A George II Irish Elm Dressing Table – Part Five

The dressing table was washed down with hot soapy water prior to staining it with Van Dyke. When the stain dried, I polished it all and attached the handles. A good waxing completed the job (figs. 1 -7).

Fig. 1. The finished dressing table.

Fig. 2. Lipped drawers.

Fig. 3. Shaped back.

Fig. 4. Ovolo moulding, knee and trifid foot.

Fig. 5. Rounded upper leg.

Fig. 6. The reason I had to make a ninth ear.

Fig. 7. Carved glue blocks support the ears.

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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12 Responses to A George II Irish Elm Dressing Table – Part Five

  1. basilg says:

    Contented Canine, Elm ear drizzled in Horse Sauce yum !


  2. yaakov says:

    What type of wax do you use?


    • Jack Plane says:

      I use a number of different wax preparations, some commercial and some I blend myself depending on the task at hand and the desired result.

      On more highly polished surfaces such as mid to late eighteenth-century mahogany, I use shellite (naphtha/lighter fluid) based formulae as the solvent flashes-off quickly. Heavier build waxes based on mineral turpentine are useful for more open grained timbers such as this elm.

      I apply some hard wax recipes warm to hot as they are difficult to manipulate in their cooled state and some I add colours and pigments to, again, depending on what’s required from them.

      Most commercial furniture waxes are perfectly acceptable, but avoid any claiming to be pure beeswax. Pure beeswax alone is far too soft and sticky and will remain so for a long period, attracting dust and grime in the process.


  3. Robert R. Lindh says:

    O Whats an ear once in a while…….He looks like a good boy to me.


  4. Adam P. says:

    Have you ever thought about writing a book about this? You seem like a perfect candidate for Lost Art Press.


    • Jack Plane says:

      Thank you for your confidence in my ability. I haven’t heard of Lost Art Press, but I will look into them.


      • Matt S says:

        Hello Mr. Plane. Have you looked into publishing? I would be willing to pre-order. The work you do is absolutely amazing and getting the chance to get more details about your process would be well worth my hard-earned money.


        • Jack Plane says:

          Thank you for your vote of confidence! A book is indeed in the offing, though I have no idea at this point in time when it might appear. I’ll post any updates here on the blog.



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