Nationally Known Crafter of Windsor Chairs Erects New Workshop on Timber Swamp Road

[Atlantic News Photo by Sonya Parry]

Atlantic News, Tuesday, February 6, 1996

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

SITTING WITH A TRADITION(L-R) Mike Grant, Mike Dunbar and Randall Sangerson pose with the first Windsor chair from Dunbar’s new workshop on Timber Swamp Road. Dunbar gave the chair to Sangerson, of Sangerson Development Company in Greenland, in appreciation of a job well done. Grant assisted in the building of the new workshop.

HAMPTON — America’s best known Windsor chairmaker has just moved into town!

Mike Dunbar has recently moved his business to a new 2,400 square foot building in Hampton. He was located in Portsmouth since 1974.

Dunbar is credited with having started the Windsor chair revival 25 years ago. Yankee Magazine called him “the dean of Windsorchairmakers” and Fine Woodworking referred to him as “the Windsor guru.”

Through Dunbar’s several books and hundreds of magazine articles and television appearances, he has also be-come one of the most recognized names in woodworking, a business and hobby enjoyed by some 20 million Americans.

Some 1,200 people have attended Dunbar’s series of chairmaking classes in which each student makes his or her own chair under his supervision. These classes have trained the next generation of Windsor chairmakers, which now numbers hundreds of chairmakers around the country.

Dunbar teaches 21 Windsor chairmaking classes a year, each with six students. Each student makes a Windsor chair in five days, Dunbar said.

“I’ve had people from 28 states, five Canadian provinces and the country of CohYmbia,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar also puts out a quarterly publication, The Windsor Chronicles, which keeps amateur and professional chairmakers abreast of news and changes in their field.

Dunbar’s new shop/office/showroom was built by a local builder, Randall Sanderson of Greenland, in less than three months. “I’m very pleased with the way the building came out,” Dunbar said.

At the completion of the first chairmaking class conducted in the new building, Dunbar presented the first chair he made there to Sanderson. The presentation was in recognition of Sanderson’s efforts and attention to detail in having built a handsome building that will be a landmark for woodworkers all over the country.

Mike Dunbar’s new shop is located at 44 Timber Swamp Road. For more information call 929-9801.