I threw my back out this past weekend and I’m off work for a couple days because of it. Audio, I have some time to reflect on some recent projects.
Here is a drawer that I wanted to try a different approach on building. I read about this in an old fine woodworking magazine. I don’t think this will ever replace dovetails in strength or beauty, but it’s elegant in its on respects and should be strong enough for a nightstand drawer. Its rabbeted and reinforced with walnut pins.
The picture frame I shaped using a 7/8″ hollow and round and a Stanley 50 to cut the rabbets before shaping.
Lastly a couple spoons, one walnut and the other is hackberry. I love walnut, but this hackberry soon is probably my favorite of the two.
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Hey, Dan. Really nice stuff. I love walnut, too. Its richness really appeals to me. Are the spoons shown pre-finishing? If so, I’ll bet the walnut will be even more beautiful. Never heard of hackberry…
I did a drawer exactly like yours a few years ago in an end table I made for the wife. Front and sides are maple. I don’t remember what I used for the pins. The drawer doesn’t get much stress so it’s not too tough a test, but the joint is holding together perfectly. See picture.
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I like your drawer!! I’m very subconscious about my dovetails, so as I continue to improve on my dovetailing skills this is a viable option if and when I build small drawers.
Spoons are pre finished. I think I like the Hackberry one better just because of the shape and feel of it in my hand and t had a bidet and deeper bowl.
Hackberry is a strong hardwood like oak, but it is kind of an ugly color bland color. I believe it is musky used as framing for upholstered furniture, beds and couches, and pallet wood. Also I think in the south they were used for church pews. Because the Hackberry tree it’s considered a weed tree like mullberry trees.
I tool made the very large drawers using the same technique 4 years ago this is the bottom half of my tools cabinet. The drawers are filled to the top with tools, the middle drawer is filled with books. Never had an issue with them coming apart and I don’t see it in the foreseeable future either.
It’s a good article so now I know it was in 1660 that they dovetails were invented, I did watch an episode of the woodwright shop in colonial williamsburg about finishes and they did mention that quality was based on how much one paid. So we can see that nothing has changed since. A very good article thanks for the link.
I think the article refers to what was common drawer construction and the progression of drawer construction; not a specific date when lapped dovetails were invented. I don’t disagree with “you get what you paid for.” But, what people could afford has and will always dictate how craftsman constructed furniture. In the 17th century, when people were living hand to mouth, there was no sense spending all your money and a fancy drawers when a nailed or pinned drawer would function just as well. Same is true today, but a larger group of people have a much larger disposable income to spend on furniture and we have much finer furniture available to us. On the flip side, the overall value assigned to furniture is pretty low for a large majority of the population. It’s why stores like Ikea and Ashley Furniture are doing so well.
But I digress!!
I will admit, when I built this drawer I was being lazy. I probably should have just dovetailed them…
I agree with what you say I cannot fault it one bit, I must admit selling my clocks lately at least last month and entering this month has been a challenge. If I were forced to solely make a living from it I would starve and end up on the streets, hence why I have a second job. They say the internet is the place to sell your goods but I had been doing fine since 1998 selling purely from word of mouth. Ever since I started offering online and I’m now entering the second month I haven’t had a single private order it seems like I’ve been cursed by going online. My nephew say’s nobody knows you that’s why they are reluctant to buy but everybody knew me prior to going online so figure those apples out.
We live in a different era compared to 20 years ago prior to technology e.g iPhones, iPads and androids took over. The new generation isn’t interested in fine furniture or clocks and the old generation who were has one foot or both feet in their graves. It’s just getting harder and harder and all I can see where currently the money in woodworking is and that’s teaching and the market for that is almost flooded.
I think you are spot on. We live in an era of unprecedented wealth, but people claim they cannot afford anything. And since they have to choose, “so carefully”, where to spend their money they choose to spend on experiences. Because, largely they can post pictures on Facebook and brag about it.
I’m sure you are just in a slump. You’ve entered a new market place and their is ultimately a learning curve to go with it.
Teaching is the easiest way to make a living doing fine woodwork or any other craft. It appeals to the people who are hobbiests or just bored sitting in an office and want to to something more constructive.
At the Furniture school I go to we get a lot of students who are embarking on design courses or similar. They have figured out that it may be adventages to learn how joints are made and what joints to use in different situations.
I only go one day a week to furniture school but I have started instructing a few students and giving advise. I pay for my time there as I make things for myself, that are streching my skills. Hopefuly this is leading up to paid position even if only voluntary, I would not mind I just want to be around woodworking. That’s why I keep my crappy job.
Very hard to make a living selling fine products.
You are trying to sell to the upper market these are the people who can afford such products.
If you make a dining chair you would probably have to give a hefty price tag to make it worth your while say £600 well you could buy a whole dining table and set of chairs for that. People of working class just cannot warrant paying more, when more affordable furniture out there. Plus there is the timescale of fashion people know days like to change.
I walked into a jewelers shop yesterday to buy my wife a gift and I thought why not offer my clocks to her. Before I did I examined her clocks and they nothing more than MDF veneered junk selling for $549, when I showed her my clocks that’s made from solid timber and for much less than her clocks what do you think she said to me. No thanks we only buy from one source. Hang on a sec, this is hand made from solid timber and selling for less than what she’s offering her clocks for, what’s wrong with this picture. I’m offering her quality and she insists of Sh*t.
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