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scoop a chair seat

One of the barriers to making a Windsor chair are all the specialty tools, including the adze, scorp and travisher to scoop out the seat.

Though I own all these tools and have used them for more than a decade, I sometimes wonder if they are all necessary. How would you make a comfortable and sturdy chair if you didn’t own specialty tools?

This week I’m building a primitive three-legged stick Windsor chair and making it with as few specialty tools as possible. During the design phase I wondered I could scoop out the seat – called saddling – to make the chair comfortable without an adze, scorp or travisher.

After studying some old chairs, here’s what I did.

First I oriented the grain of the seat so it ran from side-to-side instead of front-to-back. My seat might not be as strong in theory, but lots of old chairs like this have survived just fine.


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