Factory Bodged

I have written a few blogs about bodging and being bodged. My most favorite were My Mother was a Soviet Bodger and Teenaged Mutant Ninja Bodgers. Bodging as I use it means doing what must be done to make things work the best you can. Often modifying hardware to make it work.

The last blog was mostly about using bail or pull escutcheons for keyhole escutcheons. Like this:

Not the prettiest mod ever.

Not the prettiest mod ever.

Last week, I saw a chest that had escutcheons that seem to be designed to work either way. This is an escutcheon used with a bail.

Note the outline of a keyhole.

Note the outline of a keyhole.

And the keyhole version:

Was it a knockout or were tools required?

Was it a knockout or were tools required?

It works. Keeps down your escutcheon inventory.

And it looks better than just banging in a hole.

Confirmed: A Three Footed Thomas Day Table is Less Stable Than a Four Footed Thomas Day Table.

Especially when it’s the same table.

We hosted a party for my wife’s staff Friday night. With proper protections, Ellen was using the Thomas Day game table for the wine station. 24 wine glasses and 8-10 bottles of wine. Nothing too heavy. 20 minute before guests arrived, Ellen asked me to open the white wine. While opening the last white, the table suddenly tipped back and to the left. Things fell over. I grabbed the table and Ellen started the salvage operation. With all her Jenga®-like decisions, we lost only one wine glass (broken) and three bottles of red wine (spilled).

What it looked like before. Bad repairs and all.

What it looked like before. Bad repairs and all.

A foot had broken off. Martin O’Brien and I had examined the table in detail a few weeks back and noticed many bad repairs. This was one of them.

The foot that done fell off.

The foot that done fell off.

I took some pictures of the foot and uploaded them to HERE.

Best practices are to add yellow glue over hide glue, aren’t they?

Ellen feels enormous guilt and I keep reassuring her no harm was done. Chris Schwarz, Martin O’Brien and I all explained she did us favor. The leg had to come off and we weren’t sure how to do it. Paralysis by analysis. Now we know the answer to pull lightly on them.

It looks like this now. Three legs off, one to go.

It looks like this now. Three legs off, one to go.

This is the failed glue joint:

Yellow glue works best when it is thick enough to measure. With a yardstick.

Yellow glue works best when it is thick enough to measure. With a yardstick.

And dowels are less useful than most people assume. They maybe good for alignment but offer very little to joint strength and only slightly more to glue strength.

The table is being documented as it being disassembled.  Soon it will be dealt with somewhere in the restoration/preservation/conservation spectrum.

Earlier Ellen asked me what my three-year goals were. She’s one of those but I love her anyway. After some consideration I believe that one goal is to have the skills to build a reproduction of this table in three years. I might make it. I already made a foot and will show you an interesting veneering technique I learned examining the Day foot shortly.

Well, I got a blog out of it.

 

Kaare Klint – ‘Safari Chairs’

Chris Schwarz and I have an informal agreement under which I sequester any of my pictures that he uses in his blog for about a year. It is informal in that we have never spoken of it. In fact, as far I can tell, we have never met. This is only partially due to an existing restraining order. I am not at liberty to discuss who requested the restraining order but do I strike you as the type of who squanders money on lawyers?

I just noticed that I took the Klint chairs out of the Flickr set of the local auction I shared yesterday. I remember pulling the pictures to let Chris write his blog about them and forgot to add them back in. I don’t think he ever published them all.

I know you want to see them so here they are:

This is what a Kaare Klint 'Safari Chair' actually looks like. Click to see the entire set on Flickr.

This is what a Kaare Klint ‘Safari Chair’ actually looks like. Click to see the entire set on Flickr.

 

Here’s Chris’s drawings from the blog.

Chris draws good. Click to see one of Chris's blogs about the chairs.

Chris draws good. Click to see Chris’s blogs about the chairs.

 

 

Expiration Date Approaching.

A little over a year ago, there was an exceptional auction in town. From this auction, I have blogged about:

The Rotary Wooten Desk
End Grain Veneers
Thomas Day Chests
Kaare Klint ‘Safari Chairs’ (Chris Schwarz and Lost Art Press, actually)

I have just never gotten around to posting the entire set. And the set is about to expire. They don’t last forever. Under ideal conditions, you can get about 13 months. I have been taking this set out looking at it regularly and allowing it to come to room temperature before returning it to storage.

It’s time.

But before I do, a few more highlights. Like this mundane tilt-top table:

I have three of this.

I have three of these.

An interesting design for a bench.

An interesting design for a bench.

Really big dovetails.

Really big dovetails.

A work table.

A work table.

And these stands:

A stand with drawer.

A stand with drawer.

Unique drawer.

Unique drawer.

And the other:

Stand with door.

Stand with door.

Dovetails extend up into the gallery.

Dovetails extend up into the gallery.

Go see the entire set (184 pictures) HERE.

But, Is It Art?

Ages old question, is it Art?

Ages old question, is it Art?

Come to New Hampshire for the Contemporary Furniture?

I was sitting around my hotel room last night considering my options for today, Saturday. Thursday, I flew up to Boston and toured the Museum of Fine Art. Then off to Woburn to visit the new Woodcraft. Not a big deal but it got me out of Boston before the traffic got too bad. It’s always bad, before it got worse. It will be a nice store once they get it unpacked.

Friday was the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts in Beverly, the Peabody Essex Museum, The House of Seven Gables and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace. And then after lunch…

No, that was a full day. Since it was early, I stopped at a mall to kill time and possibly do some damage control. (See yesterday.)

For reasons I won’t go into here, I wasn’t sure if I would be cleared to make this trip until Tuesday. I hadn’t invested too much time into the planning beyond Friday. I made a trip to lobby brochure rack and checked the web and saw that Manchester, NH showed promise. Many things to do and only about an hour away.

My agenda was a small promising looking antiques shop. Then the Millyard Museum, a small museum at the old, massive Amoskeag Manufacturing Company mill complex.

At the Amoskeag mill. Ironic to some, meaningless to others.

At the Amoskeag mill. Ironic to some, meaningless to others.

Finally to the Currier Museum of Art. This museum currently has a spectacular M. C. Escher exhibition. Escher is more than just his transformations and optical illusions. There are many amazing woodblock prints and lithographs of Amalfi, Abruzzi, Sicily and many other European locations. And other amazing still lifes and intimate images.

But, wait! There’s more! The Currier also owns and exhibits the Zimmerman House, a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house and the only Wright house in New England open the public.

Looking for the Escher exhibit, I stumbled across a small contemporary furniture exhibit. Only five pieces but nice pieces. I don’t always like contemporary furniture but these I liked.

First is Spring Desk, 1996 by Jere Osgood:

I mightn't buy it but if gifted...

I mightn’t buy it but if gifted…

And the True Love Blues, 2000 by Jon Brooks:

A settee with staff.

A settle with staff.

Since my stats are down, you have to go to Flickr to see the entire set HERE.

And they have period furniture as well. Soon.

Nathaniel Gould Was Not a Bodger, He Fitted Skillfully.

Today I visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The main reason for going was to see the exhibitIn Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould.  Chuck Bender wrote about this exhibit in September on his late Popular Woodworking blog.

I went and am now in the dog house. I picked this weekend based on the fact my wife and a group of our friends were going to the beach on Emerald Isle, NC. It is a beach house that has by rented by our group for six of the past eight years. Problem is I don’t love the beach as they do. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania. We didn’t have beaches. They go to the beach, I go to Boston. Seems fair.

Now the bigger problem is that my wife’s work schedule changed and she isn’t able to go to the beach and I still went to Boston. The airplane tickets were non-refundable. At times the word conspires against you.

Back to the woodworking content of the blog. In February, I wrote the blog Bodged, it’s not what you think with a follow-up last Friday, They Did It the Hard Way, Bodged II. This is not bodging, it’s custom fitting.

Looking at this Nathaniel Gould secretary:

An exceptional secretary.

An exceptional secretary.

It deserves another view.

It deserves another view.

I took a look at the brasses and saw they were not all lying flat but some had been well fitted to the slant front and drawers.

Well fitted into the recess.

Well fitted into the recess.

More fitted brasses.

More fitted brasses.

And it goes both ways:

Around the recess.

Around the recess.

And over the block front.

And over the block front.

Not fitted but no lock either.

Not fitted but no lock either.

And this last picture is neither fitted nor bodged but it is a nice carved shell:

Somebody in the Gould shop was highly skilled.

Somebody in the Gould shop was highly skilled.

Oh, what the heck, the top shell and finial are interesting, too.

A broken arch pediment with shell and finial. They carved interior and exterior shells.

A broken arch pediment with shell and finial. They carved interior and exterior shells.

Only time will tell how much trouble I’m in. Probably not all that much. I have a truly understanding and tolerant wife. I do. Really.

Dovetail Jazz (or At Least Free-Form)

Most of you might not realize that I have a more than a passing interest in dovetails. I consider myself a collector or perhaps a connoisseur. I have seen many, many of them (and so have some of you). Most of the time they are fairly regular. Like on this desk:

Seemingly a conventional slant front desk.

Seemingly a conventional slant front desk.

Carcass dovetails look normal within limits.

Carcass dovetails look normal within limits.

The back is typical while not quite Thos. Moser.

The back is typical while not quite Thos. Moser.

Even drawers don’t display much creativity:

Nothing out of the ordinary.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

Not pretty but not different.

Not pretty but not different.

But the bill/document drawers are art:

Who said spacing has to be consistant?

Who said spacing has to be consistent?

Are these any less strong?

Are these any less strong?

Who is Edward Nell, Jr.?

Who is Edward Nell, Jr.?

You groove to your dovetails, I'll dig mine.

You groove to your dovetails, I’ll dig mine.

I call them jazz and not free-form because the angles are (mostly) the same. It’s just the tempo, the timing that changes.

Can you feel it?

 

Toys for Tots

Over the summer, I was approached at a monthly Triangle Woodworkers Association (TWA) meeting by Fred Ford, chair of the annual Toys for Tots campaign. He was just confirming that I would be hosting workshops for toy builds and wanted to know what we would be building. I do not remember ever having discussed hosting a toy build. I was not opposed to hosting but I don’t remember ever volunteering. I decided it would be a worthwhile thing to do, recovered and said I was willing. Fred suggested we build pencil boxes. I said I would get back to him.

For some reason, pencil boxes just didn’t excite me as much as they should have. I have built some toys before and I decided I could do better. I looked what I had built and some notes for what I thought I might build in the future. It was decided we could build 100 hippos and 50 bulldozers with animated blade.

100 Hippos and 50 Bulldozers.

100 Hippos and 50 Bulldozers.

After a few misses, I ran my prototypes past Fred and he approved. I scheduled a few workshops for early October after we returned from our vacation to the Galapagos Islands. (I think it was a vacation, I didn’t get a check and there was no per diem.) Toys are due Dec. 9th but I wanted to be finished before Thanksgiving. This gives me time to finish in case we weren’t.

We were close. Most of the work was done before Thanksgiving. I had some final assembly and rework to do but most of the work was done in the workshops. We only had a yield of 98 hippos of the initial 103 made. Some had large ugly knots and some died in production. I made another 15.

The final products.

The final products.

We ended up with over 110 hippos and 60 bulldozers. The Hardwood Store of North Carolina donated the white oak for the bulldozers. I wanted to use soft maple for the hippos but there was no budget for it. Although I did end up buying parts, I didn’t want to buy the soft maple. The yellow pine was expensive enough.

TWA members did supply some volunteer labor but the majority of the effort came from members of the Hillsborough Orange Woodworkers (HOW). They meet at my shop often for the weekly Monday night meeting. I guess they just enjoy woodworking. Three of us are members of both.

I would like to thank the TWA/HOW members who participated in one or more workshops.

Manuel Astilla
Ed Brant
Jim Campbell
Paul Leslie
Jeff Leimberger*
Ed Mastin*
Mac McCarson
Dan Roscigno
Steve Wedge

* Members of TWA and HOW

You should see what I am planning for next year…

My New Favorite Desk of All Time…

At least for this week.

Looking for something new and interesting to do over the weekend, I stopped by an interesting antiques dealer in Raleigh. There was this interesting desk:

I like this desk. I really like it.

How interesting. I like this desk. I really like it.

Of course it has dovetailed drawers:

Dovetails, how nice.

Dovetails, how nice. They are nice dovetails.

I spent a few minutes looking for how get the desk to open. I pushed, pulled, pried, lifted. Everything short of actually ask the staff. I am a male of a certain age and that just isn’t done. Finally I pushed harder on the lid and as the lid slid in, the drawer with gallery and writing surfaced slid out.

One goes in and the other moves out. In opposition, as it were.

One goes in and the other moves out. In opposition, as it were.

And the fall board falls to provide the writing surface:

A writing surface.

A writing surface.

Unlike other secretaries/butler desks, this one has only one latch:

Just one latch is all they needed.

Just one latch is all they needed.

Another unique thing is that these desks usually have a pair of  quadrant hinges on the fall front, like this:

The usual suspect, but not on our desk

The usual suspect, but not on our desk.

Our desk has game table hinges:

This hinges works as well.

This hinges works as well.

And really nice legs:

Spinet legs.

Spinet legs.

This desk is only $695 as is. I didn’t ask what sins the “as is” covers. I really like it. I just have no place to put it.  It just doesn’t fit my needs at this point in time.

If anybody desperately wants it, I’ll tell you where in Raleigh it lives.

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 217 other followers