We’re workin’ on it!

There's a lot going on in the shop these days.

Late January and February are quiet at Colonial Williamsburg.  The woodworking symposium is over, the kids are back in school, and the tourists are either skiing or migrating further south than Virginia.  This, then, is a great time of year for us to get caught up on everything – it’s also a great time to visit Williamsburg, you’ll have the whole town to yourself.  Here’s a quick photo tour of what we’ve been up to today and consequently what we’ll be blogging about in the coming days.

First, a sincere “thank you” to everyone for sharing your insights, curiosities, and words of welcome to the online woodworking community.  We should have come on board sooner!

As for the furniture and future blog posts:  we’re workin on it!

Mack Headley has been working on carving and sawing out the splat for the Chinese-inspired chair featured at this year's symposium. Beside him are some maple blanks ready to be turned into spools for the Weavers.

Kaare Loftheim has been progressing with the fine details of the Chinese chair's front legs.

Bill Pavlak is finishing up the upholstery on two Campeche chairs (held over from last year's Monticello themed symposium).

Brian Weldy is using a shopmade wax (more on that soon) on his cherry reproduction of a standing writing desk from Monticello.

Ed Wright has been fine tuning the fit of the crotch walnut veneered spinet cheeks.

What's a spinet cheek? It's the small section of the case that flanks the keyboard and defines the key well.

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18 Responses to We’re workin’ on it!

  1. Mark Schreiber says:

    What is your formula for your shopmade wax?

  2. Jim Marsh says:

    Have you ever considered putting together measured drawings for some of your projects? The Chinese chair (Wentworth?) would be a great start. Maybe just some overall dimensions.

    In either case the close up images look fantastic.


  3. Kerry Grubb says:

    I made a campechy chair after last years symposium, my question is: I have yet to upholster it, is there some kind of padding between the seat leather and the back cloth?

    • Kerry, I’m happy to hear that you made a campeche chair – the chairs at Monticello have nothing between the leather and the back upholstery. The fabric on the back is purely decorative and covers up the tack strip that receives the leather. I’ll try to post a more detailed write up of the chairs in the next few days.
      Bill P.

  4. John Kissel says:

    Great to see you on the web. The conference this year was rvery well done. I enjoyed it and am glad to be able to see the ongoing projects. Thanks for using clear high res photos. The details really shine through!

  5. Patrick Neal says:

    I visited the shop last September and I am enjoying seeing the work in familiar surroundings. You had recently held the Monticello Symposium and one of you fellows spent considerable time talking to me about the chair. It is great to see it being finished. I have been thinking of tackling one like that this year. Thank you all for this wonderful blog, it is the first or second one I check each day.

  6. Charles N. says:

    Thanks for another good post. Ed, on the spinet cheeks end grain, do you use a long grain strip of stringing/inlay?

    • Charles, if you mean the outer face edge of the whole cheek assembly, that will be covered with crossbanded walnut veneer.
      It covers up the sandwich effect (partially visible in the second photo) of solid walnut core, with a white pine ply veneer on the inside face.
      That in turn is covered with crotch walnut veneer. This assembly matches the technique done on my original spinet.
      There will be no contrasting inlay or edging. Many thanks. Ed

      • Charles N. says:

        Thanks Ed. I see I was mistaken. I can see now what looked like stringing is actually the white pine you refer to. Thanks again, and look forward to more spinet progress.

  7. mcasebolt says:

    This is a fantastic web site. Thank you for putting this up. I’m really looking forward to more of these articles.

  8. I was able to visit CW in June. Too bad I will probably never travel back east as my SIL has been released from the navy. I was very impressed with your work and the people in the shop. I love the fact that this blog will allow me to see what is happening in your shop.

  9. Gary Roberts says:

    Great to see you on the web! CW is a bit far from me so it’s good to get a ‘window’ to what’s going on. Now about installing that webcam in the shop…


  10. Lynn Judes says:

    Wonderful site. Does your blacksmith also have a blog?

  11. Tom Dugan says:

    My, it’s been quiet around here for a while. Do you folks take requests? At one of the conferences 2 or 3 years ago one of you was using a wonderful router by George Wilson* done in boxwood. Could you post a couple of pics of that? Especially of how the iron is held in place would be great. I somehow managed to miss taking pics of my own during the breaks. Thanks!

    (*= That’s redundant, for folks not familiar with George Wilson’s work.)

  12. Thanx for the blog, it’s great!!!
    On the chinese chair front leg picture, what’s the tool just right from the plane?? And what was it used for?? Thanks!

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