Two carved boxes for sale

A couple of carved boxes available for sale. If you’re interested in one, email me or leave a comment. Peterfollansbee7@gmail.com

(for some reason, when I previewed this post, to enlarge the photos I have to click them twice. It’s worth it.)

I’m making some chairs next; and still have two of those for sale. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/ladderback-chairs-oak-boxes-for-sale/

CARVED BUTTERNUT BOX

The first one is made from butternut (Juglans cinerea) – a relative of walnut. This was a wide board that I cut apart to make quartersawn stock. I chose a strapwork pattern for the front and sides – I wanted to make the most of this fabulous wood for carving. Wooden hinges (the back board and the cleats under the lid are oak), a till inside. Pine bottom as usual.

H: 9 1/2″   W: 24 1/4″ D: 14 1/2″
$1,200 including shipping in US.

 

———————–

CARVED OAK BOX
white & red oak, white pine bottom.
H: 8 1/2″ W: 23 3/8″  D: 13″
$1,000 includes shipping in US.

This pattern is often found on 17th-century work – a surprising amount of detail in small spaces. (the bottom photo shows the detail well…)
Glued & pegged at the corners, bottom nailed on w handmade nails. Handmade hinges as well. A lidded till inside.

 

Carving video – upright S-scrolls

I uploaded the next carving video to go along with the drawings. This video builds on the previous one, now the S-scrolls are standing upright rather than running in a row (or rows).

I first saw this as a box front, and have used it that way many times over the years. Here’s one from earlier this year, I think.

It could just as easily be a horizontal panel in frame-and-panel work. Or a wide framing member in the same sort of construction. The example I carved is 6″ high, with a margin of 1/2″ top & bottom.

Here’s the video –

 

And the drawings are available here https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

If you’re just getting to this set of drawings and videos – the previous posts for this batch are

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/carving-s-scrolls-video/

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/carving-drawings-for-sale-now/

and – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2020/09/09/carving-gouges-2/

 

 

Carving gouges

First, thanks for the quick response on the Carving Drawings – I have 6 sets that haven’t gone out yet; but the 2nd print run should be here today. I’ll get those out right away. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

I thought this would be a good time to look at the carving gouges I use everyday. I checked and it’s been 7 years since I last did this run-down (& 3 years before that…). My gouges are a mixture of modern and old, some made here in the US, some English ones, some Swiss-made. A couple of other odds and ends too. As you see above, I keep them in shallow trays. In use I bring the trays to the bench, and try to keep the gouges in the trays as I work. It might make for more picking up & putting down, but my goal is to keep from hitting the tools’ edges together on the bench. When not in use, the trays fit into the upper drawer in my tool chest.

I count 13 tools in that photo above. I never use that many in any one carving, or even one project. Typically it’s about 4-8 tools per carving. Because of the mixed-batch of tools, it’s hard for me to tell students what to shop for if they want shapes like I use. In person, I usually end up whacking each tool into a scrap of wood and sending them on their way with that as a guide. So these photos aim for that effect. (I just previewed this post, and for some reason I have to click the photos twice to enlarge them.)

Left to right here, a Swiss-made (Pfiel is the company name) V-tool. Sometimes called a V-parting tool. Mine’s their #15 6mm wide. I tried to measure its angle and it seems to be around 55 degrees. Next is also Swiss-made; a #5 I use for removing background and shaping some patterns. Then two antiques, so no numbers. These are similar to the Swiss-made #8s, maybe a little more curve than that. Below are the same tools, with a ruler just below them to give you an idea of scale.

Below are the marks on those tools – the top two the Swiss-made, then W. Butcher (English I think) and Buck Brothers (Massachusetts, here in US).

There’s a few small gouges that get tucked into that box; these are only used once in a while. The first two from the left are essentially the same size and “sweep” (a term for the curvature of a gouge’s edge) – the difference being the one on the left is ground straight across its end, the middle gouge is crowned – sometimes referred to as a fingernail gouge. The narrow one is maybe like a #5, I use if for shaping in tight spots. It’s a Henry Taylor, made in Sheffield.

Some of the larger gouges are in the next tray. These are all about the same sweep, the one on the left is a Swiss-made #7, about 3/4″ wide. I use it in almost every carving I do, probably 2nd most important gouge after the V-tool. Middle is Austrian, Stubai is the maker. And the large one on the right is English/modern by Ashley Iles – here in the States they’re from https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/TXQ

The English sweeps are I think one step off from the Swiss/Austrian ones – that Ashley Iles is maybe a #6, but it’s a similar curve to the #7s beside it.

A few more, like in the first tray, these are less-used than the others. On the left is another antique, of these three, it gets used the most. It’s W. Butcher again. Then another Ashley Iles, more sweep than the previous one, and an antique Henry Taylor small shallow gouge.

A detail showing the edges of the tools above.

While we’re looking at carving gouges, here’s a few #5s – I use them for background removal, shaping & beveling, etc. The one on the bottom is straight across its edge, the other two are crowned across their cutting edge. I much prefer this shape, I feel it’s more versatile, better able to meet curved lines – just all around easier to handle. My everyday one is on top of this batch.

These V-tools were difficult to photograph to show what I want here – my everyday Vee is on bottom, it’s cutting edge is angle up from the V to the tops of the “wings” – the German tool above is an excellent V-tool, but its edge is pretty much 90 degrees to the line of the tool’s shank. I find the angled end slices a little easier…I can carve with either, I prefer the bottom one.

You can go back & read what I said about the same subject 7 & 10 years ago…I skimmed it. Not much has changed. I’ve switched some tools out here & there. There might be some better photos there…

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/carving-tools-i-use-for-oak-furniture/

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/carving-gouges/

Late-summer blackbird flocks

Time for my annual late-summer post about the flocks of blackbirds in our marsh. Each year at this time, they get up in huge flocks and come out of the marsh right as the sun is coming over the trees. I try to get down to the river most mornings to see it.

It begins down river from us, in the phragmites in the distance in this photo

You can hear them before you can see them. After a while they begin to fly up into the treetops across the river. Right about the middle of this photo – (shooting this stuff is awful, it shows me all the dust on my cameras’ sensors)

 

It’s easiest to see them on bare or nearly bare branches against the sky – but they’re on every branch regardless.

They begin to leave those trees in flocks that at first seem large…

 

When they get up over me, they begin to catch the sunlight…they’re almost all red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) as far as I can tell.

As they get up in the sky, there’s two (or more) places to watch – those up there…

And the larger flocks now moving up to take their place…

Then it really begins to get big…

The sound is as impressive as the sight…

a few pictures as I tried to follow the whole flock both coming up and across the sky…

Once the large flocks begin to move, the whole thing only lasts about a minute, maybe a minute & 1/2.

 

Now – count ’em. There’s a lot of them…

 

A short video from 2 weeks ago. The flock gets bigger for a while, then it will taper off in a while…some of these birds leave here in the autumn, but some winter-over now.

Carving S-scrolls video

First, thanks for all the positive response to the sets of Carving Drawings/Patterns. I ordered more, so they’ll be here soon. Daniel & I finished the first video associated with the drawings, so here it is. Hope it helps.

 

You can order the drawings here https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

And a video showing the content is here – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/carving-drawings-for-sale-now/

there’s a full-length video I did with Lie-Nielsen than includes this and other version of S-scrolls – https://www.lie-nielsen.com/products/17th-century-new-england-carving-carving-the-s-scroll?path=home-education-videos&node=4243

Carving Drawings for sale now

UPDATE – I’ve had some problems making the paypal button work – as of 9:35 this morning I think it’s working. The page for the drawings is here –

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

I’ll keep an eye on things and will try to respond to any problems. Thanks for your patience. If only it were wooden, I could fix it easier…

 

I’ve got the first set of the carving patterns available finally. I think I’ve ironed out the international shipping wrinkles, but bear with me. I don’t have great faith in my setup. But the US option is working, I tested it with some guinea pigs. 

A youtube video showing just what’s in this set – (if you watch the whole thing, keep an eye peeled for the hummingbirds)

 

If it looks familiar, that might mean you’ve seen Curtis Buchanan’s videos – I picked his brain a lot over the past couple of months getting this together. He’s the inspiration for the whole project…

This set of patterns is part of my interpretation of carvings found on furniture from Devon, England and Ipswich, Massachusetts in the 17th century. This body of work is quite varied, and contains designs that can be used in many combinations. This particular group of furniture is quite large, with many surviving works. The furniture I study and make mainly uses frame-and-panel construction, and the designs reflect this format. The drawings include patterns for framing parts, from 2” high rails to 5” wide vertical muntins. In addition there are three designs for wider vertical panels, as well as horizontal box fronts. 

I’ve drawn most of them “full scale”, I chose typical sizes for the patterns, based on some chests and boxes I’ve measured over the years. I worked the same way I carve them, using some basic geometry for the layout, and tracing the carving gouges to establish some of the curves. Many shapes are drawn freehand; these represent V-tool outlines.  

This style of carving is readily adaptable. These are not templates, nor are they to be slavishly copied when you’re carving. Treat them as a pattern, something to base work on, but make adjustments as required. You might have slightly different carving gouges, or stock narrower or wider than what I have drawn. That just gives you a chance to change things around a bit. As you study these patterns, you’ll see common themes in them. The intention is that some of these will recur and be expanded on in future sets of related works. 

If you’ve seen other drawings & plans drawn by Jeff Lefkowitz for Curtis Buchanan, Dawson Moore, Tim Manney, Pete Galbert and others, these are different. I’ve drawn the images, Jeff did the layout and planning. These pencil drawings reproduce differently than the line drawings noted – and the curves and shapes are not perfect, nor are they supposed to be. As I said, I drew them just like I carve them. It’s just that carving is quicker! 

There’s step-by-step sequences for several of the patterns; a couple of designs include alternate sections, some are layout sequences. 

Here’s the page where you can order them https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

(the international shipping is the part I’m the least confident about. Advance apologies for any mixup, I’ll do what I can to make it work.)

As for instruction in the actual carving, there’s lots of options. The free one is/will be a series of videos on my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/MrFollansbee  

My book Joiner’s Notes published by Lost Art Press has __ pages on carving, including some of these patterns. https://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/joiners-work

 

It’s not that big a loft…

the loft isn’t all that large; only 12′ x 8′. But I manage to pull a lot of stuff down from there…lately it’s been butternut boards. I have operated essentially as a mono-culture in furniture work, maybe a duo-culture. Oak and pine. Every once in a while something slightly different; usually that means ash.

Years ago, I got a job to make a walnut high chair – customer’s wood. Big mistake. Then I built a chest with walnut I selected. Better. Then quartersawn walnut – now I started to get it. Riven- even better. But it’s still very dark, and for someone who relies on shadows to see what I’m carving, that gets tricky. I finally got the hang of it, but I don’t come across it very much.  I just finished this little walnut box – it was in the loft and just needed some molding here & there. And a cleaning…

I always joke that the best thing walnut does is sell. And I stubbornly keep making things from oak…then I went back into the loft and pulled down some butternut boards. I have often said, but maybe not often enough, I have great friends. In this case, Michael Burrey, https://www.instagram.com/mlbrestorations/?hl=en  who pretty much made me take these butternut boards from him. I might have paid him a pittance for one of them, but I think I got several in a couple of trips there…

Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is related to walnut, softer wood, lighter in color. On the left below is a board that has about 16″ of usable width, by 4′ in length. The narrower one I split apart from a wider board, to yield quartersawn material.

Looking at the end grain – the quartersawn one on top, its annular rings are perpendicular to the board’s face. It has very straight, boring grain. I love it, it’s perfect. The bottom one is the wider stock, flatsawn. You can see the growth rings wiggle this way & that. The fibers in the board’s face have a corresponding waviness to them…

The quartersawn face –

Even though this flatsawn face has some wild grain pattern, it planes easily and cleanly.

I had very limited experience with butternut before – this chip-carved box has butternut sides and ends, but a pine lid & bottom. I keep sharpening stuff in it. This butternut was radially riven – and worked like a dream.

I didn’t push the material too far, just the simplest of chip carving work.

I posted something on Instagram about butternut the other day, and Ouida Vincent reminded me that up in the loft is this not-finished sliding lid box with a drawer. So all the easy parts are done, now just the hard bits. This I made out of boards like the wavy one – I remember some of the carving digging in here & there, tearing things up when I wasn’t careful.

But I jumped ahead and started a new box from the quartersawn agreeable stuff. And I had the best time working this one so far…the detail at the top of the post is the ends of this box…

So, if you run across some butternut, grab it. Amazingly nice wood. Now, back to what I was doing…I’m not going up into the loft til these are done & gone.

The black walnut box is for sale – $800 shipped in US. Size is 11 1/4″ x 15 1/2″ x 4 3/4″ high. white oak back & bottom, blacksmith hinges.

Basket making video Handles & Rims; drawings next

OK – a few things. A couple of chairs & boxes are left, those things are selling in dribs & drabs. I can always make more, too… https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/ladderback-chairs-oak-boxes-for-sale/

Daniel & I finally sat down & finished the next basket video; Handles & Rims.

I’m sorry it’s taking so long with this set of videos. When I shoot them, I’m both cameraman and subject. On something at the bench, that’s not difficult to do; but with the baskets, I’m always picking them up, shifting them this way & that…so there’s a lot of editing involved. Sometimes, I just don’t have the shot we need to get the point across – and it’s too late to go back & shoot more right now. So caveat emptor.

There’s still a couple of baskets left for sale too. Email me if you are interested, and I’ll send photos & specs.

The drawings of carving patterns arrived yesterday.

Now to sort them, roll them into mailing tubes and set up the page for it. There will be a blog post and a video very soon showing what these are, and what they aren’t. I’ll get on it right away. I have no idea how to gauge how these will sell, so I started with 50 sets…means there’s maybe 46 or so to sell…but I can get more if we need them.

Leftover walnut box

I engage in this ridiculous fantasy that I will get the loft in my shop cleaned up & functional, beyond dis-organized storage. Every so often I get close to halfway there…then all hell breaks loose again. I was up there last week and found this walnut box, filled with odd (mis-matched) coils of hickory bark. I knew right above the box were some walnut boards I brought home from Heather’s one year…and that I had one more pair of hinges. So the time was right to finish off this box that might be 10 years old…

The carving is based on a London-style box fragment I once studied, from the first decade of the 17th century. Otherwise, I made up the whole thing according to some walnut boards I had at the time. Dovetailed corners, the back board is white oak, the bottom white pine. The attached base molding covers the edges of the bottom. No till inside, just a bare-bones box.

H: 6 1/2″ W: 24 1/4″  D: 14 3/4″

I can’t sell a 10-year old box for brand-new prices, so this one’s $650 including shipping in US.

SOLD 

 

I added it to the page with new boxes and ladderback chairs https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/ladderback-chairs-oak-boxes-for-sale/

Leave a comment here, or send an email if you’d like this box of any of the other work for sale…

peterfollansbee7@gmail.com

 

a few ladderbacks & oak boxes for sale

Daniel & I are slowly working out the next basket video, but we’re on it. Today I made a page of a few ladderback chairs & two oak boxes for sale. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/ladderback-chairs-oak-boxes-for-sale/

If any of it catches your eye, leave me a comment, or send an email – peterfollansbee7@gmail.com

Two of the ladderbacks are at a slightly reduced price, details on the page – one of them is this slightly used Shaker-tape seat chair.

My cousin Paula came by recently, brought her husband Jim so he could buy her a carved oak box for her birthday. She had picked out this one:

But then when they got here, she chose a different one. (You should have seen that one! I almost brought it into the house…)

So now the one I had set aside is available…it’s a very nice box. Oak lid, nails & hinges by Tom Latane, till inside, etc.

I’ll make a separate page for the big-ticket items, I never expect them to fly out the door. But eventually someone finds them – chests, wainscot chairs, etc.