Assembling an ercol Quaker chair

by ercol on November 21, 2014

1875-quaker-LTThe 1875 Quaker Dining Chair is one of our classic Windsor chair designs. Created by Lucian Ercolani in 1957, it has remained in continuous production up to this very day. We thought we’d share with you the key stages in assembling the chair using a set of machined parts. The original 365 Quaker chair had a beech frame and an elm seat, but this version is made in ash. Nick Hanham is the leading hand in chair assembly here in the ercol,¬†Princes Risborough Factory.¬† The furniture maker featured below is Steve Rolfe.

1-41. Steve inserts glue in holes drilled in the leg for the stretcher.

2. Having assembled the underframe (known as the spider), the legs are clamped and the joints are knocked in with a mallett.

3. The legs of the inverted underframe are pushed into holes drilled through the seat. The legs are knocked in with a hammer to push them through the holes.

4. A small wedge is tapped into a slot in the top end of the leg projecting through the seat, thereby securing the joint.

5-65. The tops of the protruding legs are removed using a pad sander.

6. The rim of the seat is smoothed with a bobbin sander.

789 1011127. Steve clamps the base and glue is inserted in the holes drilled in the seat for the bow and spindles.

8. The spindles are positioned into the holes.

9. The bow is carefully manoeuvred into position over the spindles and is slotted onto the seat, using glue to fix the joints.

10. Steve then inverts the chair and places it in another clamp.

11. Pressure is applied from below to push the ends of the bow through the holes into the seat. The tension of the spindles is carefully adjusted in the process.

12. Wedges are inserted in slots in the projecting ends of the bow in order to secure the joints. The protruding sections are then sawn by hand and sanded smooth.

steve13. Steve proudly displays the assembled chair.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin Nichols December 13, 2014 at 16:45

Why have I only got five spindles on my Quaker chairs but the one shown being assembled has six?


ercol November 28, 2016 at 13:48

As our chairs were made wider in the 80’s another spindle was added!


Leslie Jessop November 23, 2016 at 15:58

Hi, we have a set of six Windsor Quaker chairs and unfortunately our grand-daughter has broken one of the spindles in the chair back. My question is, how do I get the chair repaired?
Many thanks
Les Jessop


ercol November 28, 2016 at 13:46

Hello, we are sorry to hear this. We do not carry out repairs but there are plenty of ercol restorers that may be able to help you if you search online. Kindest Regards.


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