"When a man makes something he not only does something to the wood of which he makes it: he does something to himself... The hours of patient endeavour leave their mark on the man as truly as on the work he does.”
From The Woodworker - Volume 53, 1949
My projects are mostly the result of seeing something I liked and wanting to reproduce it. When possible, I try to incorporate at least one learning activity in each project - be it a new technique, finish, or style - in order to grow as a craftsman. Everything you see here was made using only hand tools.
Please check back occasionally. I'll be adding more projects as time goes by.
Chippendale Looking Glass
I really like the form of these old mirrors. The thin molding applied over a quartersawn frame provides a stronger housing than a mitered one. And the exuberant scrollwork is a treat for the eyes. I made this one based on an example shown during the Working Wood in the 18th Century - Bedroom Furniture symposium in Colonial Williamsburg, and another by Steve Latta in Fine Woodworking magazine.
Shaker Sewing Stand
The Shakers, a communal religious sect that thrived in the 18th and 19th centuries, made sewing stands in a few different configurations. I particularly like this later form with two drawers that open from either side.
Shaker Oval Boxes
Bentwood boxes of various forms are made throughout the world. With their oval footprint, swallowtail cutouts and copper tacks, those produced by the Shakers are wonderfully elegant and instantly recognizable. Originally used for storing everything from herbs to nails, they are lightweight, amazingly strong, and nest for storage.
I've made dozens of these boxes - mostly for charity auctions. While many box makers use "pretty" woods like cherry, I prefer the Shaker tradition of maple sides with pine tops and bottoms.
18th Century Tavern Table
Tables like this were common in taverns and homes of the late 1700s. While varying in size and and style, they all have certain distinctive features: turned legs, a stretcher base, and simple boarded top. Mine is not a reproduction per se but follows the basic design parameters. The base is poplar, having pinned mortise and tenon joinery for structural integrity, and finished with milk paint. The top is made of curly maple to give the otherwise large, flat surface some visual flair.
c1790 Shelf Clock
This clock is will be a close reproduction of one made for an early governor of Pennsylvania by Daniel Rose. It is without doubt my most challenging project to date. Not only does it require carving and inlay, the original is in a private collection, so all I have to work with are two front view photographs, the overall height, and some input from a gentleman who did restoration work on it years ago. This means I have to extrapolate most measurements from the photos and base the sides, back, and internal construction on other clocks of the same period and geographic area.
Inspired by antique English tea caddies, this chest is dimensioned to hold two cremation urns. It was my first foray into Federal style, veneering, marquetry, and inlay.