Chester County spice box

bbrown

Bill
User
I've made many spice boxes. Typically I try something new with each. The circle inlay was the new technique here. I also added a carved fan just for fun, since there was a nice space for it. 4 secret compartments. I grew up on a farm in Chester County, PA so these are dear to my heart. This one is based on a piece from Nottingham Township. These "country carpenters" did some nice work ..……..

--Bill

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Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Outstanding work. Inspirational
 

bbrown

Bill
User
Thanks Jim. I was just looking at your fan inlay tutorial - it's very well done! I've made quite a few shaded fans but got some good ideas from the tutorial such as the ingenius clamping jig.

--Bill
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Very impressive - a lot of time and detail went into that piece.
 

creasman

Jim
User
@bbrown I meant to ask you about the drawers for this cabinet. I'm currently working on a project that will have much smaller drawers than I'm used to making. It looks like you maybe used 3/16" maple, and glued the bottoms onto the sides rather than insetting them into a groove. Is that about right? I assume you use hide glue. Did you use clamps for the drawers or just a rub joint? I recall a conversation I had with one of the cabinet makers at Williamsburg regarding the small drawers in a desk. He mentioned first dry fitting each, then gluing and pushing them into their spot to dry (after first wiping off any excess glue of course). This way they took on any irregularities of the space they would occupy. I'd be interested in any best practices you have to share. Thanks in advance.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
That is a fantastic spice box Bill! I had a farm supply business in the northwest corner of PA for a number of years; I called on a lot of Amish farms and knew some of them really well. I was always amazed at what some of those guys' could make with mostly handtools. One older Amish man had a beautiful pair of secretary desks in his shop that he had just completed. His church district was very conservative, meaning most work was accomplished with handtools only. Today I have a shopful of watt eaters, but 40 years ago that wasn't the case, my table saw was a Sears 8" direct drive and I had a yellow plastic B&D router with a small pressed steel router table. When I think back to those days, I find myself wondering how I was able to make some of the Country style, Shaker, Craftsman style, etc. furniture pieces using white pine, which was then quite affordable, as well as white cedar, which I could purchase for $100 per 1000b', all 4/4x12" surfaced one side and the edges. When I see a power tool that calls out to me, I think back to those days and question whether I really need it--but then I think of Bas's philosophy, "I don't really need it, I just want it!" But I've got to say, I never saw any piece of woodwork or furniture as ornate and beautifully made as your Chester County Spice Box Bill!
 

bbrown

Bill
User
Jim,
In the 4th photo down, you can see two of the drawers, sitting on top of the chest, in side view. I used tiger maple for this, just because it was such a small amount of material and I figured I might as well pull all the stops for something this ornate. I did through dovetails on the back and half blinds on the fronts - I can crank them out very fast. For the bottoms, as you say, there is no need for a groove for such small drawers. You can clearly see the bottoms in that photo as well. I just glue them on. Yes, it if not a bad idea to fit the drawers whilst the glue is drying - I do that often. There's essentially no issue with expansion/contraction with such small drawers.
And I use yellow glue for everything except large veneer projects. I've fooled around with hide glue and have the glue pot, etc, but just never got the hang of it. Plus I'm only in the shop a few days a month, so cannot really keep a hot pot going all the time.
Thanks for the comments. I loved your Federal Pembroke table!
 
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bbrown

Bill
User
@bbrown I meant to ask you about the drawers for this cabinet. I'm currently working on a project that will have much smaller drawers than I'm used to making. It looks like you maybe used 3/16" maple, and glued the bottoms onto the sides rather than insetting them into a groove. Is that about right? I assume you use hide glue. Did you use clamps for the drawers or just a rub joint? I recall a conversation I had with one of the cabinet makers at Williamsburg regarding the small drawers in a desk. He mentioned first dry fitting each, then gluing and pushing them into their spot to dry (after first wiping off any excess glue of course). This way they took on any irregularities of the space they would occupy. I'd be interested in any best practices you have to share. Thanks in advance.
Jim, I replied above - sorry if I should have done that here....

--Bill
 

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