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.

 

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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.

 

——————–

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

———————

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.

——————

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

 

———————-

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

wainscot chair terminus/termes

a lot of photographs today. I got some nice quartersawn oak (thanks Rick D) – and have been using it for box lids and now the seat to my wainscot chair that’s been hanging around waiting to get finished.

I didn’t shoot the whole sequence of test-fitting the seat over those front stiles. A lot of wriggling around to get it just right…then you peg it to the side and front rails.

Then the arms can go back on, and get pegged to the rear & front stiles. Above you can see why the arms go on after the seat, you couldn’t peg the seat down if the arms were in place.

After the arms are pinned, it’s time to carve & install these figures that adorn the edges of the rear stiles. All I know about the two originals these are based on is that there are two or three large nails fixing these things in place. Whether there’s anything more than that is conjecture. But I’ll show you what I did.

This is one case where I use a template to outline the pattern.

Then I use a V-tool to cut just outside this outline, I find this helps when sawing the shape out.

A turning saw, used carefully, does a good job of roughing out the scrolls and other bits.

Then I clean up with a large #5 carving gouge. Often with the bevel up.

Carving some of the details.

Installing it – I add some belt-and-suspenders action. I use pegs between the stile and this appliled ornament. To locate them, I drove two small wire brads into the applied bit, then snipped off their heads.

Then blammed it in place and the brads made prick marks where I then want to bore holes. I pulled the brads and bored 3/8″ holes in the applied bit and the stiles.

then shaved a couple of small pins, and glued the whole thing & knocked it in place. Then clamped it and came in for lunch. Later I’ll add a couple of toe-nailed wrought nails.

I’ve heard many names for these figures. We often refer to them as “Easter Island” figures, which is of course nonsense. I learned of Atlantes/Atlas, carytids, and probably other names too. Jennie Alexander gave me a copy of Cyril Harris’ Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture many years ago. Told me to keep it in the bathroom. I did for a while. But now it’s in the shop. There, I looked up “termes” – what I knew as another name for these figures. Harris has “terminus” – “the upper part of a human body springing out of a plain block…pilaster, console, bracket OR THE LIKE”!

 

back at it

I got back to some bench work the other day. Began fitting bottoms to three boxes that have been waiting around…

Sharpened the planes, thicknessed some white pine (above) and trimmed it to size. Jointing the edge here, prior to planing the bevels where the bottom will overhang the box’s sides & front.

Here’s the bevels, and pilot holes for the nails that will secure the bottom in place.

This small, 4-square reamer is one of my favorite tools. Here I used it to open up those pilot holes from below, to match the tapered shanks of the hand-made nails.

Nailing the bottom on – two in each side. Sometimes I add a 3rd in the front edge. Depends on how nail-rich I feel.

This one gets iron hinges too. Here’s the holdfast pinning the box down to the bench so I can bore and install the hinges.

A detail of hammering the gimmal/snipe-bill hinges in. That same reamer opened up this pilot hole as well.

Bent on the inside, about to be clinched.

Lids for these boxes before too long. Here’s a snapshot of the three underway…that desk box goes all the way back to my book Joiner’s Work. I needed a few photos for that book, and had to make this box to get the shots. It’s been waiting to get finished since then, maybe 3 years?

No photo description available.

All the details about making boxes like this are in my book Joiner’s Work and a DVD I did with Lie-Nielsen – and scattered throughout this blog over the years too. If you need to know more, here’s links and don’t forget the search button in the sidebar –

Joiner's Work

https://www.lie-nielsen.com/products/carved-oak-boxes-with-peter-follansbee?path=home-education-videos&node=4243

Then yesterday I took some time to go birding with Marie Pelletier & Paula Marcoux – lousy light for photos, but a nice day down at the beach. Saw piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), including 3 chicks. Here’s one of those chicks. Paula’s been one of the monitors for this beach, these chicks are now just shy of 3 weeks old.

There’s maybe 3 pairs of killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) nesting there too. Here’s one of them.

On our way out, we saw a black & white warbler (Mniotilta varia) feeding a chick – deep in the bushes it was hard to get enough light for a shot. This is the juvenile.

 

Speaking of  Paula – she’s done a couple videos recently, one about making chive pancakes and the other about brown bread – see them here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbDDMEyH2wQ57gpgS1gDv8Q 

Some patterns I carve, some I don’t

I’m still nursing a sore back. slowly working away at one thing or another. Past couple of days it’s been the next set of drawings for this project – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2020/06/17/working-on-drawings/

(Yes, I know the first set’s not ready yet, but I have to do something…)

Over the years, there are some things that I just won’t bother carving. This chest of mine is an example –

I copied the two panels and wide muntin as closely as I could from an original I measured 20 years ago. But the bottom rail is made up from related works. Here’s the bottom rail from the original:

bottom rail, 1669 Devon chest; 2 panels

It’s clearly accomplished carving, all those curves flow nicely, nothing too abrupt to jar the eye. But it’s so boring. No background, no shaping. Just the repeating leaf-shapes. So I’ve never carved that pattern – and it appears again & again in the overall works. Here it is on one of the New England examples, running up the stiles also. I guess the only way I’d bother with this pattern is if I were hired to copy verbatim an existing work with it.

here’s a variation, with an extra outline and some textured punch work where you might remove background otherwise. This one’s a vertical muntin.

muntin Devon chest

A student at Lost Art Press last fall showed me these photos taken from the web – I had never seen this chest before. I really liked that center panel, but the bottom rail is a dud.

One  I have tinkered with a number of times is sort of in between. Here’s an original example, a muntin from a chest in Darlington, Devon.

 

And a chest at Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Made in Ipswich, MA. Both stiles, top rail & both muntins use this pattern.

 

Below I cropped the top rail from that photo – not sure it will come through in detail.

A drawing I did of that pattern a couple of years ago. Either mine, or the original, is upside-down. I’ve seen it carved both ways.

This pattern is a bit hard to wrap my head around. I broke it down to three elements, (here in black, green & blue) and then these just lay against each other as the pattern repeats. (my full drawing above is 2 1/3 repeats).

It’s a weird one. I’ve only carved it a few times –

joined chest, c. 2001
detail

Most recently I carved this design when I built the shop in 2016. Did it twice then, because this one’s on the wrong side of the brace, now covered with sheathing for a few decades.

So keep in mind that my “take” on these Devon, England/Ipswich, Massachusetts carvings are skewed. I take what I need, and leave the rest.

Strapwork

I haven’t been carving lately, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it as I work on the patterns’ drawings. Earlier this week, it was “strapwork.”

That’s a term art historians apply to a group of carvings (& other decoration) that mimic iron straps bound around woodwork. Or so it seems to me, anyway. This style of engraving by de Vries is often cited as an example when discussing (the few) New England examples, or the English ones – but it is only related in concept, not in details.

I first carved it about 20 years ago, one of my early attempts is incorporated in the headboard of this bedstead; two large horizontal panels:

bedstead headboard

My most recent example went into this wainscot chair that’s now in the loft waiting to be finished. 

 

The most extensive research into this particular pattern is Anthony Wells-Cole’s 1981 article “Oak Bed at Montacute: A Study in Mannerist Decoration” in Furniture History. That article runs down a lot of examples in and around Exeter, England. Recently, I sat down with some of the illustrations from that article and searched the web for newer photographs of some of the monuments Wells-Cole cited. (if you have access through JSTOR you can read it here https://www.jstor.org/stable/23404733?seq=1 )

(I’ve not seen any of these monuments – I clipped all these photos off the web. Some wikipedia, some travel blogs, etc)

Carew family monument, 1589 Exeter Cathedrel

Fulford monument, Dunsford, Devon – Thomas Fulford died 1610.

 

Sir Thomas Harris, Cornworthy, Devon, died 1610. Monument said to be erected in 1611.

A pulpit from Iddesleigh Devon –

Many, many years ago I did see some excellent examples in Totnes, Devon:

carved panel, Totnes pews

carved pews, Totnes, Devon

The only person I know of in England these days studying this work in detail is Paul Fitzsimmons, owner of Marhamchurch Antiques. He’s a magnet for Exeter/Devon carved furniture in general, and has clustered together a great group of strapwork examples. Sadly, these days you can buy original oak furniture from him cheaper than you can buy reproductions from me! https://www.marhamchurchantiques.com/current-stock/