Wednesday 30 November 2022

And so the cycle starts again....back to black..

As the joined furniture is made from green oak, the tannins, in the beginning, stain the steel. The making tends to take months for me, if not years, for two reasons; 1)english oak is difficult to rive/cleave/split 2)I am generally doing a myriad other things in between. Making windows/doors/stairs, timberframing, other restoration carpentry, whathaveyou; pulls me away from the furniture. This works out well; the green oak starts seasoning, so that by the time it gets carved and joined it is well on the way towards dry. So it doesn't stain my tools as much and cleaning after each session is not as necessary. But in the beginning there is black.....

The stiles for this next piece need stock of 70" or 1800mm long, so it's out with my Windy Smithy broad axe for the hewing. This oak was felled 12 months ago and is still sopping wet.

Pulled away to stop this door being "a bit gappy". Traditionally-made accoya schoolhouse door, made and fitted in July. Sealed with oakum today in November. It's too cold now for limepointing on top of the oakum, but this should keep the draughts out until spring (and the kiddywinks toes warm).


And back to the bench for scrub planing the stile. Tis enough for one day.

While taking shots of the livery chest the other day, I got a shot of my armchair (in reality my settle). Made by giants.


Logs of Devon/English oak that will produce 8ft long riven boards don't come along everyday. I've yet to find another.

Thursday 24 November 2022

Exeter merchant's livery cupboard complete

 So, almost a year to the day since it was started, the livery cupboard is complete. 

Some beeswax polish and all good.


Monday 21 November 2022

The cup board cup-board

The evolution of the cupboard started from a cup board, literally a plank on trestles at the side of the hall or living room, on which you placed your cup. This then developed into several tiers of planks seperated by stiles and rails, often carved/turned, to make a court cup-board. From this came the livery cupboard; a court cup-board with an enclosed, canted storage with door, on the upper tier. And further to a press cupboard, with storage on all tiers, finally growing in height, with taller doors; a modern cupboard we would recognise today.

So, the livery cupboard cupboard. The framing for the canted cupboard needs mouldings. For this I am using a scratch stock; a metal plate with the cross-section of the moulding cut into it, held in a timber stock. No moulding plane on this one.

This is then pulled/pushed along the edge of the timber to form the moulding. The moulding can be run out to nothing, which you can't do with a moulding plane, but not on this piece.

The front canted stiles...

are carved.

And the cup board cup-board, or is it cup-board cupboard, is joined and assembled.

I have some keys for the door. I just need to make a lock, but that's another story.