How to Drill Windsor Chair Mortises
Learn how to drill these mortises at the proper angle with an ingenious setup using mirrors.
The seat is a Windsor chair’s anchor both visually and structurally. The arm posts, back posts, and legs have tapered tenons that lock into the seat at various angles. Accurately drilling and reaming the tapered, angled holes is essential for a perfect fit.
But how do you ensure all your holes are in perfect alignment? Charimaker Peter Galbert uses a system of sight lines drawn atop the seat that work in conjunction with the placement of a bevel square and a standard square. And to be able to quickly check his alignment along two planes during the drilling process, he places two mirrors atop the seat. Each mirror offers the chairmaker a visual on how his drill bit is lining up beside the two squares.
For more information on the drilling and reaming process in Windsor chairmaking, be sure to read Galbert’s article from FWW #218 (Windsor Rocker Without Specialized Tools).
Watch part two of this series to find out how to ream the mortises.