On to the next thing

stamp by Peter Ross

I finished the joined carved chest. Finally. And mostly finished the video series about making it. The last bit was making the lid and attaching it. I sorted it into 2 videos – and I shot and edited the first one & forgot to post it. When I finished part 2 & posted it an astute member of the audience kindly pointed out there was no part 1…but now they’re done. I will post one more part -sharpening carving gouges. But not for a couple of weeks, I’m sick of the sound of my own voice. Right now it stands at 21 hours of video on making the chest. I used to figure a chest like this at about 80 hours of work, maybe more now. So be glad I didn’t shoot the whole thing.


joined chest with drawer, red and white oak, white pine 2022

One of the pieces I left til the end was the turned drawer knobs. With my recent cantankerous joints I wasn’t up to tromping on the spring pole lathe. But I’ve been on the mend, so took a stab at them. Worked out fine.

white oak drawer knob

On to the next thing – in spades.

cherry pillar, rough turning

I decided to push my luck and begin turning the pillars for the cupboard I’m building. I roughed out one in cherry yesterday. It’s aiming for 4 1/4″ thick at its greatest diameter. About 16″ long. At this point, I leave it quite rough and well oversized – about 1/2″ thicker in most places. It’s as green as can be. All that shaping exposes lots of end grain, so it’ll begin losing moisture quickly. Not too quickly, or it will crack. So in a bag full of shavings it goes. I’ll keep an eye on it and switch it to a paper bag soon. Too much moisture can create mold. It’s a balancing act.

I then went on to some lighter work – painting. For reasons unknown to me, 17th century New England joiners often created moldings that they then painted black. Sort of wipes out most shadows thrown by the shapes. Beats me, but my job is to copy this stuff. So some masking tape and black pigment mixed in linseed oil/turpentine/drying medium.

Here’s some of the rails for the upper case. The molding is a flat groove cut with a plow plane, then a cove scraped on each edge of that groove. But from this vantage point, it just looks like racing stripes.

black moldings on framing parts

4 thoughts on “On to the next thing

  1. Do you think they painted toe wood black in places to mimic ebony, which I would assume was rare and expensive?


  2. When the black crease moldings are upright, they show up well. I’m very interested to hear more about the scary big pillars.

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