A quick review: the project is to build a replacement for a now-missing upper case to a two-part cupboard. The museum owns the lower case, and thus I have been building the upper case. Typically a cupboard like this (a press cupboard, joined cupboard, wainscot cupboard, these are some of the names for it) has a lower section with a top board that forms the deck for fitting the upper case. The upper case usually just sits on top of the lower, the connection points being the turned tenons at the bottom of the pillars fitting round mortises bored into the lower case at the front corners, and sometimes some “free” tenons between the bottom edges of the upper case’s rails and mortises chopped in the top of the lower case.
The pillars for this upper case are based on a related example that survives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.. These pillars are maple, and are just a bit different from almost all other cupboard pillars of 17th-century New England. These stand out because the pillar and squared block above it are one. In most cases, the squared block (really a very short stile) is separate and the pillars have turned tenons that fit up into the mini-stile, and down into the top boards of the lower case.
Rob Tarule sent me the maple stock I used for these, sawn out to just oversized dimensions. I then let them sit a while in the shop before working them, the maple being less reliable than oak. I weighed them and once they slowed down in their weight loss, I decided they were OK to work. On April 5th they were each 9lbs 6oz. By June 22nd, one was 7lbs 9oz. So at that point, I planed them, & mortised them. Their finished size is 3 ¾” square, and just over 22” in length.
After mortising, I then mounted them on the lathe. It had been several years since I made pillars, so I was somewhat rusty at it. Lucky for me this time the work I am copying is not that good, so it was easy enough to do a passable job.
I used a hatchet to hew off the corners of the section to be turned; then used this gouge to work the hewn shape into a cylinder.
Once it’s a cylinder, it’s time to mark out and cut the details.
The skew chisel taking a nice shaving, leaving a smooth surface.
a detail and overall of the test-fit of the upper case with its pillars. Things a little out-of-whack, but most of these joints are not pinned at this point.