Many of the items in this catalog we sell EXCLUSIVELY to people who have studied at The Windsor Institute.
When there is only one price after an item, it can only be purchased by our graduates. A second, bold-face
price is the undiscounted price, indicating an item that we also sell to non-students.
Key- $Student Price/Public Price
Our stools are the same as used by students at The Institute. There is one at each of
our 16 work stations, color coded to the bench. This comfortable stool is 19 inches high and places you at
an ideal height while working on a chair. While a stool is much easier to leg up than a chair, we sell them as
either a kit or an assembled stool.
Ultimate Steam Box
This is the same steam box used at The Windsor Institute to steam chair backs before bending.
We call it the "Ultimate Steam Box" because it solves all the problems woodworkers generally have
with steam boxes they make at home. The schedule 80 PVC box is both impervious to moisture and
an excellent insulator. This means that all the steam made in the boiler goes right to work
plasticizing your wood. The Ultimate Steam Box is so efficient that chair backs are ready to bend
in a little as 15 minutes.
Because of the large number of students bending at one time, The Institute's boxes are 6 inches in diameter.
This 4 inch box is intended for an individual chairmaker. It will hold about 6 pieces at once, but at 6 feet
long it will handle even c-arm and settee backs. At The Institute we use a
5 gallon boiler. A 5 gallon boiler comes with this box.
You can buy the entire package, or each item separately.
Chair Framing Hammer
Our brass chairmaking hammer is identical to the one Mike uses. The traditional
chairmaker's framing hammer had two faces, so it did not matter which way you
picked it up. The faces are slightly domed to make it less likely that the hammer
will bruise or damage your work.
Anodized Aluminum Incra Stick
Our aluminum Incra stick is the exact dimensions
of many chair parts and is used in classes as a guide for making those
parts. An incised line lays out the swelling on sack back, rocker,
settee, etc. spindles. A handy hole allows it to hang right at your
Aluminum No Name Stick
This is the important device that locates the spindle holes in the arm of the sack back, rocker, settee,
and Philly high back. Using it ensures a degree of accuracy that allows a back to fairly fall into place.
Windsor Chair Go Gauge
Our green anodized aluminum go gauge has all the holes used in any of the chairs made
at The Windsor Institute. Aluminum wears better than a wooden go gauge, ensuring accuracy
even after many years of use. These are identical to the Go gauges that hang at each
The secret of making a Windsor chair last 200 years is to use locking tapers. Reaming is a high skill
job and the tool can go out of control. Not any more. Our piloted Smart Reamer finds the hole's center
line before you begin to ream. All that remains is to make minor adjustments to rake and splay.
Chairmakers have three problems with scrapers. First, many brands are too hard to take a burr.
Second, most scrapers are too thin or too small, for the work we do. Third, many woodworkers
never master the art of sharpening this tool. We solved all these problems. Our scraper is
soft enough to take a burr. At .043 thick and 3 X 5 inches, it has the heft we need. Finally,
it comes pre-sharpened with a burr already rolled, and is ready for you to go to work.
Tool Friendly Dogs
After every class, The Institute staff used to spend a lot of time removing big chips from the
cutting edges of our shop planes and chisels. The reason - students accidentally ran the tools
into metal bench dogs. That is no longer a problem. Our benches are all equipped with our Tool
Friendly Dogs. Made of nylon, our dogs are tough enough to do their job. However, when hit
by a sharp tool, the cutting edge slices a nylon shaving, rather than the dog breaking off a
big chip of steel. Our dogs are easy to install and require nothing more than a 3/4 inch hole
in your bench top.
Record 53E Nylon Replacement Dogs
The Record 53E is the Cadillac of woodworking vise and The Institute has one at every work station. However, the 53E comes
with a steel dog that damages a cutting edge. Our nylon replacement dog is tool friendly and will spare your tools.
This is probably the most important tool in a chair shop. Chairmakers use their drawknives for shaping seats, and
whittling spindles and bows. In skilled hands, a draw knife can hog off shavings as thick as your thumb, or as
thin as a hair. The problems with the mass produced draw knives made today is they barely work at all. They may
look like traditional drawknives, but they have major flaws. Most are ground as a chisel, when as every
chairmaker knows, this tool requires a knife edge. Handles are placed off set at angles that break the user's
wrists and prevent a sure grip.
We solved all these problems by producing our own hand forged draw knife, based on Mike Dunbar's antique original.
Its heavy blade has a true knife. The handles are placed at right angles to the blade and in the plane of the
cutting edge. The tool comes sharp and ready to use.
A scorp is the second in a series of tools used by chairmakers to dish, or saddle a seat.
The mass produced scorps, sold as inshaves, do not work. Instead of being bent in a semi-circle,
their blades are actually U shaped. A flat bottomed blade will not work in a dished seat.
Instead of a knife edge, these tools are ground like chisels. Handles are set at angles that
break the user's wrists and do not allow the most advantageous grip. Our hand forged scorps
do not have those problems. These tools have semi-circular blades are that ground with a knife
edge. This allows them to hog out heavy shavings from a pine seat, quickly preparing it for
the compass plane. The handles are placed to give the user the best possible advantage.
The tool comes sharp and ready to use.
The peak in the front of a Windsor chair is called the pommel. It is shaped by cutting
away wood on either side of the front edge, where the sitter's legs fit. While on an oval seat,
some of this work can be done with a draw knife, the inboard handle soon begins to drag.
On a shield seat, the draw knife will not work at all. A pommel knife has one handle in line
and another at a right angle. This way, the inboard handle never bumps into the seat.
This allows this very efficient tool to cut as deeply as desired. Our hand forged pommel
knife is sharp and ready to go.
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