Thursday, November 11, 2010

Waste Not

One thing that you notice when working on period pieces of furniture is the conservation of materials. That's why there is primary wood (skin) and secondary wood (bones). The opening photograph is an excellent example of the conservation of material. This large molding at the waist of a tall clock case is primarily of cherry laminated to poplar to build-up the required shape. Typically you see this done with mahogany as it has always been expensive, and less so with more abundant cherry.

I love this next photo. Most wood working apprentices, at some point in their training, are sent off to find the board stretcher. It's a great joke on them, akin to a snipe hunt for first year campers at scout camp. And at times I wish I had a board stretcher after crosscutting a board too short. But here, you can see, the craftsman actually stretched the board by dovetailing in an extension piece. Brilliant. No one was ever going to know except some future repairman....who in this case was very impressed.

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