LumberJocks

18th Century Dressing Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Lee A. Jesberger posted 07-04-2007 04:53 PM 2332 views 4 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a fun, yet challenging project. It was my first attempt at carving ball and claw feet.
Built from Mahogany, using full width pieces, (22”wide boards), we closely followed the construction details found in the original 18th century Low Boy’s. We did use compression methods to ensure the wide boards would not crack, as those in the originals did.

The top is Quilted mahogny, as is the top of the mirror unit.

The front is cut from one piece, so the grain is continous accross the drawer fronts, including the curved drawer. We did this by resawing the center drawer face into 3/32” thick pieces, and gluing them back together over a curved form, in a vacuum bag.

The finish is french polished shellac. All the hardware came from Ball and Ball Hardware, and is correct for the period.

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com





36 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3146 days


#1 posted 07-04-2007 05:20 PM

Very nice dressing table Lee.

There has also been some projects made by mark DeCou and he stated that his web traffic picked up when he put his web address in his signature line.

You said you make custom cabinets. so You might change your signature to point to your web page.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2884 days


#2 posted 07-04-2007 05:31 PM

Lee -

Very nice table indeed. The carved ball feet look great. I appreciate all the construction detail in your description. Please forgive an ignorant question, what does compression methods refer to when you describe the use of wide boards? Thank you again for sharing this wonderful piece!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6698 posts in 2725 days


#3 posted 07-04-2007 05:37 PM

Hi Carson,
Thanks for the comment on the table, and the suggestion to add the web address. I’ll certainly follow that advice!
Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2734 days


#4 posted 07-04-2007 05:43 PM

Great looking!

I love the ball claw feet!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6698 posts in 2725 days


#5 posted 07-04-2007 05:54 PM

Hi David,

Thank you for your comments on the dressing table.

When using wide boards, we clamp the board across the width of the board. Not to the point of causing it to cup, but enough to put some real pressure on it. While the clamps are still in place, we glue the piece up. (in this case, gluing the wide boards to the leg posts. The legs have 3 mortises cut into them. We glue the top and bottom tennon, and leave the center tennon float. This compression in the board results in it being able to expand as the humidity rises, which only eases the tension we created.

This was learned from a book titled “American Furniture of the 18th Century”, written by Jeffery P. Greene, and published by the Taunton Press. Whenever doing any 18th century furniture, which happens to be a personal favorite of mine, this book will be found on my workbench.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough for anyone interested in 18th century furniture. The author is probably one of the world’s leading authorities on the work of the Townsends and Goddards, and has been commissioned by a Rhode Island Museum to reproduce their furniture.

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6698 posts in 2725 days


#6 posted 07-04-2007 05:59 PM

Thanks Gary;

When I did them, I started on a Friday afternoon. I first carved a single leg, just to make sure I could do it, and then used it as a guide for the eight legs needed for the project.

When my partner saw the sample leg on Monday, his comment was ” I hate you”.

A good sign for sure!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2782 days


#7 posted 07-04-2007 06:07 PM

Impressive work, Lee. I wondered how you did the drawer face, and then you told us. Thanks for your construction details, they provide a great description of the process and really adds to the overall presentation here. The carving looks great as well.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View rentman's profile

rentman

230 posts in 2840 days


#8 posted 07-04-2007 06:08 PM

very nice work lee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Phil, Chattanooga,TN

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2907 days


#9 posted 07-04-2007 06:10 PM

Impressive work Lee. I aspire to produce work like that someday.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2992 days


#10 posted 07-04-2007 06:22 PM

Great job, love the claw feet, you don’t see many woodworkers doing that anymore. Nice construction. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View mb_BeachBum's profile

mb_BeachBum

25 posts in 2797 days


#11 posted 07-04-2007 06:43 PM

Wonderful job! Love that 18th Century furniture, also my favorite.

-- Don, on California's Central Coast

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6698 posts in 2725 days


#12 posted 07-04-2007 07:31 PM

Thanks guys,

Your kind words are really appreciated.

Nothing worse than to pour your heart into something and not have it appreciated huh!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Tim's profile

Tim

28 posts in 2747 days


#13 posted 07-04-2007 08:25 PM

In a word, WOW!! Great job on the ball and claw feet. Very impressive.

-- Measure twice!!

View Don's profile

Don

2602 posts in 2923 days


#14 posted 07-04-2007 10:49 PM

This is why I love LJ’s so much, Lee. Your high-end work is a great balance to the work I do as an recreational woodworker. It is inspiring to see what a pro can do with wood. And of course, it makes me appreciate even more what the craftsmen of the eighteenth century did with hand tools.

Thanks for share the details of this beautiful piece and what an interesting website you have – your work is brilliant and varied.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2906 days


#15 posted 07-04-2007 11:09 PM

oooooooh myyyyyyy goodness!!!

Magnificent piece….. magnificent work…..... wonderful “how to” tips…

ha.. the “I hate you” definitely is the cream of the crop of compliments!!! :)

Well done. ‘Tis beautiful.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

showing 1 through 15 of 36 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase