I recently came back from a woodworking class with Dale Barnard in Paoli, IN this weekend where he taught me how to make a set of five Shaker oval nesting boxes in cherry.
Dale’s workshop is set up to build just about anything, and he offers some pretty awesome classes for beginner through advanced woodworkers. Initially, I was surprised at how relatively simple the construction a set of one of these seemed to be. I guess that is pretty standard for anything from the Shakers. However, like many Shaker items, the details are what makes these a true work of art.
The first day I spent marking, cutting and shaping the top and bottom bands that will get bent.
I then boiled each of the pieces for around 5 minutes, and then bent them around a set of graduated molds and forms. These are tacked together at key points with some really fine copper tacks.
They then are placed in the forms and dry over night. In the morning I used the upper and lower bands to trace out and mark the solid lids. These are cut just proud of the line, and then sanded at a 4 degree angle.
Once fit with the upper and lower bands, the assembled pieces are then drilled and held in place with round toothpicks.
I have plenty of sanding and finishing to go, but they are really looking like the final product.
I’ll have more photos and progress to share over the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, if you are interested in learning how to make these, or some other classes, I recommend giving Dale a call. You can get all of the class information for The Barnard Woodworking School here.
-- Andy Brownell