Category Archives: Furniture Making

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Cross-Grained Mouldings

Mouldings on oak-framed buildings – and thence joyner-made oak furniture – followed the timber’s grain and were comparatively simple to produce. Then circa 1685, a new breed of specialised furniture maker appeared. Cabinetmakers developed more sophisticated techniques for making and … Continue reading

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Can you handle this?

I require a set of brass handles of the pattern illustrated above. Strangely, it’s not an uncommon pattern, yet I searched through my boxes of strays for comparable bails and backplates without any luck and I haven’t been able to … Continue reading

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