The Furniture Making Experience

Personal Fingerprint

Once we have met, we will discuss the type of furniture desired, such as a table, chest, dresser, etc.  We will then work together to finalize the design.  This may take a discussion or two examining pictures and sketches to determine as closely as possible what the character and features of the design will be.  So from the time saw dust is starting to be made and throughout the rest of the project, your imprint will be present on the materials, construction, hardware and finishing of the furniture piece you want created.

Planks for dresser

Materials

For most furniture projects, I use traditional hardwoods such as maple, cherry, oak, walnut or mahogany. The piece will normally be constructed using solid wood selected for its quality, grain, character, and coloring. Veneering will only be done if there are curved surfaces involved in the design.

 

Construction

Modern machinery is used to cut and shape the major pieces to their proper dimensions. Jointery is normally done by hand using appropriate chisels, saws, and planes in the same manner that was done during the original period. For example, all drawers are jointed using dovetails cut by hand. Hand planing is often used as part of the final surfacing to remove machine marks and to get crisp lines for finishing. As dictated by the piece, hand carving may also be done.

Hardware

The best quality hardware is used – replicas of what used during the original period. These are often castings that come from molds that were made from the original pieces.

 

 

Finishing

Finishing materials are used that enhance the grain and color of the wood to its best advantage. The piece is then hand rubbed to bring out the patina and luster of the wood.

Personal Documentation

I will photograph every phase of the furniture making process from the acquisition of the wood to the final finishing of the piece.  The pictures will be stored and available for viewing throughout the project.  I also encourage clients to visit the shop during construction to see the progress being made on their piece of furniture.

Call Bill at: 1-973-975-8295

© 2014 by Bill Fagnant, Chatham Workshop, LLC

Society of American Period Furniture Makers
All the pieces assembled