips get a wedge to ensure a snug fit. Whittle and fit as required to make the hand grips snug down firmly onto the arm support tenons. Step back to ensure that the hand grips are at the proper orientation and the same height relative to one another. When content with bow position, remove bow. Apply glue to spindle mortises in bow and spindle tips. Reinstall bow and clean up glue.

Tip: Note the straight edge clamped across bow to keep hand grips flat and in the same plane.

These holes are tricky - the hole entrance is near the outer edge of the bow, and the hole exit is near the inner edge of the bow. Be careful and use a backer block to prevent blowout.

Cut arm supports down to 3/8 height above bow. Open kerf at arm posts and wedge.

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Before the glue sets, cut the spindles off about 3/8 proud of the bow. Chisel a crack into each spindle. Orient the crack perpendicular to the centerline of the bow, to avoid splitting the bow. Tap wedges into the kerfs to expand the tips and secure them in the bow. Cut the excess back flush with the top of the bow, or leave it a little proud if you will be finishing for an antique look.

As you did with the first seven spindles, chisel a crack into each spindle, glue and wedge.

Hint: Before driving wedges into the spindle tips, chisel them shorter, thicker and narrower, shown right.

Pre-fit remaining seven spindles using the following routine: Twist/wind the spindle far up into bow hole. Bend spindle at its middle while swinging butt end of spindle over edge of seat and into hole. Wind spindle down into the seat hole to pre-fit/size the hole. Remove spindle, add glue and replace using same technique.

Cut off projection to desired height -flush for a contemporary look, more irregular for an heirloom look.

CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK

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A FL LIG US N BO H W TO TIP

Hand Grip and Spindle Hole Pattern

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CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK

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CLASSIC DESIGNS
by MATTHEW BURAK
WINDSOR CHAIR KIT SPARE PARTS

Break something? Heres help!


Get replacement parts for your Windsor Chair Kit below.
Continuous Arm Chair Kit

Bow Back Chair Kit

A H C G D B
KEY ITEM PART NO.

A E

F
PRICE

C D F
KEY ITEM PART NO. PRICE

A B B C D E G H

Continuous Arm Bow Front Leg Back Leg Side Stretcher Medial Stretcher Seat Handblock Arm Support Wedge Kit

CAB-D CL1-06 CL1-18 CSS-D CAM CABL CAHB CAS CWGK

73.00 ea 9.90 ea 9.90 ea 8.40 ea 7.50 ea 125.00 ea 2.80 ea 7.25 ea 2.10 kit 2.50 ea 2.50 ea 2.50 ea 2.50 ea 1.50 ea

A B B C D E

Bow Back Bow Front Leg Back Leg Side Stretcher Medial Stretcher Seat Wedge Kit

BBB-D CL1-11 CL1-18 CSS-D BBM BBBL CWGK

30.00 ea 9.90 ea 9.90 ea 8.40 ea 7.50 ea 123.00 ea 2.10 kit 2.50 ea 2.50 ea 2.50 ea 2.50 ea 1.50 ea

SPINDLES - SMOOTH

SPINDLES - PIPESTEM

SP25 SP24 SP22 SP20 SP12

25 1/4 Smooth Spindle 24 1/2 Smooth Spindle 22 3/4 Smooth Spindle 20 3/4 Smooth Spindle 12 Smooth Spindle

SP25-P SP24-P SP22-P SP20-P SP12-P

25 1/4 Pipestem Spindle 24 1/2 Pipestem Spindle 22 3/4 Pipestem Spindle 20 3/4 Pipestem Spindle 12 Pipestem Spindle

Order online at www.ClassicDesigns.com or call toll-free 1.800.843.7405


CLASSIC DESIGNS BY MATTHEW BURAK www.ClassicDesigns.com