the end is near, the beginning is underway

joined stool

The cupboard is really coming to an end. It’s in sight at least. While some paint was drying, I finished this joined stool that had been waiting in the wings. All but one leg & the seat was done months ago. Here’s a detail view – we’ve never found a New England example with carved aprons, but I like to do them. Lots and lots of English ones were carved. Why not the New England ones? Maybe they were, and just don’t survive. There’s only a small number of NE joined stools as it is…

carved apron

I sussed out the middle of the cupboard door last week. Here it is mocked-up. I had tried a horizontal oval turning in the middle, but didn’t like the way it looked. The original has what I think is a 19th-century ornament added smack in the middle. Some have the date carved on the door, that would have worked also.

door just needs oiling & polishing

I did three of these turnings the other day. They’re halves with a strip in between. They decorate the side panels. The toughest thing to turn on the pole lathe, very, very slender. 5/16″ at the small end, 3/4″ at the greatest. About 7 1/2″ long. I’m glad they’re done. Painted now & drying.


Soon I’ll get to the part where I finish-turn these pillars for the upper case. First the base molding & feet get attached this week.


At the desk lately, I’ve been working on the next video in the new vimeo series – about splitting the chest parts from the log. So this video will at least have some action to go with all the blather. The link is now on the sidebar to sign up for that series. I hope to finish this video later this week.

half in half again

Every day in the shop is a good day, but snowy days are even better. Off I go.

the river this morning

6 thoughts on “the end is near, the beginning is underway

  1. A bargain for $85, thanks. When I signed up for Vimeo, it wasn’t obvious that I could create a free account. Was afraid i’d have to pay for a subscription. Just mentioning it to let others know you can create an account for free.

  2. Hello Peter – a cheeky question – what is the angle that the legs splay out on your stool? I get regular e-mails from a wonderful antiques company called Marhamchurch Antiques and they have a huge range of styles for stools – some with no splay of the legs and some with just splay on opposite sides like yours, but I don’t think I have ever seen any that splay both ways. Is there a good book that covers stools like all the excellent chair books?

    • Hi Peter Im really amazed you get anything done with a beautiful view like that. Just ordered a set of your drawings so think I might have to try a NE style stool. Thanks again!!

    • I’ve only seen a few joined stools that have no flare at all – usually upholstered examples. Mine rake just in one view – what Jennie Alexander & I called the “ends” of the stool versus the front/back. 1: 6 1/2 is the typical run of that angle. Some more, some less. I have seen a few very early stools – c. 1600 or even just before that were raked both ways. 18th century small tables that way too.

      • Hello Peter – Thanks for the reply. I have always wanted to make some of these joined stools and have collected dozens of images of different styles. Now I have a little more time to get around to it, and then try my hand at some of Christopher Schwarz’s lovely stick chairs.

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