Make a Windsor chair



London’s only dedicated greenwood chair-making course takes place over 12 weekly sessions; it’s a commitment, but in the end, you’ll have made your own Windsor-style chair and learned many new skills along the way. You’ll learn how to fashion fresh timber, straight from the log, into billets for the chair’s main components – the legs, stretchers and spindles – using an axe, drawknife and spokeshave. Then you can try your hand at turning these parts on a traditional foot-powered lathe, a magical process that is thoroughly addictive. You’ll then make your seat, using traditional ‘bottoming’ tools including the adze and travisher. Then it’s time for some bending – using steam and a bit of magic to bend the comb (top bit) of your chair to a nice comfortable curve. After a bit of jiggery-pokery to put it all together, you’ll have made your own heirloom and probably won some admirers in the process. Ben Willis was mentored by the green woodworking legend Mike Abbott. He has been making chairs and other green-wood furniture for over 10 years. This course will begin with a longer kick-off session on the afternoon of Sunday 15 September 2024 from 1400-1730, and thereafter run over 11 weekly Thursday evening sessions between 1900 and 2130, with the final session taking place on Thursday 5 December. There will be a scheduled break week on Thursday 31 October.

What's included in the price?

Basic materials are covered, but there will be an additional charge for the seat material. This will be £30-50, depending on what I have in stock at the time.


12 evenings

Cancellation policy

Medium - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts


Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
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Stoney Lane Studios, Stoney Lane, Crystal Palace, London, Greater London, SE19 3BD