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Tip: Staining Ash

Wheel back double bow
Wheelback double bow coloured with instant coffee

This is always difficult to achieve without the ash looking obviously stained and artificial. It’s easy to colour but not so easy to make it look natural. My solution to this problem is to use instant coffee – Nestle Gold Blend. Add 7 heaped teaspoons of coffee to about 250 ml of warm water and stir to dissolve. Use as follows:

  • Apply with a rag to the bare sanded wood. The stain is forgiving of poor technique but some care must still be taken to avoid uneven staining.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly and then sand with 500 grit paper.
  • Re-apply stain.
  • Allow to dry and rub down with 0000 wire wool.
  • Vacuum off and wire wool debris and apply finish in normal way. There should be no need to seal the wood as the pores are filled with fine sawdust and the grain has been thoroughly sanded.

I have used this staining method a number of times over the past three years with great success. I have one particular chair that has been sitting in full sun for 3 years and the stain shows no tendency to fade, so in British conditions, it appears to be effectively light-fast.

Chair Making Courses

No previous experience is necessary to successfully complete a Windsor chair making course and yet experienced woodworkers will still be fully challenged. Individual guidance and assistance will be provided as appropriate, and every effort will be made to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable course.

Chair Making Book

Written by James Mursell, this book was the first new book about the making and design of Windsor chairs for over 10 years. It was written with a broad readership in mind and is aimed at existing Windsor chair makers and also at those who are contemplating making their first chair.

Youtube Videos

Ben Orford makes the blades for my travishers.

Watch his short video about this great tool and the uses it can be put to.

Tool Testimonials

“This tool is phenomenal. I bought two, one for myself and another for my Windsor chairmaker instructor. Compared to the other travishers I have used, yours is very good to work with and everyone who has tried it loves it. I just ordered a second one and your two spokeshaves which I trust will be as enjoyable to use. Thanks again for making such great tools.” LG (USA) 2015

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