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American Period Furniture Throughout the Decades

 

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BY LEONAD REINHARDT June 30, 2020 Updated June 30, 2020

Last year our Rector, Rusty McCown, asked me to design and build two cabinets for the Narthex of our church, St. Paul’s in Franklin, Tennessee. The goal was to create two instruments that would serve as focal points for parish and diocese communication materials. After receiving input from several parishioners, concept drawings were developed, and presented to the Vestry. The following is an abbreviated story of the process over the past few months to create what I hope will become permanent fixtures to greet all parishioners and guests to this historic Episcopal sanctuary.

765 St Paul ChurchThe initial design process began with receiving input regarding how the fixtures would be used and what features would facilitate the materials and messages to those arriving at the sanctuary. Based on this information, it was determined that both closed storage (drawers), open storage (easy access bins), and a display area were required. Additionally, it was important the cabinets harmonize with the look and feel of the Gothic Revival style of the building and sanctuary.

765 Reinhardt 01765 Reinhardt 02Typical to the Gothic Revival period of the mid 1850’s there is a significant amount of oak visible in the sanctuary, pews and existing fixtures. This oak has been cut, carved, and finished with features such as pointed arches, tracery, and quatrefoils. Based on the existing tone of these fixtures a design was developed encompassing the requested features, while harmonizing with the existing interior space.

With an approved concept drawing in hand, the next step was to source the raw materials for the project. After a significant amount of research, I decided the best material to use for this project was oak from the Spessart forest in Germany. This forest was originally set aside by three bishops as a hunting and forest preserve. Now, over 1000 years later it produces some of the finest plantation grown oak in the world.765 Reinhardt 03

After a log was purchased, it was cut into slabs and set aside to stabilize in an environment with regulated temperature and humidity. After a few weeks the moisture content of the wood stabilized and fabrication began with first rough milling parts, and then assembly with time honored traditional joinery techniques. With final assembly completed, the application of dyes and pigmented stain was followed by shellac top coats to complement the centuries old wood and sing in harmony with the historic sanctuary for all to enjoy.

765 Reinhardt 04765 Reinhardt 05765 Reinhardt 06

Upcoming Events

  • Delaware Valley Chapter Meeting July 17, 2021

    The Delaware Valley Chapter is planning their first in-person post-pandemic meeting to be held on July 17, 2021. It will start at approximately at 10 am and finish around 4 pm. Coffee and lunch will be provided and a small...

  • Gateway Chapter Zoom Meeting on June 25th at 7pm CST

    The Gateway Chapter will be having a ZOOM meeting on June 25, 2021, at 7 pm (central). The purpose of the meeting will be to re-introduce each other to one another, talk about what you are working on, what you are planning...

  • Indiana Chapter Spring 2021 Zoom Meeting

    BY SAM RHODES April 26, 2021 Updated June 7, 2021 The Indiana Chapter hosted a Zoom meeting on Saturday 22 May 2021. Our presenter was Cartouche winner Ray Journigan. Ray discussed his current project, a Charleston Rice...

  • Peach State Chapter Spring 2021 Zoom Meeting

    BY ARNIE MOORE May 11, 2021 Updated June 12, 2021 The Peach State Chapter had its Spring meeting on June 5, 2021. The meeting was held simultaniously in-person and live on Zoom.  Steve Quehl discussed the design and...

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...

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