A dear old friend has asked me for years for one of my wide boards. He knew the story of my lumber. That is was all cut before 1934 in the region of our mountains that was to become the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This lumber was cut sometime between 1930-1934 by the Little River Lumber Company. Bob Emmitt whom I studied with was privately employed by James Van Derventer to build furniture for him. They knew the park was coming in and that would be the last of the timber to come out of the region. So Bob Emmitt and a helper were sent up to Townsend, Tennessee to buy the lumber they needed from the Little River Lumber Company. Bob said there were stacks of lumber three stories high and he would just stand there studying the ends of the board. By studying the ends he could tell which boards came from the same tree. He wanted the lumber to match in color and grain. But two boards caught his eye. They were cherry from the same tree and 39 1/2″ wide without the heart of the tree in either board. Bob later used part of one board to make a Chippendale Pie Crust Table. About seven years after Bob’s death I was able to by the lumber form Bob’s widow Peggy Emmitt.This is one of the cherry boards. The thickness goes from 2 1/2″ to 1 1/2″ x 39 1/2″ wide and 12′in length. The mate to it is what I’m using for my friends table top.This will be the top of the table. It is 1 3/4″to 1″in thickness x 38 1/2″ wide x 6′ long. Because it is so wide there isn’t a planer that can thickness it . So I started with the bow side up and with my hand planes have been dressing this side. The under side will be left with the band saw marks and the far end will be left with the axe notch and crosscut saw marks.After leveling about a third with hand planes I started using a router and a 1 1/2″ bit to make a row of cut 1/16″ deep. Then I would remove every other one out with the router.The scrub plane is used to remove the ridges that were left. Notice the axe notch in the lower right corner of the board.A straight edge and #6 and#7 bench planes are used to level the top again before another pass with the router.A pair of winding sticks are used to check for any twist it the top.One more pass with the router and leveling then it will be ready for finish planing. The final surface will be from the #3 and #4 1/2 bench planes. I can produce a finer surface quicker with the hand planes than can be obtained by sanding.
This is a restoration of a New York sideboard circa 1790-1810 that I have just completed for a client. This sideboard had been worked on many times over the years. It has had four sets of hardware added from previous work. I found evidence that the original was a 2″ brass knob from the imprint left in the wood. I ordered the new Sheraton knobs from Ball and Ball. The back plate covers two later boring holes but I still had to patch two boring holes on either side from pulls that were added later. I made small oval patches and inlayed them to cover the boring holes. The sideboard came with two back boards, neither was correct. After doing some research into sideboards of this period I found a very similar side board in
The cabinet-makers London book of prices, and designs of cabinet-work in perspective, by the London society of cabinet-makers, 1803
I designed this back board taken from that plate in the book on page 325. I had some very old mahogany circa 1840 that I worked into the new back board.
At first the inlay looked very impressive but the more I looked at it something wasn’t quite right. I believe that the birds -eye maple ovals , circle and broad line inlay on the case , drawers, and doors was added later. Also the broader inlay over the drawers was later. The reason for this is because of the poor craftsmanship of the insetting as they were put in. In my opinion there are too many gaps and too much filler between the inlay and the mahogany veneer I do believe that the narrower (1/8″) vertical inlay and the cross banding inlay in between the lines are original to the sideboard. The vertical line inlay is made up of three layers of holly, walnut, and holly or maple, mahogany, and maple . It is very hard to identify the wood in the inlay.
This is a coffee table made out of walnut that I did for some clients. The clients had found the tiles for the top while in Europe. They contacted me to design a table for the tiles. Their sofa has ball and claw feet and this table was to go in front of it so I suggested we carry that into the coffee table.
I scrolled the apron to match the c-scrolls in the pattern of the tiles.
Sat. Feb. 25 ,20012 from 1pm to 5 pm I’ll be doing a router workshop. The router is a work horse in the shop. It will be more demonstration but will include some hands on. The workshop will cover router safety, router tables, jigs & fixtures, raised panels, doors, dovetails, molding, pattern work, and free hand router use.
The class will be limited to 8 people. Each person needs to bring safety glasses and hearing protection. Cost will be $75.00 per student.
Call 423-743-5643 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Old houses are just big pieces of furniture. In 2004 I took down Caldwell Springs. This house was built between 1812 and 1815 in east Knox Co.. It is in a Tidewater style of timber framing.The wall were noggin infilled. This is the back side of the house with the clapboard removed. There is a later addition in the left of the photo. I did not bother with the addition. I was given 14 days to take it down or it would have been bulldozed down and burned. It took me 16 days to take it down. The fellow was very kind to give me two more days.
This is the front of the house. The porch was original to the house. There was some water damage to the left front side of the house. The house measured 16″ X 28′.
The house was built out of Southern Heart Pine.I have the frame, flooring, joist, rafters, clapboard, door and window frames, and stair case. There is app. 2,500 board feet of lumber in the materials. All nails were pulled. I did not get the doors, windows, moldings, mantels, or ceilings boards. The house has been stored in Knoxville. It has been put on sticks and covered with tin off the ground. $3,000.00 ( SOLD)
If you ever towards Clinton, TN, it’s a short drive to The Shoppe at 350 Market. Worth the trip, Sandy has a collection of Antiques, and Fine Art and garden accessories. Please check out his shop at, you guessed it , 350 Market street in downtown Clinton TN.
Close up of the new top.
I want to start sharing the number of hours that it takes to complete a project. On this top to veneer it up, start to finish, was 57 hours. I hope this will help others to make better estimates on similar work. I may go back to older post and give the hours on the work.