Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Wallace Nutting tavern table

After completing the commissioned beds and giving the shop a thorough cleaning (ankle deep shavings are no fun to work in, very slick), I'm going to work on a quick project for my wife before beginning the work on my John Head high chest.  She is going to set up a fish tank for our cat's entertainment and decided that I have to make her a small table for it.

I was given "qualified carte blanche" as far as design, so in other words I can make what I choose as long as she doesn't hate it.  My choice is a tavern table that was featured in Wallace Nutting's Furniture of the Pilgrim Century.  You can download this classic reference for free from Google Books here.  Page 431 features a neat little maple tavern table with scalloped apron and fine turned legs.

Excuse the poor scan, but you get the idea
According to Nutting's book, the height of this circa 1690 - 1720 table is 24 1/2 inches, the top is 16 inches by 25 inches.  Using these numbers, I can develop the composition of the piece.  I figure the frame is about 20 inches wide.  Using the classic "Golden Ratio", which is a common way to determine width to depth in classic furniture, I come up with a depth of approximately 12 1/2 inches.  This fits nicely with the defined width of the top, allowing for a good amount of overhang on the front and back.

Despite the knob on the front, there is no drawer.  Nutting says the knob is original but I'm seriously debating leaving it off.  I find it odd, but I guess it gives a focal point on the front skirt.  Any thoughts?

I plan to use some nice old growth pine that I've been able to salvage from old barns and I'm seriously contemplating giving it a milk paint finish.  Should be a fairly quick project but a worthwhile one.

Zach

Monday, May 9, 2011

Recently completed commission

My friend Lee Richmond of The Best Things commissioned me to make two beds for his home, a twin in cherry and a queen in walnut.  I've been busily working on these pieces since the end of March and they were finally delivered the end of last week. 

Here are some photos of the twin in cherry. 





 The walnut bed didn't photograph well, perhaps it was too dark.  The only difference in the design, other than the width, is the number of slats in the footboard and headboard. The cherry bed has nine; the walnut thirteen.

After a much-needed brief vacation in Philadelphia and a couple of days in Gettysburg, I'm back home and ready to get to work in the shop again.  A stop at the Philadelphia Art Museum has inspired me for my next personal project, a copy of the 1726 high chest built by joiner John Head.  Should be a doozie!

My best,

Zach