Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting back in the shop

Greetings from dreary and rainy Mid-Michigan.  I've been out of my woodshop the entire summer, instead spending my time restoring a 1973 Plymouth Satellite that belonged to my recently-departed father.  She's basically done now (is a classic car ever really done?), so I'm itching to get back into the den of ankle-deep shavings that I call my shop.  In addition to working on the car, I spent some time demonstrating historic sash making at the Michigan State University Folk Festival and the MWTCA meet at Tillers International, where it looks like I will be teaching a window-making class next year.

The decision I have to make now is what project to build for my return to the shop. Despite recognizing my own need to finish the car my dad started, my wife is after me for a few things, especially for me to finish that Wallace Nutting table from my last post.  Remember when I said it would be quick? Four months later, it sits atop my Roubo waiting patiently for a top and milk paint.  Since I do enjoy being married, finishing this table will have to be my first priority.

After that, who knows? I recently obtained a very interesting book, Early American Country Furniture by Denis Hambucken.  In addition to being well written and extremely well-illustrated, there are several projects that I would like to build, especially a chest of drawers and a washstand. One reason I like this book is that it gives "suggested" dimensions, not a hard-and-fast cut list.  This works well with my style of woodworking.  Does the plan call for a 14" wide case but you only have a 12" wide board? No problem, modify the design slightly and use what you have without worrying about modifying a cutlist.  Make the pieces to fit and you never have a problem.

I'd also like to work on a reproduction of Chief Justice John Marshall's desk, from a plan by Carlyle Lynch.  Further back on the burner is the high chest by John Head which I was inspired to build after a recent visit to Philadelphia.  That will likely wait, however, until my wife and I move back to the country next year.

So, expect more frequent updates and some pictures of great projects.

Best,

Zach

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