Tip 1 - Converting plans to tapered leg tenons

There are advantages to using tapered tenons over the simpler parallel sided joints. The best feature is that they tighten up every time the chair is sat on.

The diagram shows the layout and dimensions for rough-turning tenons from green wood. Using the dimensions shown, there will be sufficient wood to make the tenon when the wood has dried/shrunk. 

The plans on this site are shown with straight tenons. To produce tapered tenons using the Veritas tapered tenon cutter (see Tip 2 below) make the tenon as shown here. The maximum diameter is 1 1/8″ at 2 5/8″ from the end of the leg. The smaller diameter must be greater than 5/8″.

Tip 2 - Making tapered tenons

I use the Veritas tapered tenon cutter and Axminster’s tapered reamer to make the joints. For the mortice, drill a hole 5/8″ in diameter and then ream it out as a separate operation. This can be done very successfully with a pillar drill set at a moderate speed. Drill a test mortice at the correct angle in a scrap piece of wood and use this to set the depth of reaming when you mortice the seat. You can do this with a hand drill, but the angles that you achieve will not be so consistent.

This joint is used in some of the chairs on this site between the arm post and the arm. In this case drill a 3/8″ diameter hole and ream it. A cordless drill is excellent for this job as so much less wood needs to be removed and maintaining the correct angle is easier.

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