One of next year’s projects, a carved chest w drawers at CVSWW

center panel

 

Bob Van Dyke sent some photos of the seventeenth-century chest we’ll be working from in the “one-weekend-a-month-for-five-months” joined chest class we’re holding at his Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking in 2015. The first session is in March, (these are the weekends we have booked: March 21 & 22, April 11 & 12, May 23 & 24, June 27 & 28, and August 8 & 9.)

chest front
peeking out of a tight spot

 

The chest (above, peeking out of a tight spot) is at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford. There will be a field trip sometime during the class to examine the chest in person; but Bob & I will go to measure and photograph it before the class begins. It’s not one I know well, but it has many relatives. Usually these chests have carved panels, and moldings and applied turnings on the framing parts, the drawer fronts are usually carved, with a surround of applied moldings. Here’s a center panel and the muntins of one of these creatures.

detail sunflower

 

Here’s a two-drawer example, with applied decoration from the Yale University Art Gallery collection http://artgallery.yale.edu/

 

 

The CHS example has a vine motif all around the framing, like one that’s at Historic Deerfield, that I have copied before. Here’s my first version – I have another underway now.

vine carved chest drawers open

One big difference that I see right off the bat is the vine’s layout. On the CHS chest it is a full-half-arc that then reverses direction every time it hits the centerline. So the centerpoints for these arcs are on the centerline. I used a compass, then wiggled when I darkened the lines with a pen. But you get the idea.

CHS vine

 

On the HD chest, the centerpoints for the arcs are not on the centerline; these are segments of arcs that flow into one another in a different way than the CHS examples. This one gives you a broader area for carving the various flowers/leaves. Either one works, no big deal. one requires a bit more thought in planning.

vine HD chest

 

Here’s a detail showing this version:

hd detail

 

The lid on the CHS chest with drawers is replaced in oak, the HD one is yellow pine if I remember right. We’re going to truncate the chest some, ours will have only one drawer below the chest instead of two. Our secondary wood will probably be white pine – floor boards, drawer bottoms, rear panel, & lid. All else is oak we’ll split from the log. Then plane each board – by hand. About 35-45 boards, somewhere in that range. Eat your wheaties. Sign up now, this is the one where you’ll learn and execute all the steps in making a joined chest from a log…

http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes.html#Speciality_Weekend_Classes

Bob has an article in the new SAPFM journal about his school’s collaboration with the Windsor Historical Society – this chest is a continuation of that collaboration. If you’re not a member, you didn’t get the journal – here’s their site:  http://www.sapfm.org/

 

7 thoughts on “One of next year’s projects, a carved chest w drawers at CVSWW

  1. Peter, out of curiosity, do you layout and carve these continuous patterns once the frame is assembled, or do you just plan the intersections really well?

  2. Peter, I was struck by how the motif on the fronts look so much like stylised tulips, the flower that caused so much furore amongst the Dutch, and made something of a ‘stock market bubble’ way back. Fanciful, maybe, but it would be another reminder to folks of your wealth, in those days. Anyway thanks for posting. regards john

    On Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 9:54 PM, Peter Follansbee, joiner’s notes wrote: > > pfollansbee posted: ” Bob Van Dyke sent some photos of the > seventeenth-century chest we’ll be working from in the > “one-weekend-a-month-for-five-months” joined chest class we’re holding at > his Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking in 2015. The first session is > “

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