As with many projects a lot of the work is in set-up and planning so if you are going to build one you may as well build two or more. This is true as well for the Townsend Document Chest project and I will be building two of these beautiful chests, both out of mahogany. I will be building them roughly in parallel, but hoping to use the first chest as a learning platform such that the second chest benefits from any “lessons learned. Still, I have started the primary layout work on the second chest so that when it comes to resawing the stock to the required thickness I can accomplish all of this at the same time. Progress on both chests will be documented in the associated picture gallery, and on posts here from time to time.
Pictures showing the progress of building a reproduction Newport Style Document Chest (actually two of these will be built)- the orginal built by John Townsend. Pictures will be added to this gallery as work proceeds.
It starts with a brush off….
After moving the mahogany for the Townsend Document Chest into the workshop to begin to acclimate to the interior humidity levels, the first step in the material preparation is a heavy brushing of the wood to remove any loose debris, sand, etc. This helps to avoid extra wear on the plane irons as I start to process the wood. Continue reading
With Hurricane Irene starting to bear down on the Northeast, a tractor trailer arrived at the shop with 3,200 pounds of beautiful mahogany. This is a beautiful dense hardwood, and weighing about four pounds per board foot this shipment totaled just over 800 board feet. While I would love to claim all this material for myself, it actually will be split up among nineteen woodworkers. We will be building reproductions of a wonderful document chest originally fashioned by John Townsend in Newport Rhode Island in the eighteenth century. We will be doing this over a period of eighteen months or so as we follow along as master craftsman Alan Breed demonstrates the process at our GNHW Period Furniture meetings.
I will be posting regular progress reports here as well as on the Guild website.