A George II Ash Bureau – Part Ten

Notwithstanding my pleas on this blog for help in finding a period brass lock for the bureau’s fall, I have elsewhere been unsuccessful in locating one. The alternatives are not acceptable to me (though I may still make a lock myself).
I refrained from fitting the fall escutcheon simply because, as Sod’s Law would have it; no matter where I placed the escutcheon, it would be infelicitous for the yet-to-be-discovered lock. So, for the time being, the fall must remain somewhat naked.

In spite of wild fluctuations in humidity and temperature over the past week or so, the split in the fall gave no indication it would close up, so I glued a sliver of wood into the gap and had done with it.

So, with the one glaring omission (and an equally obvious amateurish blunder), the bureau is now complete.


Fig. 1. The (virtually) complete ash bureau.


Fig. 2. The fall supported by the lopers.


Fig. 3. Fitted interior.


Fig. 4. Tabernacle.


Fig. 5. Secret drawer.


Fig. 6. Carrying handle.


Fig. 7. Bracket foot.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Case Furniture and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to A George II Ash Bureau – Part Ten

  1. Robert says:

    I LOVE IT. I had wondered about the finish on Ash, but I love the mellow color. Is the square hole on top of the cupboard access to remove it?


    • Jack Plane says:

      What you see in the top of the cupboard is the stopped-end tapered housing which the ash locking spring snaps into when the tabernacle is pushed into its orifice. The finger hole for releasing the catch is at the stopped end of the housing…



  2. Ron says:

    Beautiful work! I love the way the grain pops.


  3. Nick B says:


    Wonderful as usual! Are the pine sections of the lopers finished or “in the raw”?

    Is the (you say glaring, I say not so glaring) blunder that the brasses are too large to fit within the cockbeading on the top drawer?

    Maybe in 300 years an avid blogger will post …. “Picture this XXII……”?

    Thank you again.



    • Jack Plane says:

      Nick, the lopers are actually quartersawn oak and are lightly aged: They appear much lighter in the image than in reality.

      The brasses are indeed the fill of the first drawer front, as were the originals…

      It’s not an uncommon occurrence and is not the blunder I referred to.



  4. Jeff Aldred says:

    I hope that you have offspring to pass this legacy on to. Perhaps a little envelop with name, date, original influence, build info (copy of this build thread?). Sort of establishing the providence for the generations to come.
    I for one would really-really like to see the story of the lock build!


    • Jack Plane says:

      I do have children and grandchildren who will inherit and hopefully care for my furniture. I originally began this blog so my widely distributed family could follow my activities.

      I may write a post some day about the making of an eighteenth-century backspring lock, just for the fun of it.



  5. What did you use to finish the ash? It is beautiful and leads me to want to give ash a go myself.


  6. Jim Pallas says:

    I like this piece. If all of the problems are amateurish and obvious you can suffer over them alone. I like the way it looks. If you worked on it since last July and either didn’t notice or chose to ignore it doesn’t mater. The fall lock will show up at some point if you don’t get anxious and settle for less. I’ll be following to see what is next.



  7. William Hinmon says:

    Try a company out of Philadelphia called Ball &Ball for your period lock.


  8. It has likely bee suggested, but what about ball&ball hardware? They do some really nice reproduction hardware…


  9. I’m curious how common you feel the through dovetail for the side to top joint is? American colonial desks in solid wood typically have lapped dovetails at this joint with the dovetails on the top board.


  10. This build was indeed very enjoyable to follow.
    Thank you sir.
    I especially liked the fitted interior with your special touches.


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