One of my favorite woodworking writers is Michael Dunbar, who has done more to revive the craft of Windsor chairmaking than any other person. His school, The Windsor Institute, and his writings in magazines and books have inspired thousands of woodworkers to build traditional early American furniture and to explore traditional techniques.
But that’s not to say that Dunbar is all about hand tools. Far from it. During a recent visit to his school and shop in Hampton, N.H., it was clear that he practices a blended style of woodworking that combines the best of both worlds. In the school’s smaller building, I found a DeWalt hybrid table saw, a Parks planer, a jointer, router table and all the other machines I’d would expect in a well-equipped home shop.
But in the school’s main building, the hand tools allow the fine detail evident in the chairs made by his students. But even here, it’s still not all about hand tools. A shelf of Panasonic cordless drills line one wall. These drills bore the critical holes in the traditional Windsor chair.
So it’s with particular pleasure that we welcome Dunbar to the pages of Popular Woodworking starting in the October issue, which goes on sale in August. In his first article for Popular Woodworking, Dunbar explores the strategies he uses (and teaches) so that mistakes are eliminated wherever possible. No matter what your style of woodworking, you’ll find out how to make painter’s tape, colored ink and talking to yourself all part of your routine in the shop.
We’re currently planning three more articles from Dunbar and are quite excited about what he has to say. And I think you’ll feel the same way.