Woodworking for the Impatient – How to Make a Windsor Rocking Chair and More

I’ve always had an appreciation for green woodworking. Not that I’ve done as much of it as I would like, but the idea of being able to walk into a forest, harvest some wood, then walk back into the shop and go to work … well, it’s getting in touch with our pre-industrial DNA. Oh, and it feels pretty good not to pay lumber yard prices for air-dried birch!

Green – yes wood that has not dried and usually is still in log form – has its advantages … for some types of woodworking. Building bookcases with green wood isn’t recommended, but if you want a nice rustic table, a nice basket or a set of traditional tableware, you’re in luck!

How about using the oak from Grandpa’s yard that fell last month? That’s a nice opportunity for a family heirloom. So call your buddy with the wood mill, slab the wood and set it aside for a year or two. Then grab some of the smaller pieces and work them green. A nice set of loving spoons for each of your siblings, or set aside the right pieces for a continuous arm Windsor chair!

Okay, if I’ve got your mind going, take a look at a nice collection of articles, books and videos to help you save some money, exercise your primal woodworking instincts and get to work today on some fascinating projects. And have fun telling your friends that you’re going green!

 – David Thiel



Green Woodworking Collection
from ShopWoodworking.com

“Green Woodworking” sounds like a 21st-century construct for sustainable and ecologically conscious woodworking…and in some ways it is – the wood involved doesn’t come from massive logging and kiln operations; it comes straight from the woods and is used while still wet, or green. But the term also refers to the range of pre-industrial woodcraft that makes use of green wood, from kitchen items such as spoons and bowls, to chairs, chests, fences and even timber-framed buildings.

Green wood has a much higher water content than stuff that has been cut and dried, either by kiln or time. It is much softer and easier to shape with hand tools, and the green joiner harnesses the power of shrinkage as the wood dries to ensure tight joints that can last for centuries. In this collection, we share with you a handful of DVDs, books and articles to help you get started in pre-industrial work, from an article on splitting wood to videos on spoon carving and basket weaving to making a Windsor chair. Plus, a delightful and informative new book from U.K. Woodsman and maker Ben Law, “Woodland Craft.”

One thought on “Woodworking for the Impatient – How to Make a Windsor Rocking Chair and More

  1. 7-Thumbs

    How does “…set it aside for a year or two.”, qualify as green woodworking? I thought green woodworking would have been harvest the wood and start your project.

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