A box and a Box

yc box

I finished making the two carved boxes I’ve been working on. The first one is this yellow cedar “sampler” box for my class in Alaska. Jonathan and the rest of the Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association sent me some Alaska yellow cedar so I could test it out before we ordered it for the class. The wood will work fine, and I carved this one with a range of patterns – hence “sampler.” The side, and the pintle hinge:

yc box open

The inside of the lid:yc box open carved lid

What’s weird about it is the proportions. Not weird really. Just ugly. there’s a reason you don’t see 17th century boxes this size – because they’re both ugly and stupid. But it maximized what I got out of the boards they sent down. overall size is 6 1/4″ H, 11 1/2″ W and 7 1/2′ D. So I made a proper oak and white pine box, just to make me feel less unsettled.

oak & pine box

 

Someone yesterday commented that this design reminded them of Northwest coast work – well, it is northwest – but northwest of Boston Massachusetts, c. 1680s/90s. Look at the side I carved = even more so. This one is H: 7″  W: 17″  D:  11″

oak box side

 

Here are some of the period carvings I was following somewhat

box ad

concord detail

I’ll paint mine, but maybe not right now. I have to send them by dogsled to Anchorage – whoops – we have more snow than them. I’ll use UPS I guess. Here’s the two side-by-side.

 

 

both boxes

 

 

 

I almost knuckled down & worked a full day

I set out to work on a couple of boxes the past few days. I have one in oak and one in Alaskan yellow cedar underway. This is the front of the oak box. set in a vise to drive the wooden pins in the corners. It’s going to be painted in addition to the carving.

box w pegs

 

When I peg the corners instead of nailing them, I glue it too. So while this one set for the glue to dry, I went back to one from a while ago in Alaskan yellow cedar. I am teaching in Alaska this spring, http://www.alaskacreativewoodworkers.org/registration-for-the-peter-follansbee-classes-is-open/ and the guys there sent me some amazing wood to test. I carved a bunch of sample patterns in it, to get the hang of it. So I cut a few of them out to make a box. This one is unlike any box I have ever made – it’s carved on all four sides; inside on the ends, and the lid, inside & out. That way, I get to bring as many different examples in one item as I can. Usually I have a large box full of sample patterns I bring to classes – but I usually drive too. Alaska is VERY far away from here. So this box is going to serve as a sampler. Here’s what I carved on the lid:

yellow cedar

lozenge

lozenge pt 2

done

B side

b side done

 

I got the bottom cut, then the lid & its cleats. But I stopped right before final assembly. If I kept going, I’d be out of time – & wouldn’t get to go outside to play with the kids. The boxes can wait until tomorrow. This photo wasn’t today, but a day last week. Same idea, go out & play in the snow:

bay farm walk

 

 

winter time & the living is easy

For green woodworkers anyway. In summer, working in the wood pile can be unpleasant sometimes. Buggy, hot, humid. The wood storage can get to be a problem. Insects can get in your wood, decay can set into some species pretty quickly.

But in winter….it’s another story. This pile is against a steep embankment in my yard. 

wood storage

 

4 footers and up

 

Storing green wood in the log this time of year is a breeze. It’s like suspended animation, even better than Ted Williams’ head. (this is a sure thing, Ted’s head, I doubt it)  I try to store the stuff I need the most upright. There’s a few benefits. You don’t have to lift and heave big heavy log sections around to get at the one that’s just exactly perfect for what you need. And when it snows, it’s easier to uncover the stash. The short stuff in this pile is just over four feet, the birch might be over 6′. (I don’t know what that is in the other measuring system)

split & rived & ready to go in

Here’s some I split out today, broke it down further at the riving brake, and now will bring it in to plane  the long stuff for some joined chests & a cupboard. There’s other less-pressing stock under the snow. It can wait. 

The kids took a jaunt around the yard to test-drive their new snowshoes. More snow on the way, we’ll hit the woods tomorrow or the next day. 

REF snow shoes

DRF snow shoes

Spooked a great blue heron down by the river. 

GBH away

The End

The end. (quite a way to start a blog post, huh?)

cf chest end view

On a piece of case furniture, some call it the side. I think of them as ends, as in “help me move this chest, grab the other end.”

I’m not one for measured drawings, but I am working some up for this chest project. Today I was laying out the end view of the chest we’ll build at the CT Valley School of Woodworking this season. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes/29-speciality-weekend-classes/534-build-a-17th-century-joined-chest-with-peter-follansbee.html

In the class, we will delve deeply into the period chest we’re studying/copying, but will also look at numerous variations. These chests (Wethersfield/Windsor/Hartford area of CT) often have one large horizontal panel over 2 vertical panels. the upper panel is glued up in every one I’ve seen and made notes on… but the students will be making single-drawer versions. So that changes how we format the end view. I’ll offer them 2 versions & they can decide which to use.

CHS chest w drawers

 

There is no typical arrangement – but there are several that we see over & over. Like these:

a joined chest, one large horizontal panel on the ends. This panel is about 14″ wide (top to bottom) It requires a tree in the range of 36″ in diameter, straight as can be.

WA Dedham chest

 

 

 

One way around that issue is to divide the end with a muntin, and use two narrower vertical panels. Two more joints, but not a big deal. I do this most commonly. Note here the side top rail and the front top rail are different dimensions.
guilford chest

 

This next one is a chest with a single drawer. So two side-by-side panels above a single horizontal panel. In some cases, these panels all end up the same width – nice & neat for stock preparation.

 

braintree chest w drawerHere’s a chest of drawers, and I have found this arrangement on chests with 2 drawers too – two sets of vertical side-by-side panels. or 2 over 2 if you want to phrase it that way. You can cover a lot of ground this way.

PEM chest of drawers Essex Co
How these side views relate to the front view and more interestingly, to the rear view is a study in itself. Come take the class – we’ll be able to really explore joined chests in excruciating detail. You’ll be well-versed in joined chests by the end. The End.

 

 

 

some chair terms illustrated w period examples

some pictures, spurred on by Chris Schwarz’ last 2 posts on his blog, and my earlier one from today.

A stool. common as can be, but early ones (16th/17th centuries) are less common than hen’s teeth. This one’s from the Mary Rose (1545)

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Joined stool. simple, you’ve seen this sort of thing here hundreds of times.

MET stool small file

Its cousin – the joined form. same thing, just stretched out.

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While we’re at it, let’s get the wainscot chair out of the way.

wainscot chair Pil Hall

 

a variant – the “close” chair, “settle chair” of Randle Holme, although his illustration might be a different version.

metcalfe chair

 

This is what Holme illustrated, I can’t imagine a more difficult way to build a chair.

dug out chair 001

Turned chairs. Ugh. these get weird. First, the “turned chair”  “great (meaning large) chair” “rush chair” – lots of names could mean this item.

BARTLETT CHAIR (2)

This is the one Holme said made by turners or wheelwrights, “wrought with Knops, and rings ouer the feete, these and the chaires, are generally made with three feete.’ = I would say, except when the have four feet.

welsh chair overall 2 welsh chair 12

 

Like this one: the real kicker here is that these chairs have beveled panels for seats, captured in grooves in the seat rails. Thus, sometimes called: a “wooden chair” = chairs often being categorized by their seating materials.

DUTCH turned chair

 

 

Now we have a “wrought” chair, “turkey-work chair” – and so forth. I mentioned in a comment on Chris’ blog the other day, forget the construction here, (joiner’s work, w turned, and in this case, twist-carved bits) it’s the upholstery that makes the splash. These were top-flight items in the 17th century.

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Same gig, only leather. (this photo is I think from Marhamchurch Antiques)

_ALG5130

 

Randle Holme’s turner’s chopping block looks a lot like Chris’ image today from Van Ostade, of a “country stool” – I’d have a chopping block in my kitchen if I could…but we’re out of space.

turners chopping block

 

 

That was fun, I never get to use much of that research these days.

Back to spoon stuff tomorrow…there’s a mess of them available here = https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-a-bowl-or-two-jan-2015/

 

16th & 17th century English terms for chairs

I hate to do posts without pictures, but this one’s easier that way. I’ll do pictures in a separate post.

if you read Chris Schwarz’ blog, http://blog.lostartpress.com/  you’ve seen his posts about Randle Holme’s seating furniture, and today a discussion between Chris & Suzanne Ellison about stools in particular. Randle Holme’s work has always been one of my favorite resources when studying 17th-century stuff. Another is probate records, particularly the household inventories compiled at the time of a person’s death. One reason these are so helpful is that they are the work of many people, thus we get a wider snapshot than just Randle Holme’s ideas. When you study inventories from a wide geographic range, you get various uses of terms. Once you study New England records, they’re even more mixed up, because you have immigrants from all over England thrown together in a small area. The language gets funny.

here’s some terms I have noted about seating furniture. These go way beyond the limits of Chris’ “furniture of necessity” but are still worthwhile.

My comments in brackets.

Chris – note: “beere stoole” and “ale stole” –

This first set I compiled from J. H. Wilson, editor, Wymondham Inventories (Norwich: Centre of East Anglian Studies, date?)

 

Long forme

Two little buffett stooles

Turned chayer

Litle old stoole

Old close stoole

Cushion stoole

Beere stoole

Back chaiers

Seeled settle

Wicker chaier

Little chaier

Forme

Bench

Three footed stole

Ould chayer

Ale stole

Joyned form

Framed stooles  [not sure how or if a “framed” stool is different from a “joyned” form…the form is long. Framed & joined are usually thought to mean the same thing, joined w mortise & tenons]

Cushin stooles

Back chayers

Cushion chayer with a back

Great back chayers

Footstoole

A forme of joyned worke

Great chayre

Close-chayre

 

Plymouth Colony, (New England) :

1 old brodred stoole  [I think “boarded” in this case, not “embroidered” – but might be…]

2 busted stools 1s6d

3 bossed stooles [I think this is an upholstered stool, trimmed w large headed tacks…]

a close stoole 8s [not just a stool or ease, but any stool w a compartment in its bottom]

a large stoole Covering and many borderings for stooles 10s,

2 wrought stooles [wrought is upholstered]

2 Cushen stooles

six buffitt stooles 10s

Essex County, Massachusetts:

3 Leather stooles 5s

foot stoole

a brewing stoole 1s6d  [“brewing stool” which might clarify the English “beer” and “ale” stools above.]

 

6 cushion stooles & 2 chaires £2

6s  a great stoole or table 3s

an old stoole table

4 Lowe cuchin stools

Back in England, from A. D. Dyer, editor, Probate Inventories of Worcester Tradesmen, 1545-1614 (Worcestershire: W. S. Manley & Son LTD, for the Worcestershire Historical Society, 1967)

Settelles

Forme

Joyned stoles

Chaire

Benche

Gyne/geynyd stoole [think phonetic, thus “joined”]

Small settell of waynscote with a bench

One bench with a back of waynscote

Chayre stooles

Joyned formes

Framed formes

Waineskott benche  [in all of these wainscot means either oak, or frame & panel work.]

 

Peter C. D. Brears, editor, Yorkshire Probate Inventories 1542-1689 (Yorkshire: Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1972)

 

Formes

Long furram [form?]

Buffet/buffet stooles

Close stoole

Low stoole

Covered stoole

Long settle

Chaires

Sewed cheare

Seald/seeled cheare [this is “ceiled” a term meaning “joined” – joiners were sometimes called “ceilers”

Wanded chaire  [willow/wicker]

 

Francis W. Steer, editor, Farm and Cottage Inventories of Mid-Essex, 1635-1749, (Colchester: Wiles & Son, Ltd., 1950)

Chaire

little chaires

great joyned chayer

high Chairs

low chairs

Joyne inlaid Chaire

Wainscot chair

one Chaire with turn’d pins

leather chaires

Russia lather Chairs

blew cloth Chaires

green chair

chaires bottom’d with rushes

chayre table

turkey worke stooles

stooles

letle Stooles

bucket stools  [seen paintings of chairs made from barrels. never seen an old one surviving]

Joyned stooles/ joint stooles

2 foote stooles

green stooles

join’d stooles buffeded

one settle with 3 boxes in it

bench boards

long bench joyning to the wainscot

long forme

Settell

joyned forme

Great Wicker Chair

low Wicker chair

wicker chayer

 

Michael Reed, editor, The Ipswich Probate Inventories 1583-1631 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell Press for the Suffolk Records Society, 1981)

Form/forme

Buffet stoole/forme

Joyned forme

Frame for a stoole

Stole of easment  – [this one’s clear – a chair w a chamber pot. a shitter]

Lowe ymbrydred stooles

Footestooles/ Ould footstooles

Two round stooles

Green frindged high stooles

Lyttle stoole with a green cover

Ould stooles covered with blue cloth

Three footed stooles

A brasse foot stoole

Joyned stoole

Gyned stole

Small wyndd stooles

6 heigh stoles covered with lether

Old tressell stooles

Six wrought stooles

heigh stooles covered with lether

6 joyned stooles covered with scottish work

5 heigh buffet stoles

Settle

seeld bench-parlor

One high bench with a backe

Chayers litle and great

Oulde chayers

Great chaire

chair table

Wekar/wicker chayer

Wicker chaire with a back

Matted chayers  [chairs w rush seats]

Six old segging chayers

18 chayers of seg cist 7s (?)  [are these serge chairs? i.e. upholstered ?]

Wooden chayer – [Wooden? aren’t they all wooden? This means a wooden seat, not a woven seat.]

Turned chaires

Three green turned chaires

Great turne chayer

One turnors chayre

Old turne chayer

hye turned chayer

hipp turned chayer (?) [I assume bad transcription]

Closse chaire

Back chayrs

one hopp chayer

Childrens chayers

Old backt chair

Joyned chaires great and small

A small Flanders chayer with a backe of green cloth

Great joyned chaire covered with lether

Lether backe chayers, 2 heygh and 2 lower

One chaire covered with scottish work

One great green frindged chaire

One high green chaire

One settworke chaire

Wrought chaires

chayers covered with greene kersye

1 couch as it standeth