It’s been almost 12 years since I’ve written about making the applied turnings that we sometimes erroneously call “bosses.” So here goes – this cupboard I’m building has just under 50 applied turnings that are either ovals, egg-shaped, round or somewhere in between. Here’s a couple of the larger ones, on the lower case’s side panels – this is the 1680s original cupboard not my repro.
There’s some funny, squat-shaped ones on the upper case’s side panels, as well as some round ones. (The round ones get their own discussion later.)
I start with some geometry to figure out what thickness stock I need – these turnings are chunkier than some period examples so I’m using maple blanks 5/8″ – 7/8″ thick. They get glued to a middle strip so they don’t blow up in the pole lathe’s pointed centers. Once the blank is glued up and hide glue has dried, I plane the corners off at the bench. One end is sitting in a cradle (a “joiner’s saddle” in 17th century phrasing).
Then mark the center to mount it on the lathe.
I round the blank with a large gouge, then from that point on, it’s skew-work.
At first it seems daunting because of the quantity – I think I counted 25 ovals/eggs – but they go very quickly. The largest ones are only 2 3/4″ long so you can get a good number of them on a stick.
The part I don’t understand is why there are so many different shapes – some 1″ wide by 1 1/4″ long and others 7/8″ x 1 3/8″. And on & on. I’m just going to turn a whole lot of them and toss the ugly ones. I’m making them in between turning the upper case’s pilasters.
Then comes the round ones and the “drumstick” shapes – Oh, and the arches…this batch might be turned rather than scraped. We’ll see.
Here’s the earlier post about applied turnings – I thought it was last week – it was almost a month ago! https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2021/12/05/applied-turnings-2/
And one from 2010 – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/turning-bosses/
(pt 26 Essex County cupboard project 2021)