Carved box for sale: Alaska yellow cedar – SOLD

carved box; Alaska yellow cedar, white pine, red oak.

I found some quartersawn Alaska yellow cedar for sale on the web last month, and decided to make a special box from it. The carved lid is a dust-magnet; but I couldn’t leave that much blank space in that beautiful wood.

H: 7″ W: 22″ D: 11 3/4″
$1,400 includes shipping in US.

SOLD

It’s a higher price than usual, but it’s not my everyday box. I had only carved a lid on a box like this once or twice before. Some time ago, Paul Fitzsimmons of Marhamchurch Antiques sent me a photo of a box from Exeter, England that used strapwork designs all over like this. I didn’t copy that box, but copied the idea.

As expected, there’s a till inside, this time with red cedar for the bottom & side, ash for the lid.

I tend to mostly use a wooden cleat/hinge arrangement for the lid. For this reason I made the back of the box from red oak – its strength is lent to the extended pin that engages the cleat, which is also oak.

I just finished it today and shot a series of photos once the lid was attached.

the lid; fun to carve. Nice to look at. A demon to dust.

The rabbet joints are glued and pegged. I scrounged an off-cut from the lid to make these yellow cedar pegs for the front.

corner detail

And one more view of the carving on the lid.

The cover and the box

It was 1976. I was eighteen years old. My father had died the year before, and among his effects that came to me by default (I still lived at home) was a tablesaw & jointer, drill press, router, lathe, hand-held “power” tools and an assortment of handtools. I was an art student, aspiring to be a painter. I learned from a neighbor how to use the tablesaw and began to make picture frames for my paintings. Somehow made a bookcase, surfaced with a belt sander. 

That summer I accompanied my mother on a trip to Doylestown, PA to visit her childhood friend. We did the tourism routine there, including the Mercer Museum – so I saw rooms full of antique woodworking tools, but have no recollection of it. I have a vague memory that we visited Nakashima’s showroom – but I might have imagined that. But one thing I know for certain – on that trip someone showed me an early issue of Fine Woodworking magazine. And I subscribed when I got home. Back then, information trickled out, unlike today’s barrage. I used to read every word in each issue, several times in many cases. I still have many of those old copies. And I know many people who tell a similar story. It was through Fine Woodworking that I got onto John Alexander and Drew Langsner. 

The other day, Dave Fisher wrote to me to congratulate me on being on the cover of the new issue. I hadn’t seen the email from FWW and although I knew my box article was in the works, I had no idea it was going to be the cover. I remember when Pete Galbert wrote his version of this blog post – and now it’s my turn. Thanks to everybody at the magazine for making it  happen, I appreciate it. 

Barry Dima came up here in the beginning of this year to shoot the article about making the carved box. Because the whole world flipped upside down shortly after that, I forgot about it. Every now & then it would come up again and I’d be surprised. Recently I was sorting photographs and saw that box & couldn’t place it. Then I remembered I had sent the box down to them to photograph – now they’re done with it, so it’s available for sale. 

Approx dimensions are H: 8 1/2”  W: 24” D: 12 5/8”

Red oak box, pine lid and bottom. Till inside. SOLD
$900 includes shipping in US. Leave a comment or send an email if you’d like it. Check or paypal ($927 through paypal.) Or when the magazine comes out, you can make your own.

Make a Joint Stool from a Tree

2012. That’s when the Joint Stool book appeared with Lost Art Press. I forget, but I think it was one of their first “outside” books, i.e. authors other than Chris/or reprints. It is a book that is near & dear to me, representing 20-plus years of my collaboration with Jennie Alexander – I learned so much in that period it’s always fun to look back on the whole ride. 

Chris wrote to me recently, saying it’s time for the 2nd printing, and would I write something about JA for it. So I added a new short intro – that’s all that’s changed for content. Chris made some changes in paper choice, and we switched it to a board cover. The aim was to lower the price of it from here on out. 

But there’s still some hardcover copies left, and they have put them on sale to move them ahead of the new printing coming in. So if you want the original hardcover – now’s the time to get it for $27 – I think it was $43, so not insignificant. Have at it.  https://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/make-a-joint-stool-from-a-tree 

In my back & forth with Chris, I mentioned that I had wanted to add a shaved baluster instead of a turned one. But never had the time. So I said maybe we could do it as a blog post – then I searched & realized we had already done it! I knew it was a good idea.

 https://blog.lostartpress.com/2012/07/02/joint-stools-without-a-lathe/

Carving Crossed S-scrolls video

Daniel started school lessons recently, so I have to compete for his spare time. Promised him money, that worked this time. We got the next video in the Carving Oak Patterns series – these are to accompany the Carving Drawings https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/carving-drawings-17th-century-work-from-devon-england-and-ipswich-massachusetts-set-1/

 

This is the third video in the series; fourth if you count the intro to the drawings. I have several more to go, some of which have already been shot and just need editing. The floral panel I plan on shooting in the next week or so. Then it’s on to finishing the next set of drawings. I post all of the videos here on the blog as well as on youtube.

This one I shot the steps and discussed them as I went along, then carved the whole pattern a second time with little commentary, trying to just carve it in “real” time. (I hate that expression). So the back 12 minutes or so is a bit redundant. You’re warned, repetition is the mother of retention.

 

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 – SOLD

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.

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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 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/

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

 

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

 

OAK FURNITURE & ASH BASKETS FOR SALE

I have some baskets & a few pieces of oak furniture for sale.

The furniture is all joined & carved by hand. Almost all the oak was split from a log, hewn & planed, etc. (except for the box lid and chair seat – those are quartersawn stock) Construction details are throughout the blog here, in my videos w Lie-Nielsen and books with Lost Art Press.

The carved box I can pack & ship. The larger pieces I will have to take somewhere (UPS probably) to be packed & shipped. Or I can deliver them within a couple hours’ drive of Kingston MA. (or you can come pick them up if you wear a mask…)

The baskets are all ash, with hickory rims & handles. There’s videos on the blog recently, showing all the steps in making baskets, from pounding the log apart, weaving, (and next up for the videos) shaving and bending handles & rims.

If you’d like to purchase anything, leave a comment here or send an email peterfollansbee7@gmail.com  you can pay through paypal (with additional fees) or send a check. Just let me know which you prefer.

The carved box is the only one ready for sale right now, but I have two more underway, and will take orders for boxes anytime. They’re something I keep stock for all the time, so there’s never too long a wait for one. Email me if you’d like to order something.

Thanks as always,
PF

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CARVED OAK BOX –

white & red oak, white pine bottom.
H: 8 1/2″ W: 23 3/8″  D: 13″
$1,050 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.

 

 

 

JOINED & CARVED CHEST
red oak & white pine. Handmade hinges & nails. Lidded till inside.
H: 30 1/2″   W: 45″  D: 21 1/4″
$4,000 plus shipping.

I was recently trying to estimate how many joined chests I’ve made. It’s well over 60. This is one of my favorites – the wide front panels separated by an extra-wide muntin is an unusual format. I based mine on a Devon chest I saw 20 years ago, and have seen others presumably by the same maker since then in photographs. Back when I was writing my book, I wanted to include a short detour on making the “brackets” that fit under the bottom rail. So I made this chest just to get the photos for the book! Then it sat around unfinished for years. Now it’s done, and there’s no room in the house for it. Room for your (or someone’s) initials or date on the muntin…

Here it is with junk piled on it:

I cleared out some room in the shop today to take “proper” photographs (as proper as I’m going to get…) – but there’s only room for the 53″ wide paper, and the chest is 45″ wide. Technically, it fits on the paper, but not for a photo…so here is what I call a “half-view” –

 

The lidded till inside, and the handmade hinges visible in the rear rail.

The only way it fit, but you can’t see the front. Two-panel ends, typical of my chests. Single-board white pine lid.

One of the panels in this chest:

WAINSCOT CHAIR

red and white oak. Finial is ash.
H: 47 1/2″ W: (widest point across front of seat) 25 1/2″  D: c. 24″  Seat height: 18 1/2″
$4,000 plus shipping

I’ve made versions of this chair three times before. This one I designed the panel as well as the top rear rail, just below the crest. Otherwise, it’s a close copy to two originals made in Ipswich Massachusetts, probably by Thomas Dennis, between the late 1660s and 1700.

Sometimes it seems from photos that these chairs are huge, there’s a shot in this gallery of me in the chair & you’ll get a sense of its actual size.

 

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BASKETS – All of these are ash splints, with hickory handles and rims. Most, maybe all, have hickory bark lashing around the rims. These baskets are made for use; I’ve been using baskets like these around the shop and house for over 30 years.

If you’d like to purchase one, leave a comment here. Prices include shipping in the US – you can pay through paypal or send a check. Just let me know which you prefer.

 

large round basket –
14″ diameter at rims, basket height 9″ to handle 18″
$600 including shipping in US.

 

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rectangular basket  – SOLD
10″ x 13″ at rims; basket height is 8″, to handle about 15″
$400 including shipping in US.

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Swing-handle round basket  –  SOLD
12 1/2″ – 13″ diameter at rims; basket height 8 3/4″, overall 16″ high.
$500 including shipping in US.

This form is a favorite of mine, based on baskets made in eastern New York state in the early 20th century.

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long rectangular basket   SOLD
10″ x 16 1/2″ at rims, basket height 6″, to handle 14″
$400 including shipping in US.

 

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square-to-round basket   SOLD
10″ diameter at rims, basket height 9″, to handle 17″
$350 including shipping in US.