Jeff Trapp Windsors

Jeff Trapp

Windsor Chairmaker

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Windsor chair

Windsor chair

Windsor chair

Windsor chair

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Since making my first Windsor chair I've learned their simple elegance belies some remarkable engineering. A good example is the use of riven wood. All parts, except the seat, are split from the log. The pieces then have long-grain fibers, running end-to-end, resulting in great strength. Another feature is leg and armpost joints which are tapered-wedged sockets. The top of the leg is shaped like a cone with the seat reamed to fit it. This creates a self-tightening joint. Next, the base stretchers are in compression. This means the stretchers hold the legs out, not in, and makes for a chair that stays together even if the glue fails. Also important is a thick seat to create enough glue surface to hold it together.

To assure the quality of my wood, I harvest my own trees in Northern Wisconsin. I use the traditional hand-tools of chair-makers to duplicate the textured surfaces that I admire on early chairs. Windsors were originally designed to be painted so the most appropriate woods can be used for each specific purpose; easily shaped white pine for seats, strong straight-grained red oak for spindles and rails and fine-grained birch and maple for turned parts. The beauty of these chairs is in the harmony of shape which is enhanced by a painted finish. I use milk paints, in a range of earth tones, followed by hand-rubbed oil which closely replicates the look of the old paints.  All my choices in making chairs add up to an investment in a beautiful, well-crafted chair to be enjoyed for many generations.

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Jeff Trapp Windsors
2540 Upham Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
(608) 241-7092

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© Copyright Jeff Trapp. All Rights Reserved

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