Ah! A flat surface! Quick, pile stuff on it…
this chest was next in my “finish all that leftover stuff” campaign. All it needed was its lid; and I had a piece of white pine perfectly suited for the job. As soon as it was done I started piling stuff on it. When the weather clears (should say “if the weather clears..”) I’ll make enough space in the shop to get proper photographs of it. The chest itself was from back when I was finishing up the book Joiner’s Work, it’s on the back cover of the dust jacket.
Its inspiration began 20 years ago on my first trip to England. There Victor Chinnery showed me a chest fragment he had just acquired for an American collector. I measured its parts – the framing of 2 stiles & 2 long rails; then the center wide (10″ -plus) muntin, dividing the chest front into two panels. Here is the center panel, dated 1669 & initialed EC.
One of the panels
I’ve made a chest before based on this example and another I saw by the same maker, that one dated 1682. Here’s my previous version.
I change stuff around from the originals – like the bottom rail’s carving of the ones I saw. I get what this is; and I could carve it. But I’ve never liked it. This pattern shows up regularly in this broad group of Devon furniture (and its relatives in Ipswich, Massachusetts) – but it does not show up in my work.
If you follow Marhamchurch Antiques’ website https://www.marhamchurchantiques.com/ you might have seen another chest that I assume is the same maker. This one’s dated 1666.
One more – this from an advertisement dated 1988 – while I figure this is the same maker, I’ve never seen it in the flesh. Haven’t even seen a good photo of it. Also dated 1669/EC. Hard to see from here, but those date/initials are in the corners of the right & left panels.
It takes a large log to rive out panels like these, overall they’re about 14″ x 17″. The original I studied was sawn stock, as was my first one. This new one is all riven – but I rarely see oak that good.
When I was working on the book, I had no photos of making brackets that fit under the front bottom rail. I made some for this chest so I could shoot them. One test-fitted into the stile:
The past couple of posts have included more videos – As we all scramble around to figure out what’s next in the woodworking circus, I’ve decided to take some of this “at-home” time to focus on shooting more videos at the bench. I have nice cameras that can do it, just haven’t put enough time into it before now. So you’ll see me tinkering with that more, even did some housekeeping on my youtube channel = https://www.youtube.com/user/MrFollansbee/videos
I don’t know why it’s called “Mr Follansbee” but I hate it. I changed what it says on the page – but that hasn’t changed the web address. Oh well. Mostly the youtube uploads are so I can copy things over to here; but some will just stay there. Either extras, redundant or one reason or another.
As I get further along this route, I’ll keep you posted about it. I had looked at a patreon site – but I don’t want more websites to keep up – the blog & Instagram is about all I can handle. And I decided I’m not keen on the subscription idea. I have always posted free content on the blog and will continue to do so. However, I do need to make a living like most of us – and traveling and teaching is a big part of my income each year. So I’m aiming to put a donate button on the blog for any who are in a position to help keep things rolling around here. Curtis Buchanan is my inspiration in that regard, there’s worse leads to follow.
I hope you’re all hanging in there,
12 thoughts on “joined chest done”
Absolutely stunning work…I can’t wait to read the book now…
Great work, Peter!
Peter, a question regarding the patterns. Is/was there ever irons for a router plane to make the carving easier? Irons like a v-gouge or u-shaped?
Sent from my iPhone
Hello Frank – I’m not quite sure where or how a router plane would make the carving easier. Gouges & mallet are a pretty simple approach. It’s just a lot of practice is all….
Very nice. Maybe it’s the lighting, or the photos, but the carvings seem a little deeper than usual.
If it’s deeper John it’s not by much. Just a lot of it…
As I recall, about 1976 John Walton offered the MFAB a two-panel chest with a date like1669, but the ADA department has long since lost the pictures. No idea whether it was Ipswich MA or Devon. I think that is my lousy photocopy of the one with two side-by-side drawers. I don’t think St. George ever got back our Dennis archive.
I think the ad is from the St. George pile…weren’t you taking those photos & notes to Winterthur after you lent it to me?
I have been excited about the recent increase in video content. I tend to learn more about how a thing is done by seeing it done versus reading how it is done. Having said that, I have enjoyed your blog for years now, and look forward to an opportunity to express that enthusiasm in practical terms.
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nice one, love the carving motifs–
Thanks Peter. I love your work and always look forward to your posts….especially at this point in the human experience. Stay well and healthy.