Hand Tools Archive

Re: Wood selection for Period drawer fronts *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I would have to guess large knots were a style thing by a maker or in an area.

If so this style persisted in walnut, seemingly unique to walnut, for 100 years and was largely confined to rural furniture by my small sampling.

This furniture is the way it is because- it was the fashion, it was cheaper to make, the client didn't care what his sock drawer looked like, the maker didn't have another lumber choice, other?

Some of the figured assemblies do look like some care was taken to create a harmonious appearance. In what I will call the city furniture the result was more harmonious and attractive by today's standard. It simply seems the city maker had a greater selection of wood to choose from to achieve the result. Why? Price? Demand?

But consider this piece.

I would guess that enormous knot lies beneath the pull not from fashion but from lacking a better board that wide to choose from. If true, why the lacking?

The choice is even more puzzeling in this MESDA piece.

What would have motivated the maker to place that huge knot to the left of the drawer? This board had a mate. If someone thought a knot here was stylish the adjacent board , if available, would have been used to create a flanking knot providing some sort of symmetry. As it is it look like a pimple on the nose of a Miss America finalist.

Looking at the door panels, the right one should have been reversed. I think the maker of this piece was skilled with his tools but lacked an eye for harmony.

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