They weren’t kidding when they made February a short month

I can’t believe how fast this month is going by. I guess all that playing in the snow is catching up with me. Tweaked my back a little, (I think it was a sledding incident) so for the past 2 days have had light duty… so some blog updating was due. I wrangled with the … Continue reading They weren’t kidding when they made February a short month

I have a lecture to plan, flights to catch, etc…but instead…

The reason I haven’t posted about furniture is because I’m not making any lately…and without photographs, this blog is going nowhere. so I have been sifting through some old and not-so-old photos and thought we could just have a random-thoughts sort of post. Like Rick does  “Abe said, Man, you must be puttin’ me on.” … Continue reading I have a lecture to plan, flights to catch, etc…but instead…

some period carvings, some of mine

Well, last week you saw what one student did with my carving lessons, ( ) and now I have taught two more classes of carving in the past 2 months; I thought it might be helpful to show some period work here. All oak of course. There’s a lot of new readers showing up, so I might … Continue reading some period carvings, some of mine

my all-time favorite 17th-century joiners

Trent sent a note tonight about a joined chest with 2 drawers coming up for sale soon in New York.  It’s an old favorite of mine, made in Braintree, Massachusetts between 1650-1700. Look: Here’s the link to the auction –   In an article of agreement in connection with William Savell, Sr.’s 1669 will, the … Continue reading my all-time favorite 17th-century joiners

online publications, bibliography

Over the years, I have often written furniture history articles, mainly for American Furniture, but for other journals as well.  Many of the American Furniture articles are online, see Here is a list of many of these titles: Peter Follansbee and John Alexander, “Seventeenth-Century Joinery from Braintree, Massachusetts: the Savell Shop Tradition” in American Furniture, … Continue reading online publications, bibliography

Joined & carved chests

Joined chests are the hallmark of seventeenth-century work. Oak, frame & panel construction, and decorative carving are the main features. I’ve been making these since 1989. There’s lots of variations; but generally they are about 48″-55″ wide, 26″-36″ high and 20″-24″ deep.   This carved oak chest has  a white pine lid and bottom boards. … Continue reading Joined & carved chests

these drawers seem normal to me…

Today Chris Schwarz wrote about a drawer he made for a table he’s got underway.  Said it was somehow unusual. Seemed pretty normal to me, but I rarely make stuff with drawers. I have hopes of a new chest of drawers this winter; but we’ll see. Here’s the last full chest of drawers I made, for … Continue reading these drawers seem normal to me…

patterns, patterns

When I teach carving, I always start students off with a simple exercise that involves one tool, striking a row of chopped-out cuts. Chop straight down to incise a curve, then bring the tool back, tilt the handle down, and chop out a chip that meets the first incision. I think the DVD starts the … Continue reading patterns, patterns

small chests; new-ish and old

a small oak chest Sometimes I forget them altogether. Found this photo today while looking thru some folders here; and I haven’t seen this chest in a couple of years. I assume it’s in a repro house at the museum, so I’ll go looking for it one of these days. It’s based on some tw0-panel … Continue reading small chests; new-ish and old


One of the projects I am working towards finishing is this wainscot chest. The other day I did the final pinning, which can only be done after the till parts are cut and test-fitted. One of the biggest headaches in making such a chest. There’s lots of ways to fit the till. I thought I’d … Continue reading tills