Author Topic: The secret jointing of the Top of a period chest  (Read 7990 times)

MikeWenzloff

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Re: The secret jointing of the Top of a period chest
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2008, 12:36:08 PM »
Hi Joseph,

The first sentance of the first post asks this question:

"Question,How would the top of the chest in the attached picture been made? The chest is 68" tall so I assume it would be visible."

I think everyone has answered it in the context of the beginning of your second sentance:

"On a period chest, (68" tall, for example),"

I think that is why we each answered as we did. Doing this task the way you've drawn isn't a period thing as far as I can tell. And I did do some more leg work and research.

I now understand that the drawing in your last post is simply how you *want* to do it. That's fine. I think it would work well.

However, it just might be more work and carry greater risk--imagine messing up the top through either missing the dado with the carcass sides, error in mortising the top (mismatch to the carcass tenons), or mucking up the molding.

fwiw, one can see the joins of the applied moldings. I do not see a problem with that. It is a time-honored means of construction and to mee does not in any way detract from the piece.

I would be interested in seeing the piece you plan on making using that construction method.

Take care, Mike

rococojo

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Re: The secret jointing of the Top of a period chest
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2008, 07:34:36 PM »
This method of construction, as been used in English furniture design since time began, am I correct to think you are not willing to accept any other than what you have seen or made yourself? Just not willing to accept. That is no way to learn or improve, we never know it all.
I have seen, repaired many Period pieces, done just this same way,
Ill enquire to see if can take a photo, I'm not convinced you will believe then.

have a great day, joseph

msiemsen

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Re: The secret jointing of the Top of a period chest
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2008, 08:42:20 PM »
rococojo,
Part of the problem here is in your final post
This method of construction, as been used in English furniture design since time began, am I correct to think you are not willing to accept any other than what you have seen or made yourself?
This is "The Society for American Period Furniture". The piece you asked about is an American piece of furniture and that is how it was done. There is no opinion of superiority or unwillingness to learn. It is just a simple fact that that is how it was done over 200 years ago in Chester County, or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, America on that piece of furniture. There are many examples of American period pieces where the tops are attached differently. If the question is how was it done, then you have been given the answer, if the question is how could it be done now, or how was it done in England, that opens up the discussion as to other options. That piece of furniture was probably originally made for a Quaker, some one who would have regarded veneer as an unnecessary adornment and not purchased the piece if it was done in the fashion you describe. So while you may not approve of the pedestrian methods of the colonials, it is still how they did it and always will be how it was done. You cannot change the past, no matter how wrong you think they were.
Mike
« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 09:00:12 PM by msiemsen »
Mike Siemsen
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MikeWenzloff

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Re: The secret jointing of the Top of a period chest
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2008, 08:59:04 PM »
Joseph,

I think you need to read through not only your first post as regards the Penn. piece you originally posted about, but also my responses.

I wrote that I have done this when copying pieces made that way. I also wrote that I didn't like it, didn't trust it. So on pieces I subsequently did, I attached them differently.

I also wrote I was unaware of the method you described being done on 18th century pieces and simply asked to be shown.

There is no need to get defensive nor offensive. Like I wrote, please do show me.

Take care, Mike

dkeller_nc

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Re: The secret jointing of the Top of a period chest
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2008, 10:31:22 AM »
Just for a point of reference, there are some case pieces in MESDA that have overhanging tops.  As near as I can tell from reference books (The Furniture of Charleston, Furniture of Coastal North Carolina), these overhanging tops were either attached with blind sliding half-dovetails (the dovetail on the case side, the groove cut perpendicular to the grain on the underside of the top), or screwed to battens half-blind dovetailed into the top of the case sides.

Both methods strike me as a bit of overkill when the top can simply be half-blind dovetailed or even through dovetailed to the case sides, and the joint covered with applied molding.  You'd have to be very tall to actually see the dovetails on the top of a case piece of American colonial furniture - even the shorter examples.  From what I understand, our ancestors were a good deal shorter in the 18th century than we are today - 5'-10" would've been a tall man.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking