Peter Tree Chairmaker  

Lincolnshire, England

Windsor Chairs -  Traditional Types
Windsor Chairs - Decorative Styles
Carving Details
Types of Wood
How to Order

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Types of wood used in making Windsor chairs


ASH A tough, strong and flexible wood with a good appearance. Excellent for furniture making in general, it is the mainstay of the English chairmaking tradition.
Ash is usually a cream or pale tan colour with straight even grain, occasionally darker and figured.
CHERRY A beautiful furniture making timber.
Cherry has a sandy colour with a pink tinge, sometimes streaked with green. It polishes to a smooth elegant finish which darkems and mellows with time.
Availability can be scarce due to the tree size.
OAK The great English furniture making timber. Strong, durable with distinctive grain patterns.
Oak's natural heartwood varies between light and dark tan or biscuit colour. It can be stained to darker tones with good effect.
YEW Highly prized by chairmakers for its fine working qualities, and also by discerning collectors who admire its beautiful visual effects and silky smooth finish.
Yew is an exceptionally attractive wood with golden orange-brown colour streaked with darker veins and knots. 
A strong and durable wood reserved for the very best chair making.


Woods that have strength in small section are used for the carvings to preserve the detail and visual impact of the  finished design. By request, Peter Tree uses 'fruitwoods' such as apple, cherry, pear, holly and hawthorn because of their fine grain, smooth texture and subtle colouring. Traditionally limited to use in backsplats due to the smaller tree sizes.

3,500 years old

During the Bronze age the English Fenland was covered with forest. Some remnants of this are preserved as partially-fossilised bog yew and bog oak. These ancient woods are often quite sound, but unfortunately only small amounts are suitable for use.  Peter Tree produces carvings in these darker bog woods inserted as panels in back splats of other 'fresh' woods.

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