Author Topic: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.  (Read 15265 times)

HSteier

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Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« on: September 17, 2007, 10:44:24 PM »
I have completed the top and bottom cases for a Conn. highboy. The lower half was made with wideboard tenon construction as per prior thread. The 17" wide sideboards of the lower case were tenoned into the legs with the lower tenon being glued and the middle and upper tenons being pegged. I left the top of the sideboards 1/8" short of the top of the legs: room for expansion. But when I placed the upper case on, it became immediately apparent that now I could not affix the side pieces of midmolding to the lower case except to nail it to the top of the legs which seems destined to fail with time. Should the midmolding be attached to the top case? I have made several chest on chest pieces and these all have the midmolding attached to the lower chest which then indexes the position of the upper chest. If the midmolding is attached to the upper chest are the two pieces just screwed together to keep the top from moving on the bottom when the drawers are opened?

Howard Steier

dkeller_nc

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 09:48:12 AM »
Howard - I'm not sure about the design of your highboy (a photograph would help), but most highboys I've every seen (both reproductions and originals) have a top on the lower case, to which the mid-molding is nailed.  This picture from Chipstone's website shows this connection very well:

http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WebZ/FETCH?sessionid=01-47020-945614279&recno=26&resultset=4&format=F&next=html/nffull.html&bad=error/badfetch.html&&entitytoprecno=26&entitycurrecno=26&entityreturnTo=brief

Including, of course, the crack in the lower case sides from "incorrect" period construction. ;-)
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

HSteier

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 12:58:40 PM »
Thank you for your help. The link did not take me to Chipstone; it took me the the University of Wisconson library home page. I would like to see that construction if you could direct me to the web page on the Chipstone site.
I am aware that traditional construction and logic would dictate that the midmolding go on the lower case, but since the sides of the lower case do not go all the way to the top surface there is no attachment for the side moldings except to tops of the legs.

Howard Steier

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 02:53:49 PM »
Howard,

I glue and nail the molding to the leg post tops using two nail in each leg post and each at a different angle to the other.  This will help it from pulling out.  I also use a couple of nails attached vertically thru the molding into the sides (no glue because of the gap).  This will keep the molding from bowing in and out and the nails, driven vertically into the sides, can still allow movement along their shaft.

This works for me and I never had a molding come apart.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Cartouche recipient 2009. Retired Dec. 2018.

HSteier

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 05:29:18 PM »
Thanks once again for your help Dennis. Sounds like the perfect solution.

Howard Steier

dkeller_nc

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2007, 03:45:23 PM »
Howard - Sorry for the confusion over the link.  The Chipstone Foundation's collection (at least the digital phot archive) is housed on the U of Wisconsin's server.  What you're looking for is "Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture"> "Chipstone Furniture - All Records".  Once there, search for "high chest", then page through the listings until you come upon the Philadelphia high chest - one of those photos shows the top of the lower case (with the upper case removed).  You'll note that there's a top on the lower case (so it could, theoretically, stand on its own as a seperate piece of furniture), and the mid-molding is nailed to this top, thus providing a registration for the location of the upper chest.

David
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Cartouche recipient 2009. Retired Dec. 2018.

cbentzley

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2007, 07:01:34 PM »
Howard,

Very few Connecticut high chests have a top board on the lower section. One detail you may want to consider as far as attaching your mid-molding is a method that Eliphalet Chapin used. It's illustrated in "Connecticut Valley Furniture" by Tom Kugelman, on page 183, fig. 79d. The interior of the molding had small pockets gouged out (a smaller version of pockets for screws) and was nailed from the inside so there were no visible holes on the outside of the molding.

Craig

HSteier

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2007, 11:39:34 AM »
Dennis/ Thanks for the website url. The moldings on that piece are nailed to a top board which obviates the problem of the sides being short of the top. So back to your prior solution.
Craig, I have Kugelman's book and am aware of Chapin's hidden nailing. This is very elegant and I plan to try this for the front section of the molding as I will be nailing into a rail underneath the molding. The only problem I envision with this technique will be keeping the molding from moving when nailing it. I'll clamp it and we'll see. If the molding is nailed in the traditional way from the outside, it can be indexed to the top case which is clamped to the bottom case and won't move.
But I still have the same problem with the side pieces as they will have to be nailed/screwed to the top of the leg posts.

Howard

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2007, 01:32:26 PM »
Howard,

To avoid having the moldings move when being nailed, first glue and clamp them (if possible) in place.  After the glue has dried overnight drill your pilot holes for the nails no matter where they are located.  Then nail.

When I attach the moldings to the lowboy I will clamp the upper section onto the lowboy.  I first glue and nail the front molding tight up against the upper section.  Then I glue and nail one of the side moldings tight against the upper side.  For the other side molding I use a spacer (for clearance) between it and the upper side.  Then glue and nail it in palce.  I use my 12" steel scale as a spacer which is about
0.040" thick.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Lt.
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Cartouche recipient 2009. Retired Dec. 2018.

Larry

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2007, 05:32:50 PM »
removed by the author

« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 07:43:53 PM by HTF »

HSteier

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Re: Mid-molding on Connecticut highboy.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2007, 08:54:16 AM »
A word in follow up.
I followed Dennis' advice and it worked like a charm.

Howard Steier