Thursday, May 9, 2013

The world's fanciest sock drawer?

After a very busy few weeks, I've finally finished my Taunton Chest.  I left off in my last post having just finished the actual painting of the artwork on the front of the chest.  The painting isn't perfect, I messed up some of the lines and I need to learn to roll the brush, but for a first try at painting I'm pretty happy. Here is the final product...

 Since that time, I coated the piece with several coats of tinted shellac to darken the artwork and to give a dirty, grungy brown-yellow tone to the whole composition. I also did the final install of all the hardware.

 The layout of the vinework is influenced heavily by the original, but I wanted to add some of my own patterns in. So I rounded the hearts more (they were quite flat in the 1729 piece) and I added both my and my wife's initials to the piece on the first full length drawer.

I also cut back on the number of birds.  The original had at least three that I could make out under the gunk, but I thought that was a bit too busy. So I just went with the most prominent one painted on the top two drawers and the divider.

Gratuitous end grain shot for your joinery fans out there.
 The woodwork was very quick but still done with quality. The dark line you see on the top of that tail in the drawer is the pencil line (I've since erased it) that marked the joint out. When someone says 'split the pencil line with the saw' this is what they mean...

A number of people who saw my piece suggested that I make the feet more closely resemble the original.  But, having studied a number of similar chests, I've decided that mine are more than adequate since this isn't an exact copy (I did change the painting after all).  I have left them unglued, so that I can redo them should the fancy strike me.  Currently, it is sitting in my bedroom, on top of my main dresser, holding my socks, and the turnings don't bother me at all.

I'm currently finishing another version of the same basic form.  It is the same layout and size, but with bracket feet.  I would consider it a transitional William and Mary to Queen Anne form.  This one is also in pine, but I'm planning to try my hand at grain painting thanks to Stephen Shepherd's willingness to share his knowledge...