Hand Tools Archive

How did the British do this excavation in 1800 *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
First, my sorrow. I applied for a job helping to build a Rose Parade float and was accepted. I was to be building it in clear 65 degree weather in the Rose Bowl parking lot. But United cancelled my flight and could not reschedule that day or the next (ice storms from Houston to Chicago), or even guarantee the 2nd day to get me there. So I cancelled the trip I was most looking forward to.

So I am home, 45 degrees and drizzle, working finishing the table.

We had a spirited discussion some time back on cock beading with the English leaning workers claiming the only way to cock bead was a partial bead on the bottom. I vigorously defended the American practice of a full cock bead there. However, in the case at hand a partial cock bead makes sense. To squeeze all the drawer height possible I have the bottom of the groove perilously close to the bottom drawer edge. Removing more material to do a full bead would substantially weaken the bottom of the groove for the drawer bottom.

One great advantage of power tools is that they remove wood with alacrity. They also remove wood from unwanted places at the same or greater rate if an error is made. More and more as I get substantial time invested in a part I turn to a slow secure hand tool method of wood removal, in this case the rabbits for the cock bead. But how? I can't think of how to make a rabbit on the curved drawer with any hand tool I own.

When I get the table top on I will then address the critics that faulted the drawer design. In the mean time they can be thinking of how they would have handled putting a drawer in a half moon table inspired by but not meant to be a Federal Reproduction, but rather to meet a client need for a table with a drawer to fit a confined space.

BTW, there is a Gallery with substantial collection of English furniture in Shelbyville, KY. I always stop to snoop when near by (daughter lives there). They actually had a demilune with a drawer. I must say that my drawer support engineering is greatly more elegant and robust than the design in that antique.

Additionally, the veneer was continuously wrapped around the skirt and the drawer cut our of the skirt with the matching veneer for its face. The drawer gap around the drawer focused the eye, in spite of the matching veneer. And the veneer edge had predictably chipped. I was satisfied that my choice of framing the drawer with cock bead was both better construction and better looking. If you can't hide something make it a design feature.

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