Suck it old wives tails

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Living it up in 17th century style.

In recent months in the life of my shop there had been an interesting development of the direction, focus, or whatever. It’s the constant referral to the 17th century joinery and chair making. This time I’m embracing it, going whole hog. The forms, the green wood; the disregard of most woodworking rules like moisture content, squareness, or the idea that all surfaces must be smooth. The fact that Windsor chairs are made from wet and dry wood and last throughout the centuries is what excites me, and makes me think that modern woodworking has been scammed by old wives tails.

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2 Replies to “Suck it old wives tails”

  1. Actually, The 17th and 18th century woodworkers knew and obeyed the rule of the wood more than we do today.

    Start Green for easy processing of the timber.

    Make the piece that need to be the driest first and rough shape them.

    Just prior to assembly make sure the tenons are as dry as they can be and fit tight.

    Once assembled into a slightly more moist tenon, everything will lock together.

    For Frame and panel, just add a draw bored pin and you are good for 300 years or more.

  2. Wonderful photo Ben. I take great enjoyment by looking at actual pieces of furniture, joinery and carpentry work from various time periods. The more you look the more you develop an appreciation that not everything has to look like it came off a CNC wrapped in high gloss finish (not that there is anything wrong with CNC stuff). Keep enjoying the journey 🙂

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