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Welcome to SAPFM

For more than 20 years, The Society of American Period Furniture Makers has been committed to providing our members with the best in fine furniture making education.  We provide this service through our symposiums, publications, chapter meetings, and on-line resources. 

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Scott Severns

SAPFM President

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As we continue to define our new “normal for now” and work to solve issues many of us have never experienced, we can still walk into our shops and find some sense of normal. Personally it is my favorite place to be, there is nothing quite like the smell of coffee and sawdust.

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Visit our Members Gallery to view the many fine pieces built by SAPFM members. Many are museum reproductions. We hope that among these many masterworks you will find inspiration for your next build.

 

 

Visit the Gallery

 

 

American Period Furniture Throughout the Decades

 

Enjoy the Many Benefits of SAPFM Membership

Members enjoy the following benefits.

  • A subscription to our annual American Period Furniture Journal mailed each December
  • A subscription to our quarterly Pins & Tails e-magazine.
  • Participation in all local chapter events
  • Eligibility to attend SAPFM confrences and particapte in SAPFM exhibitions
  • Access to on-line resources including our library of articles, past issues of Pins & Tails e-magazine, and more
  • An online gallery where Members' work is displayed
  • Our online Members forum

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Article Index

Timber Identification

 


Post and Bolt Covers Mahogany
Pierced Canopy Red Cedar
Canopy Subframe Tulip Poplar
Back Posts and Rails Birch

The combination of secondary and tertiary timbers is not found on English eighteenth century beds but is typical of construction materials from Philadelphia in the 1770's.

As documented in The 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book, the bed cornices are of red cedar, cut open for carving or covering, with the pulleys to the rails priced at £1 10s 0d.

These could also be supplied with pieces to the corners and a scalloped upper edge. The Price Book tells us that imported red cedar rather than mahogany was used for the construction of carved and pierced canopies.

An aromatic wood that cost the same as mahogany, red cedar was also used for coffins and storage chests.

CB11 Description of scalloped cedar “cut open” cornices in the 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book.

 

The choice of cedar as a timber for the cornices could be twofold. It has been suggested that it was a remedy to a stuffy bedroom, providing an aromatic scent. The properties of cedar wood as an insect repellent make it particularly appropriate for keeping moths away from the bed drapes. The light weight of the cedar compared mahogany of the period could also have been a factor, as the cornice set would be easier to support.

Upcoming Events

News/Announcements

New Articles

  • Fitting an Asymmetrical Splat Into an Oval Chair Back

    BY DAVE HELLER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 This article discusses a specific aspect of making a set of not-yet-completed Bing-style Art Nouveau dining room chairs of my own design. I will write an article for SAPFM on...

  • A Standup Davenport Computer Desk

     BY JOE PARKER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 The name "Davenport" comes from a reference in the records of an 18th-19th century English furniture maker Gillows. The reference, in about 1795, gives the original design and...

  • Remembering Phil Lowe: Craftsman, Mentor, Friend

    BY MICKEY CALLAHAN April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 It’s with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of one of America’s master period furniture makers, Phil Lowe. I’ve known Phil for over 30 years and was privileged to have...

  • Luthier's Friend To Thickness Small Part

    BY JEFF THOMPSON April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 There are number of ways one can thickness stringing and bindings. I’ve used a couple methods myself like on a drum sander, but mine is in a shed out back behind my shop...

  • Mirka Hand Sanding System

    BY BOB LANG April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 I can develop a pretty smooth surface with a hand plane and/or a scraper, but before finishing I sand to ensure that all the surfaces of a project are consistent. Each hand...

Cartouche Award

  1. The Award
  2. Guidelines
  3. Cartouche Recipients

Resources

  1. SAPFM Business Member Directory
  2. Our Sponsors

Publications

  1. American Period Furniture
  2. Pins and Tales Magazine