Windsor Chair Joinery

13Throughout my career, people who’ve looked at my portfolio have had a common comment, “For a period-furniture guy, you don’t make a lot of Windsor chairs, do you?” There’s one major reason – Joe DeLuca.

Sure, I’ve made a handful of sets here and there, but I can still recall the exact moment when I decided to (pretty much) stay out of the Windsor chair business. I was walking around the home of a collector in Maryland checking out the various rarities in his collection, when I noticed he had several pairs and sets of Windsors scattered throughout the place. If you’re at all familiar with antique Windsor chairs, pairs are rare and sets are nearly unheard of, yet this guy had several of each. I asked, “Where did you dig up so many matching Windsors?” To which he replied, “Joe DeLuca.”

There’s lots of chairmakers out there, but few that I’d call scary. Joe is one (on several levels, but I digress). His ability to capture, in both design and surface, the look of a period chair is uncanny. So much so, in fact, that when I saw his chairs I knew I would never be fully satisfied with any chairs I would make. It was an easy decision to stick with more formal furniture.

When Glen and I started 360 WoodWorking, our goal was to bring in craftsmen who are scary-good at what they do and coerce them to share their talents and knowledge with you. So far, we’ve managed to do exactly that. And, through the rest of this weekend, you can check out some of their work in our Free Issue #8 Weekend. You don’t need to be a member, and you don’t need to register. All you need to do is click here to check out the whole issue for free. And if you want to have a look at one of the ways Joe is so scary, click here.

— Chuck Bender

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