Category Archives: Furniture Making

A Pair of Forest Chairs – Part One

I want four or five Windsor chairs that can remain permanently outdoors on the front veranda of the new house. As I have blathered on about forest chairs on numerous occasions, I thought I would make a pair of them … Continue reading

Posted in Seating | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Seven

The external surfaces of the chest were washed down with hot soapy water to remove any wayward glue, grime and fingerprints. The chest was then stained and the first lick of spirit varnish applied to seal it (fig. 1). The … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Six

Eighteenth-century bow and serpentine drawer fronts were constructed in one of two ways: The most basic method was to simply saw the sweeping shape out of the solid (fig. 1). The other technique (to minimise distortion and ultimately, poor fit) … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture, Drawers | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Five

I prepared the triangular packers for the recesses in the canted corners and sawed the frets out of pre-sized 1/8″ (3.2mm) thick veneer (fig. 1). Fig. 1. Walnut packers and frets. Once the corner packers were glued in place, I … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture, Furniture Making | Tagged , | 20 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Four

I don’t have any images of the rear of the original walnut chest; however, roughly thirty years ago I restored a mid-eighteenth-century chest of remarkably similar quality and construction (though of mahogany) which had an oddly asymmetrical three-panel pine back. … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Patches

No, not the Fentanyl patches that some of us stick on our upper arms… nor even those patches applied to furniture by restorers to effect repairs; I am talking about the patches that were let into veneered (and on occasion, … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture Making | Tagged , | 10 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Three

The walnut cross-grain moulding was formed along the serpentine front edge of the carcase’s baseboard prior to assembling the carcase (fig. 1). Fig. 1. The cross-grain moulding already opening up in the 41° (106°F) heat. I cut the one-sided dovetail … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Two

I don’t have historic patterns for this precise chest of drawers, so the first few hours of the job were absorbed in making patterns for the serpentine carcase and drawer fronts, cock-beading, serpentine base moulding and bracket feet. The individual … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part One

Towards the close of the seventeenth-century, rather heavy, solid wainscot (oak) furniture gave way to refined European walnut chairs, tables, mirrors and walnut-veneered wainscot and deal (pine) casework etc. Joined oak furniture was attractive enough, but somewhat workman-like and couldn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Case Furniture | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

On the Dismantling and Reassembly of Glued Joints

Having emailed a reply to a plea from a desperate reader at the weekend, I thought I might as well publish it here for the potential benefit of others. Animal glue is mildly hydrophilic which alone, enables it to maintain … Continue reading

Posted in Animal glue, Furniture Restoration, Techniques | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments