Bow-Back Side Chair

This classic American side chair is attractive from all angles and in any setting. The design dates from around 1780 and yet with the simple bamboo turnings it is timeless. This example has a cherry seat with the remainder of the chair in ash.

maximum dimensions: 17.5″ x 20.5″ x 36.5″ ( w  x d  x h )

The shield seat is highly sculpted and extremely comfortable.  On the example shown the spindles are shaved with a drawknife and spokeshaves. The bow is steam bent.

The bow back shown has seven spindles. The chair appears even more impressive with 9 back spindles. For the greatest effect two bracing spindles can be added, anchored into a beaver tail at the back of the seat (not shown in the plans). As a final alternative, an even number of spindles can be used. Some consider this to be the most comfortable arrangement as there is no central spindle to interfere with the spine of the sitter.

Buy the Bow Back Plans

Immediate
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Scale drawings
For printing (pdf) on A4/letter size paper
£12.50

Immediate
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Full size drawings
For printing on A0/ANSI E-size paper
£12.50

The bow back side chair has been made by James Mursell of The Windsor Workshop in Sussex, England.

James’ guiding principle when creating Windsor chairs is to make them as elegant as possible. This is achieved by removing all unnecessary wood from the chair. In addition each part is shaped to minimise its visual weight, where appropriate.