James Mursell of The Windsor WorkshopA travisher is one of the key tools for making Windsor chairs. This site has been developed by professional chair maker James Mursell to promote both his travisher and his other unique tools to a worldwide audience.

James had been making Windsor chairs for the past 16 years. He began to make his own tools because he was unable to purchase the travishers and spokeshaves that he needed for his craft.


medium and small spokeshaves

“Love the travisher, I think I will order some more chair making tools from you. Also, just bought your Windsor Chairmaking book, looks great.”
IF June 2012




A wide range of wooden shaves is available from this site both as complete tools and also as kits, giving you the widest range of options possible.





Windsor Chairmaking written by James Mursell

In addition to making tools James recently wrote ‘Windsor Chairmaking’, the first new book on the subject for almost ten years. It encompasses all aspects of the craft including: history; choice of materials; techniques; plans for 4 chairs; design; and a detailed study of an iconic 18thcentury English armchair.

All the tools are made from hard maple which wears exceptionally well. However the recent upgrade of all spokeshaves, to include a heavy brass wear plate, now makes this important only in the travisher.

For chair making, wooden shaves are generally superior to metal bodied tools for the following reasons:

  • The low-angled blades cut more easily though wood allowing both heavy and light cuts to be made. This is important as it allows one to shape wood quickly and efficiently and to leave a good quality finish. In comparison, metal bodied shaves tend to have a higher angled blade which is ideal for taking fine cuts on difficult wood.
  • The unique design of James Mursell’s tools ejects the waste through the top of the body leaving a solid wooden surface directly behind the blade for pushing/pulling with thumbs/fingers.
  • Wooden bodies are more comfortable to hold in the hand both when pulling and pushing the blade.

James Mursell runs The Windsor Workshop from his farm in Sussex, England. As well as making tools and Windsor chairs he runs regular 5-day chairmaking courses throughout the year.