Jock Jones

I build my chairs by hand. I use the same methods and techniques as the colonists did. I use many of the same types of hand tools, many of them gleaned from antique stores. There are many Windsor chair web sites that explain this unique construction process and rather than duplicating that information here, I would refer the reader to: www.windsorchairresources.com . This is a great web site that explains the construction process of Windsor chairs in detail.

I do make my chairs a little different than other builders in that I take great pains to make extremely accurate and tight fitting joints. I do this by taking advantage of the natural shrinkage of wood by super drying all the tenons and then driving them into the mortises, which shrink around them. Unlike most other builders I use old fashioned hot hide glue which, although harder to use, is far stronger and more durable than modern woodworking glues. It is also reversible so the chair can be repaired if need be.

These techniques, along with the normal Windsor chair construction process of using tapered/wedged tenons, and assembling the parts so that they are all pulling and pushing against each other, much like a trussed bridge, result in a very strong and durable chair.

Many of today's so called custom chair builders use machine made turnings, most of which are all purchased from the same factory. They are clunky, bland and heavy looking. I turn my own legs, stretchers and arm stumps. This is the only way to get the crisp, bold yet delicate turnings that are a trademark of quality hand made chairs.