Terry Kelly Furniture and the Art of the Philly Comb Back Chair
Terry Kelly joins us today from Mapleton, Maine to tell/give a glimpse into the world of Windsor Chair building by getting to know a special Windsor – the Philly Comb Back chair.
This is the chair that really got me thinking that I wanted to build Windsors. It is based squarely on one that Curtis Buchanan builds. I changed the legs a little, and omitted the brace spindles, but kept the built-up arm (which looks awesome!), the shield seat and the Philly turnings for the legs. I also made the arm posts extra long…I think it looks better.
The finish is black milk paint layered over barn red. It actually reads more like a stain than paint. This shot shows the knuckles, I can’t wait for the black paint to wear thru to the red, should look pretty cool.
Bird’s eye view. Lately I have doing the pommel a little different, moving it from a single point to a ridge running down the middle. Also the seat front comes to a point, like a bow, which adds visual interest to the front.
I think it’s a solid rendition, but I also wanted to be ready to do it. I didn’t want to buy the legs, use dowels for the spindles, etc. I didn’t want some half-hearted attempt, I wanted to be able to accurately copy the chair, but more than that I wanted to make it my own. I’m really happy with the results, a very gratifying milestone. Check out my blog to follow me as I take on more chair challenges, you may be surprised to see what goes into the art of custom furniture-making. In fact, if you really want to learn more…
If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at building, I’m happy to get you started! Send me a message to set up a class to learn about the art and craft of woodworking. Subjects range from hand tool basics to chair building to finishing, or whatever else you want to learn.
Know a thing or two about custom comb backs? Have a favorite Windsor chair in your home with a story to tell? Share it with us!