I am currently constructing a maple Windsor arm chair to match an existing set of side chairs. The challenge here is calculating the dozens and dozens of compound angles and deciding how to modify the design to best reflect the existing chairs while optimizing the strengths of hand made chairs. It generally takes me about 3-4 days to design a new style of chair and to verify the angles on a plywood and dowel mock-up. Only then I can start on the actual chair.
Fortunately, the existing side chairs have nicely sculpted seats, something of a rarity for mass produced chairs and an element I refuse to do away with. Unlike traditional hand made North American Windsor chairs, all of the spindles are turned on a lathe, whereas I normally hand shape lighter and more delicate – but equally strong – spindles from blanks split from a log.
Being an arm chair, the back is slightly more reclined than that of the side chairs, and the seat is a little wider, ensuring the arms do not interfere with the sitter.
I hope to finish building this chair tomorrow, but it will be another 5-6 days before the multiple layers of finish are applied and have had some time to properly dry.