Springfield, MO, US

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Thomas Jefferson Swivel Windsor Chair

Thomas Jefferson Swivel Windsor Chair. I made this pretty faithfully to the one Jefferson designed and used to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. I used plans made by Craig...

Butterfly Tavern Table

Light Figure Tiger Maple Butterfly Tavern Table. Stained with aniline Dye, Shellac, and top coat of wax.

Windsor Low Back Writing Arm

This is a Windsor Low Back Writing Arm. I made it by splitting green Maple for the legs strechers and arm stumps. Red Oak was spit from the log to make the back spindles, and kiln dried poplar was...

Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

I made this Tiger Maple Highboy after seeing one made from about 1750. This version has over 195 handcut dovetails, all solid wood drawer sides and bottoms, and 2 hidden drawers. The crown molding I...

Slant Lid Secretary and Thomas Jefferson Swivel Windsor Chair

Made out of Tiger maple this secretary is a reproduction piece of one from the 18th century. It is finished with aniline dye Shellac, Glaze and a wax topcoat. The Jefferson Swivel is a replica of the...

Recent comments

Re: Thomas Jefferson Swivel Windsor Chair

I've had several requests for construction details of my chair. If you're interested, full-scale plans are available from Craig Bentzley (

Re: Grandfather Clock

Very Nice Job! Absoulutly Beautiful. Did you paint the clock dial or did it come that way? Very well done love the deep color. What finish did you use?

Re: Fanback Windsor

Again Great work. My hats off to you.

Re: Continuous Arm Windsor

Very Cool. I make Windsor too and just love them. Very nice always glad when someone is continuing do this awesome craft.

Re: Slant Lid Secretary and Thomas Jefferson Swivel Windsor Chair

Its two chair seats the top being 23 1/8" dia. The bottom is smaller by how much angle the top has to it. and then I used a 6" lazy susan rated for 500 lbs routed it into the bottom seat and attached it to the top. It swivels perfectly. I made my original one just like Jeffersons with a central post welded to a square steel plate attached to the top seat and another steel plate attached to the bottom seat with a hole drilled all the way through the steel and through the seat. It worked ok but once you sat in it and tried to swivel it would rock just enough to bind up and cause to much drag. The lazy susan fixed the problem and I have been doing it that way ever since.

Re: Windsor Low Back Writing Arm

It is very comfortable too. It really isn't my design but more of my interpetation as there are other versions that date back into the 1700's.

Re: Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

Riden if you want you can contact me through E-mail at I would be more than happy to give you any info I can or help you in any way with the way I do things.--Matt

Re: Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

I always brush my finishes on because I like the authentic look for the 18th Century funiture I build therfore I use a 3 lb cut almost always for the shellac I use. If you are going to spray it I would probably go with a 1 lb cut. However I have used the shellac right out of the can before and had very good luck with it but like I said I never spray the finish so I don't know how well it works from the can sprayed. But I use the same cut for my first coat that I do for the remaining coats. I would like to see the finished piece when you get it done, hope it turns out as good as you want it too.

Re: Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

Sure Gel stain will work too. You just have to sandwich it between your finish coats. I have always used shellac as my finish so I know it works but as for other finishes I have never tried them so I don't know if it'll work the same. Your welcome I am glad to help if I can.

Re: Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

A glaze is a thick bodied stain you sandwich between layers of finish. If it goes directly on the wood its a stain but if its between finish coats its a glaze. It basically is used to simulate age by giving the look of years of dirt and grime that accumulate in the nooks and crannys. You apply it to the enitire piece and then after it flashes or goes from a wet look to a hazed over look you wipe the excess off and what is left behind is the places you cant really get out of the crevacis. It works great to simulate real age to a piece. It honestly can be any stain you choose such as a minwax and just let the pigment settle to the bottom of the can and use that instead of the liquid portion. I have used artist oils from a hobby store and got the same results althought that is a bit more costly. You can order glazes from woodworkers supply catalogs and look online for other brands. Behlen make a good one, and so does mohawk. Hope that helps.

Re: Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

Let me know how it turns out for you.

Re: Massachusetts Flat Top Highboy

Hi Riden,
I have tried other stains on Maple before and none have ever come out like the Aniline Dyes. Pigmented stains sit on the surface and don't absorb into the wood like a water based dye. The way I start is after you have gotten your piece to your final sanding or planing, wet the entire piece with water and let it completly dry, then sand all the fuzzies down. Next mix your dye up, I use about an ounce of powder to 4 cups of warm water but mix it to your liking on a scrap piece. You can spray or brush but soak the piece until it's dripping wet and make sure it stays dripping for 5 minutues or so. Then wipe off the excess and let dry. It'll look terrible once it dries but after you begin the finish it starts to really pop. On figured Maple I then use boiled linseed oil, let it dry then a coat of shellac, followed by a coat of glaze then once its dry, more shellac to your liking about 3 coats is what I did. Followed by a top coat of wax. I hope that makes sense and wasnt to rambling, I'ts a long process but you can do it in about 3 days total. Hope that helps

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Windsor Chairmaking by James Mursell

I have made over 50 Windsor Chairs and have taught myself this fantastic craft. I use the same techniques that were originally used in the 18th century. I use a log and split it out for the best quality,strength and flexability in the steam bent pieces, and the tapered tenon locking joints for the legs. These are Chairs, that in my opinion, most woodworkers should make at least once, to get a better sense of how those early craftsmen had to use the tools and methods of there time to make a superior chair that can still be sat in today. Windsors have a quality and history that deserve to be better known.

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