Symposium Aftermath

Hay Shop in Winter Clothes

Now that the 2014 edition of the Working Wood in the Eighteenth Century Symposium is over and all of our attendees are (hopefully) back home safe, sound, and ready for another year of period furniture making, we thought we should probably get to work finishing up those pieces we demonstrated on stage. Before we do that though, we wanted to offer up a sincere expression of our gratitude to all who attended.  It’s great to see so many familiar faces along with some new ones as well.  A lot of work goes into preparing these conferences, but the period furniture makers family reunion atmosphere you all help create makes the effort more than worth our while.  We thank you and hope to see you all again next year – that includes you too, readers who could not make it.  We’ll let you know when we have a theme for next year worked out.


Cabinetmaker Brian Weldy is just moments away from final assembly on the gate leg table.

I mentioned to folks that the end of the Symposium effectively marks the beginning of the new year for us in the Hay shop.  Here’s our collective resolution: to be more active bloggers.  That means we’ll keep you up to date on our progress with the early gate leg table, the Buckland and Sears sideboard, all the other shop projects underway, and any random musings about eighteenth century cabinetmaking we might have.


Bill Pavlak and Kaare Loftheim are progressing with work on the Buckland and Sears Sideboard. Here’s where we are on the front rail There is still a lot to do!

We would like to extend our congratulations to W. Patrick Edwards, the recipient of Society of American Period Furniture Maker’s 2014 Cartouche Award for lifetime achievement.  Patrick has spent the last 45 years studying and building pre-industrial furniture with period appropriate tools and techniques – a man after our own hearts.  Whether or not you are familiar with his work and writing, I encourage you to look him up: his blog, his website, and The American School of French Marquetry, which he runs.  For what it’s worth, his example was a real inspiration in my own decision to head down a path of historically informed cabinetmaking about a decade ago.  It was real pleasure for all of us here to meet Patrick and his wife and “talk shop.”

The Symposium also gave us the opportunity to work closely with MESDA and its gracious staff, especially Robert Leath and Daniel Ackermann.   We were also pleased to have Steve Latta back at the conference this year, as any opportunity to watch him present and teach is always welcome indeed.  Steve’s willingness to expand his presentations to accommodate a last minute schedule change was more than kind and we’re so grateful.  Our own Colonial Williamsburg joiner Ted Boscana also deserves a mountain of thanks for expanding his program at the last moment.

Finally, my drawings for details of the Buckland and Sears sideboard table came out quite poorly in the Symposium handout.  I apologize for that and have included them here for everyone.  I would also like to direct you to Tim Killen’s SketchUp blog for Fine Woodworking where he has included a digital version of the egg and dart molding.  Tim has been a steadfast supporter of the Symposium through his blog for the past several years and we’re quite grateful for that.

Here’s to a great 2014!

Bill Pavlak.

Egg and Dart

Buckland and Sears Egg and Tongue/Dart Pattern


Foot Design for Buckland and Sears Sideboard Table.

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9 Responses to Symposium Aftermath

  1. Dennis Heyza says:

    Thanks to everyone for another great symposium! The entire crew at CW, along with the guest presenters, do a great job every year. And thanks to Bill for the drawings – they are so much better than the handout pages. Any chance you could complete the set by adding the Sideboard rosette? That drawing is also quite faint.

    I look forward to the increase in postings and next year’s conference.

  2. Dennis Heyza says:

    And congratulations to Kaare for being made supervisor of the Hay Shop.

  3. Ed Minch says:

    A note for Brian
    I was at the Symposium last week and asked if you could post a video of your turning the last three balls on the leg of the gate leg table. You said you would consider it. I had a table project 80% designed when I came, and your work inspired me to finish the design. Thanks

    • Ed,
      Thank you for reminding me. We haven’t posted a video on the site before so it might take us a bit to work out the details. I’ll make sure it’s up by the middle of February.


  4. Mo Yarborough says:

    It was indeed an exciting and informative week for me; it was my first Symposium! I can’t thank all of the CW Staff enough for the friendliness and helpful tips, I felt right at home. I joined SAPFM last fall and was grateful to the members of the Executive Committee for their warm greetings. My Yarborough side of my family are 18th Century natives of Davidson County, NC and knowing that the Swisegood Corner Cupboard from MESDA was going to be presented was the highlight for me. After studying the construction from a distance, I became curious on my trip back to NC regarding the assembly of the corner cupboard. I failed to ask that question at the event; what came first? I have drawn a plan for one, and it seems to me that the shelves are cut first and the back added to sure it up, and then the front frame, with the doors last. Forgive me if this seems elementary, but I have never built a corner cupboard; and hoping to short cut my discovery with your input! Thanks again so much for a great event!

  5. Dave Reedy says:

    So much for New Years resolutions; ” resolution: to be more active bloggers”

    • Dave, thanks for pointing that out! I am eating my words so much that I’m putting on weight and killing two resolution at once. In all honesty we’re not happy about it, but have a several posts that are just about ready to go. We’ve had a busy winter and will be posting soon.

      • Dave Reedy says:

        Sorry, somedays the devil gets in me.

        We really have loved all our visits to Williamsburg and the Hay shop is our frst stop. Reading your blog reminds me of the visits so I get antsy waiting for the next entry. Also there’s always good info to be had from your blog.


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