Last week was all about our professional course students learning  how to make a Windsor chair.

It’s an intensive week, with students working in teams, under the watchful eye of our Windsor chair experts, Tom Thackray and his son-in-law Stephen Langton (pictured below).

Tom is a veteran maker and teacher, having been in the business of Windsor chairs for some 50 years.

The craft of making a Windsor chair involves a number of skills including turning, precision drilling, stick making and steam bending – all skills that our students need to master.

It also introduces them to new tools, including a travisher, used to shape the chair’s seat; rounding planes that transform a square length of wood into a round spindle; and trapping planes that puts the taper into the stick.

Tom Thackray Stephen Langton Windsor chairs Chippendale school

“We thoroughly enjoy coming here and passing on our skill, and this year has been one of the best-ever group of students,” said Stephen.

“Everyone really got stuck in, really enjoyed the week, and really grafted!” he said.

Main picture: Students Eion Gibbs, Brian Crozier and Steve Tripp looking rightly proud of their Windsor chair.