I couldn’t keep a diary either. Life gets in the way.
Since my last post I’ve completed two legitimate projects. I’ll show finished photos below. I was working on some self-imposed deadlines, so I tended to work and not document too much. So if you were looking for step-by-step descriptions of the work or process photos, you will be disappointed. Sorry. I hope to have a couple of projects in the fall that might encourage me to write more. But of course now we are in landscaping and house renovation season. My tools will be shovels, paint brushes, etc… Boring but we like the outcome.
First, a completely contrived tray. Not a period piece, but the marquetry is straight out of the recent translation of Roubo’s To Make as Perfectly as Possible. I made two versions of this tray. This is the crazier of the two. The other was our family contribution to the street’s Yankee gift exchange and used only mahogany for the cubes, relying on grain direction, so it’s a bit more subtle. Tray sides are mahogany. Substrate under the veneer is 1/4″ MDF since I wanted it to be very stable. I departed from my normal finishes and used many coats of polyurethane.
Next is something a bit more period-like. I struggled with what to make but I needed something to do. I settled on a tea chest as it was a small but focused project. As usual I did a bit of research and quickly discovered that tea chests are not really an American thing. Apparently that whole tea party (18th Century, not the more current version) and throwing out the Brits was influential. Personally I have a cup of Lipton’s finest every morning when I’m home, but coffee has been more popular in the US for centuries. Tea Chests are a place where you can kind of go crazy with veneer, so I did. As I was working on it I came to call it the “bling box”. Could have also been “pimp my tea caddy” but you get the drift.
The design is not based on any one box. It’s somewhat influenced by Rob Millard’s box at www.americanfederalperiod.com but I didn’t want to copy it exactly. The basic box came out of Montgomery’s American Furniture: The Federal Period and I came up with my own design after that.
The box itself is sugar pine and mahogany. The box is a reinforced miter joint. All the adhesives are hide glue except where I use white glue to make up my paterae and bandings. There are a lot of wood types: Anigre, East Indian Rosewood, walnut, cherry, holly, mahogany and probably some things I forgot. I made up all the bandings and paterae in my shop. Hardware is from Horton Brasses. The french feet and aprons are applied with hide glue and glue blocks to be sort of traditional. Inside I added a touch of class with some handmade marble paper (the internet is a wonderful thing).
It’s spring now and there’s been a lot of woodworking meetings and events. Three weeks ago was the Ohio River Valley Chapter of SAPFM meeting at Rio Grande. The following week SAPFM had a booth for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Popular Woodworking here in the Cincinnati area where I showed a few pieces and talked to a bunch of folks. Also my local group Cincinnati Woodworking Club had Ron Herman in for a Saturday seminar which was great.
Coming up is the SAPFM mid-year in Knoxville which I’m looking forward to. And of course before that is the Handworks event in Iowa and related Studley Toolchest exhibition in Cedar Rapids. An exciting spring.