The colors, man, the colors...

You might remember my post entitled "Who says the 18th century was dark and boring", in which I outlined my plan to recreate this c. 1700 - 1720 joined chest of drawers from Western Massachusetts.
photo from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I mentioned how colorful it would be when finished. Based on the dimensions, internal photos, and chemical analysis provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was able to build this model in Sketchup. I ordinarily wouldn't go to this trouble, but I wanted to see what it should look like before moving forward.

Iso view of dresser
Side view of panel
The ground painting of this piece is wildly poly-chromatic. Add in the faux graining, faux oystering on the sides, and the vine and floral motifs on the drawers and you have a wild piece. I love it.

I've been busy working on the front of the piece. Rip sawing out legs and stretchers before laying everything out. The trick to a piece like this is to lay out the joinery on all four legs simultaneously, as this will help you produce a square case.  Here are a few pics of the tooling I used to produce this work.

Ripsawing with a vintage 8pt Disston

Rough planing with my trust Mathieson fore plane

Finish planing the stock with my shop built jointer plane

The top and bottom stretchers fitted into their mortises, I am beginning the lay 

 This project will be featured in detail in my upcoming book.


  1. Replies
    1. I will happily work in shows of the tools when it makes sense and doesn't detract from my main reason for writing, which is the furniture itself. I will throw in tool-only pieces from time to time when it makes sense. Thanks Wiktor!

  2. Looking forward to the vibrant paint job.

    1. Thanks Graham, me too. I hope it turns out as good as the one in my head!

  3. I have done very similar with Woodbex designs.