How to avoid freezing to death in the shed
Winter is here in Ohio. And staying warm in the shop these days relies on three things, a kettle heater, a small electric heater and movement, which is critical. Without two of those three things happening at the same time, the headlines might well read, “elderly man found frozen to death in shed.”
One of the unfinished projects that I am sworn to complete this winter is a pair of sack back Windsor chairs. A critical element of the project is shaving spindles. The good news is that the movement required to make the spindles warms old bodies. The bad news is that shaving spindles is a skill and skills must be renewed if they’re not being used on a daily basis. So, its on to the shave horse and practice, practice, practice. The spindles that don’t make the grade could be used as rudimentary pointers, riding crops (if I owned a horse) or wonderful fire starters.
I know how to use a draw knife. But I thought that it would be a good idea to check the work of a master Windsor chair builder before wasting a lot of material. There are a lot of great Windsor chair builders at the moment. But one, at least for me, shines above all others, Curtis Buchanan. Buchanan’s craftsmanship is nonpareil. And, more importantly, he is the embodiment of what (I believe) a true craftsman should be, the combination of expertise, humility and charity. If you’re interested in Windsor chairmaking, you probably already know about Curtis Buchanan. If you’re just getting started, you couldn’t find a better model.
Curtis has made available a series of videos showing the entire construction of a comb back Windsor. If this is new territory for you, watch all the videos. If you just need a little refresher in one given area, you’ll find that Curtis has broken down the series in to easily identifiable segments. And, whatever your need, listen to what Curtis has to say about life and craft. Obviously, the man is a practical philosopher as well as a master Chair Maker.
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