Shaping a pedestal without a lathe

Wood Filler Plywood Edge

Screw near pedestal keeps top centered. Shape filler blocks with round-bottom plane to blend with leg. Position filler blocks so planing is easiest top to bottom When cutting bevels on legs and filler blocks, leave blunt point for easier glue-up. Elongate hole to accommodate expansion and contraction of top. To my taste, the Shakers developed the finest pedestal tables. I'm particularly fond of the cherry table made at Hancock, Mass., Shaker Village around 1830. The transition along die leg, up...

Delicate inlay fans life into a traditional piece

Wood Stringing Inlay Design

At an antiques show, a small mahogany Hepplewhite chest with a delicate fan inlay beckoned me. The owners let me measure and draw it, but we haven't been able to learn much more about this beautiful unsigned piece, except that it came from an old home in Fauquier County, the heart of Virginia's horse country. The owners presume that the chest was made nearby in the old port city of Alexandria. Overland transport of heavy lumber was so difficult two hundred years ago that most mahogany furniture...

Locking drawers and a dropfront secretaire

Strip Pattern Furniture Slipcovers

For more than 300 years, cabinetmakers on the island of Bermuda have been designing personal decorative dovetail patterns to join the carcases of their chests-on-frames. Because I was living in Bermuda when I built the Wellington campaign chest shown in the photo above, 1 followed this tradition and designed my own sunburst variation for the carcase dovetails. Named after the first Duke of Wellington the British commander known for defeating Napoleon at Waterloo , Wellington chests are made to...

Building an adjustable music stand

Traditional Vertical Warping Mill

V2 x 30-in. shell auger inserted through hollow tailstock. Wooden handle or Jacobs chuck holds auger as point is pushed into stock. . Avoid glue-ups where grain and growth-ring patterns point at glueline. Glueline on the quartergrain is less conspicuous. Copper-pipe T-fitting fits lathe tool rest. Arrange stock so growtn rings form uniform pattern. ft Scrap used to align square groove during glueup becomes turning mandrel for square spindle. 1-in. collar bears against endgrain. Turn mandrel to...

Jigs for machining tapered octagons

Four Post Bed Joinery

The pencil-post bed is a classic form that has been in use for centuries. The high posts were originally designed to hold a canopy frame, or tester pronounced teester , as shown in the photo at right. Before central heating, a canopy was standard equipment and was often accompanied by thick, quilted curtains on all four sides. Drawing the curtains at night created a room within a room designed to conserve warmth and provide privacy. In warm weather, the heavy curtains were replaced by fine lace...

Interlocking slats form an allwood tambour

Old Desk Front Elevation

I can recall my first encounter with a roll-top desk. My parents and I were visiting my uncle's home and were impressed with all the compartments and little drawers in his desk. Many years have passed since that visit, and 1 now realize that the greatest asset of a roll-top desk is not all the storage areas provided by the drawers and pigeon holes, but the tambour curtain that can be drawn over the working area to transform a cluttered utility desk into an elegant piece of furniture. Before...

Through tenons and scribed cope joints

Antebellum Furniture Reproductions

The New Hampshire seacoast region where I live was one of the first to be settled by the early colonists. By the 18th century, Portsmouth was a busy port and a commercial center. Local merchants and sea captains invested their wealth in elegant homes, many of which still stand today. Thanks to a renewed interest in restoring these fine homes, about half of my woodworking business consists of making authentic period moldings, sash, trim and doors, mostly with traditional hand tools. In this...

Soft rock from hardwoods

Brian Boggs Drill Press Jigs

Rear leg post, VA in. dia., tapers to 7 in. dia. beginning above armrest. Front leg post, V i in. dia., tapers to VA in. dia. beginning here. After building more than 100 rocking chairs, I've developed a rather non-scientific approach for designing and constructing attractive, strong and comfortable rockers from green hardwoods. My first rocking chair was a straight ladderback chair fit on runners copied from an old chair I liked. Although I was able to construct the chair fairly quickly, I...

Plastic Knockdown Fittings Interlocking Mechanisms Furniture

Heavy Curtains For Canopy Bed Frame

A roll-top desk combines the best features of a utilitarian workspace with the elegance of a piece of fine furniture. The tambour on the author's oak desk, above, is made with interlocking slats, instead of being the more common cloth-back tambour. 3 - -75 8 - 2 I 23 4 e 7 3Vz A roll-top desk combines the best features of a utilitarian workspace with the elegance of a piece of fine furniture. The tambour on the author's oak desk, above, is made with interlocking slats, instead of being the more...

Hidden compartments for special seasonings

Military Campaign Chest Trunk

In Colonial times, the spices we take for granted today were rare commodities brought to America at great expense on sailing vessels. The people affluent enough to buy spices would commission local craftsmen to build exquisite little chests of drawers for storing their spices and other valuables. Some spice boxes were scaled-down versions of high chests others, like the William-and-Mary chest below, were decorated with elaborate inlays. The spice box was most popular in Europe and the Colonies...

Educated guesses fill in the gaps

Carlyle Lynch Contour Tracer

Analyzing antiques is part detective work, some guesswork and much careful measurement. Lynch finds a 6-in. sliding ride good for measuring small pieces like drawers and as a caliper to gauge thicknesses. The ICydrawer mahogany case he's examining is one of the jewels hidden in Duncan Phyfe's tool chest. days when hand tools were the only tools. Otherwise, you'll never grasp what's hidden by veneers, moldings and thick layers of yellowed finishes. Surprisingly, if your skills at reassuring...