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Why Handcrafted
by James Rendi

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This section explains the attributes that set hand crafted Windsor chairs apart from production Windsors. Remember that the majority of "hand-crafted" Windsor chairs are really only assembled from factory made parts.

Riving the wood from which a spindle is made, for example, allows far greater strength than if the wood is sawn. The grain is left unbroken from end to end. By contrast, turning a spindle from a sawn billet further increases its likelihood of breaking by cutting across the grain again. Factory spindles are made thicker in an attempt to compensate for weakness, giving a heavy, clumsy look to a chair.
The spindles are shaped by hand with a draw knife and spoke shave.

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The tapered locking joint, shown from the side continually tightens as the chair is used. Weight on the seat presses it firmly down on the tapered top of the leg. The wedge prevents twisting of the leg in the seat and locks the leg in from the top.

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Spindles are also locked into the bow (back)
of the chair with a wedge driven into the top.

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The spindle tenon is held tightly in the socket of the seat, which is drilled with a spoon bit. Notice how the spoon bit creates a socket that is rounded at the bottom. The spindle end is carved to fit exactly, making a joint that is very difficult to separate.

WCR thanks Jim Rendi for this explanation.

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© Copyright James Rendi.  All Rights Reserved

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© Copyright 1998- 2007  Windsor Chair Resources All Rights Reserved
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