Chairmaking Tools


Instructions for using
and sharpening these
travishers can be
found here.
























Instructions for using
these reamers can
be found here.

















An article about the pros
and cons of 6 versus
11 degree tapered
tenons can be
found here.






Instructions for using
these rounders can
be found here.

Chairmaking Tools


4.5" Radius:

Based on a design by chairmaker Peter Galbert, these travishers are made specifically for chair seats. Maple soles are glued onto the walnut bodies for increased wear resistance and will last indefinitely on softwood seats such as pine and tulip poplar. Blades are hand forged from 1/8" thick O1 tool steel and bent in a 4.5" radius, tight enough to fit in the back of the very deepest of seats.

12" radius:

While visiting Dave Sawyer, professional Windsor chairmaker for over thirty years, I found he used a travisher with an 12" radius to great effect on the front half of his seats. Final scraping of the seat was easier because the travisher's curve closely matched the seat's curve, leaving a flatter surface. While not as versatile as the 4.5" radius travisher above, this flatter one complements it nicely.

Travishers are $150 each.

Travisher Blades

These are the same blades used on our standard and deluxe travishers. They are bent in either a 4.5" or 12" radius curve and are professionally tempered to RC 60-62 hardness. They come with two counter-sunk holes for a #8-32 machine screw and a bevel ground at 30 degrees. They come unsharpened.

Travisher blades are $30 each


This tool reams the arm stump and leg holes in the seat to a six degree taper. It also works for reaming the arm stump holes in the arm. The blade is 5/16" at the small end and 1 1/4" at the large end. Custom reamers are available in 8 and 11 degree tapers, as well as custom sizes. See Jennie Alexander's website for instructions on making your own. Developed by Richard Starr.

Reamers are $65 each.
Custom reamers are available for $80 each.


Legs and Arm Stumps:

Why use a rounder? My legs and arm stumps are turned green and over-sized. I dry them in a kiln, then cut the tenons to final size. There are a couple of methods. The tenons can be cut on the lathe and this is probably the most accurate method, assuming you have good turning skills. The tenon is automatically aligned with the center-line of the turning and it is easy to make a tenon without a shoulder.

Rounders automatically make a tenon of the correct taper, however they leave a shoulder which must be removed to ensure a good joint. This can be done with a chisel or on the lathe (I usually use the lathe). A little care is required to ensure the tenon is straight on the leg; the less wood the rounder has to remove, the less chance it has to get off course.

Leg rounders are 11/16" diameter at the small end and the arm stump rounder is 1/2". Custom rounders are available in 8 and 11 degree tapers, as well as custom sizes.


Getting round, perfectly sized tenons on the ends of a spindle can be time-consuming. Spindle rounders cut a cylindrical tenon of any length, then a shallow taper which can later be removed with a spokeshave or drawknife. Diameters are adjustable to roughly .015" over the nominal stated size. The less wood the tool has to take off, the cleaner the cut will be.

Spindle rounders are available in 5/16" diameter (top of the spindle) and 1/2" (bottom of the spindle). Custom sizes are also available for special order.

All Rounders are $65 each.
Custom sizes are available at $80 each.

Set of Five

Includes one arm stump rounder, one leg rounder, one 5/16 spindle rounder, one 1/2" spindle rounder and one reamer. Sets of three and four are also available; you may mix and match any combination of rounders and reamers.

A set of five is $280
A set of four is $230
A set of three is $180