Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Smaller work...

I periodically receive requests for custom jewelry chests. These are designs I created a few years ago and have been fairly successful at making these over the years. Creating these jewelry chests allows me to work at a different, smaller scale. The jewelry chests are composed of many small parts which need to be assimilated together in a harmonious way. The small parts involve much fitting and I typically use a couple of shooting boards for this part. The shooting boards are set up on two different benches. One shooting board is set up for mitered work, the other for trimming ends of small parts.

Although these jewelry chests are small in comparison to full scale furniture, the time and effort involved in making these can often be greater due to the many different components involved. An analogy I like to use is that they are miniature pieces of furniture. I enjoy making these occasionally as it allows me to utilize different skills and techniques I don't often use for larger scale work. As an example, the fitting of the trays, and drawer. Although the parts are initially cut to size,there is detailed trimming necessary. The dimensions I use have been fairly standardized at this point but because many of the components are so small in scale, there is precision trimming to perform.

I'm currently working on a couple of these chests and they are at 75% completion in my opinion. I need to install carved wenge handles, line the inside of the lid and then begin the methodical finishing process. The complete process is an interesting one as everything takes shape within a few cubic inches. The best part of creating these is there is not very much wood involved and I can therefore focus on locating and purchasing high quality woods. These particular chests have a figured mahogany exterior , dark wenge handles and cherry interior.

In the first photo the raw mahogany can be seen with the deep, dark reddish brown colour it attains after prolonged exposure to light. This is the wood prior to preparation for the two jewelry chests. I have simply marked and cut pieces out for each of the chests as well as the solid mahogany tops. The photo directly above shows the two chests at 75% completion and the mahogany can be see to be much lighter. The colour darkens over time as does the colour of the cherry interior. I will post photos of the completed chests soon.

No comments: