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18th Century Dressing Table 

18th Century Dressing Table - page three


18th Century Dressing Table - page three  

 After finishing up with the carving of the feet, the next step was building the carcass. We used wide boards in spite of the fact that it is a common belief that it is looking for trouble. A trick I learned in the book by Jeffrey P. Greene, American Furniture of the 18th Century, was clamping the boards across the grain enough to compress the wood. The idea behind the is to allow for expansion and contraction. The sides and back were mortised into the legs, with three mortises on the ends of each piece. The two outer mortises were glued, while the center mortise was left unglued. This allowed for seasonal movement. The mortises were cut to maintain the compression. Any drying out of the piece would just relax the tension on the side boards.


  Foot Carving Completed  Dry fitting prior to glue up  Dry fitting prior to glue up  Glued up carcass 

In the second photo a frame has been dry fit at the top. The frame has a Mahogany front piece and a poplar frame where it won't be seen. The pieces have been mortised together. Notice the Mahogany piece is dovetailed onto the top of the leg posts. In the third photo, the particans have been fitted and temporarily installed. While they are screwed in at the top, they aren't glued.

The center particans have a breadboard edge on the front so the particans have the grain going the same way as the cabinet sides, but the front edge grain direction will match that of the leg posts. Photo four shows the bracket shapes cut into the bottom of the side pieces. They were laid out after fastening the blocks onto the legs. After carving the knees and brackets on all four legs, we glued up the sides and back to the leg posts. The center particans weren't glued until the drawer glide frames were made and tested for fit. Since all was okay, they too were glued up.

  Roughing out the shell on the center door  Roughing out the shell on the center door  Center compartment done  Bubinga insert on shell


  page one  page two  page three

to be continued...

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