A (dove) Tale of Two Battens

One of the unexpected, but really rewarding, elements of the staked worktable build is the different senses of scale across components in the project – moving between the large surface area (and edge joints) of the table top, the battens, octagonal legs, and finally drawer parts. Today I prepared the two battens that hold the table-top flat and accept the tenons for the legs. After edge jointing 53″ long boards for the top, working on two pieces no more than 25″ long felt quite dainty, and was certainly a fun change of scale.

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Squaring up the battens before laying out the angled sides

The two battens are an easy stage of the build, but they still involve some points of interest. The battens are trapezoid (or possibly dovetailed) in cross section, which I approached in two stages. Firstly I planed the long edges flat and square to the reference face, to ensure that I had accurate edges for layout. The move from 53″ long edges to much shorter pieces definitely had an impact in terms of how quickly the battens were squared up, and it is a helpful reminder that working on different sized pieces is key to improving that core skill set.

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The 4″ Vesper bevel is the Rolls Royce of bevels, and perfect for this sort of precise layout.

Once the battens were square on all four sides, I then laid out the angled sides. The Vesper 4″ bevel is wonderful for work lik, as it is exactly the right size to balance on components where a larger bevel would be too much of a handful. I struck the angle onto the end grain of both battens with a sharp making knife, before laying out the bevel on the face of the battens. It’s not really advisable to use a marking gauge or knife when laying out the lines of a bevel or chamfer on the face of the workpice, because the kerf left by the blade will remain below the surface of the chamfer (and Charles Hayward had some strong things to say about that). Instead, a pencil line is safer to work to, even though it is generally a less accurate method of marking work than a fine knife kerf. Until this week a pencil based marking gauge was one of the key omissions in my tool chest. Fortuitously, I saw good friend and tool maker Bern Billsberry on Friday, and quite unexpectedly he gifted me with a beautiful cam-lock pencil gauge from his latest batch. This was perfect for laying out the rest of the dimensions for the angled sides of the battens. I set the gauge to the knifed lines on the end grain of the battens, and used that setting to mark the edge of the chamfer on the face. The gauge locked solidly and left a good clean pencil line to work to.

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An unexpected gift this week turned out to be exactly the tool I needed. A cam-lock markng gauge by my good friend Bern Billsberry.

With all the layout done, I held battens into the vise and planed the edges to the correct angle using my No.8 jointer plane. Angling the plane removed the bulk of the corner, and then it was a case of adjusting the angle at which I was holding the plane to achieve a surface that was parallel with the line on each end of the batten, removing the waste until I hit the line on the face of the workpiece and those on each end. Again, the small bevel made it easy to check that a consistent angle had been achieved along the length of the workpiece, without needing to remove the batten from the vise. I also used a straight edge to make sure that the chamfered edge was straight and without any bumps or hollows. All in all, the four edges took little over an hour to plane from square, so this was a swift but very satisfying operation. It’s been a hell of a week for various reasons, and getting back to my workbench always helps to re-centre me. All of the extraneous pressures and concerns melt away as soon as the first shaving comes up through my plane.

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The two finished battens – angled and ready for the mortices to be drilled. On the lower batten you can just about see some alternative angles I marked on the end before making my mind up.

Next week I’ll be working on the legs, which if I’m totally honest are one of the reasons I chose this design. Also it means I’ll be taking a dive into the world of lathe work and turning.

This just tops it all

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Choosing the best layout for the top

If I’m being perfectly honest, I was a little apprehensive about jointing the boards for the top. At 53″ long this is the longest edge joint I’ve prepared to date, and although an edge joint is one of those simple techniques that every handtool woodworker picks up early on (and one which I’m very comfortable with), the additional length of this joint does increase the difficulty level a little. As the top joints will be visible every time I sit at my desk, I knew I would be haunted by any gaps or poor joints, and the only way to avoid this endless torture would be to work good joints first time round. As I keep saying on this blog, there is no such thing as a “trick” in woodwork – just fundamental techniques practised well and attentively. I should have remembered those words instead of worrying about the difficulty of the joints, because once I was actually at my workbench the process went smoothly and achieving gap free joints was very straight forward. Having confidence in the techniques and following them, is often the perfect antidote to being overawed by the task at hand. But let’s back up a bit and talk about the actual process…

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The straight edge shows that the rough edge of this board surves significantly. Stopped cuts will remove the high spots and then the full length can be worked

There are two significant visual features of this desk – the first is the facets and edges that punctuate the silhouette of the desk, and the second is the grain of the top. Placing the three boards in the most attractive combination is therefore critical to creating a pleasing final piece. One of the boards had some lovely subtle quilting, while the other two were much plainer. I decided to place the figured board in the middle, sandwiched between the two plain boards, and this was more attractive (to my eye at least) than a figured board on one side and the two plain boards grouped together.

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One joint down, onto the next!

When orientating the boards I also thought about the stability of the top, and mitigating seasonal wood movement – particularly whether the heart side and bark side of the boards should be alternated, or whether it was safe to position all three boards with the heart side facing the same way. My go to source when thinking about wood movement is always With the Grain, which provided some helpful tips but no definite answers. Ultimately, the most attractive orientation was for the boards to be placed bark-side up, with the grain running in the same direction. This will make final clean-up of the table top easy as the whole surface area can be planed in the same direction, and as the battens will restrict wood movement I think this orientation should work just fine. With the position and orientation of the boards decided upon, I struck lines across the edges of each board to help identify which edge paired with which.

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A small block plane can help fine tune localised areas of the joint

The final task before I started jointing the boards was to sharpen my No.8 plane. Yes sharpening is boring, but to get a really clean and precise edge joint, especially in material as hard as maple, needs a sharp iron. I also find preparatory sharpening such as this to be very useful for mentally preparing for the work ahead.

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Chris Vesper tells me that for edge checking the blade of the square should be placed against the face of the work for a greater reference surface, and the stock used to check the edge.

When planing an edge joint I first check the board with a straight edge to see if there are any obvious humps or hollows, and also to hold the two edges against each other. These tests quickly identify if there are any trouble spots, and as a result help me to dial in a straight and square edge faster than if I were working blind. The first edge I started working had a significant fall-off at one end, and so I took stopped cuts along the high spot, slowly lengthing out the plane strokes until I had worked the highspot down to the same level as the low corner. Once the edge was on a consistent level (although not perfectly straight of square), I set a fine cut on the plane and started to plane the joint proper. Whenever I plane edge joints I find it helpful to think of planing a concave curve into the workpiece – the long sole of the No.8 prevents this from happening, but aiming for it ensures that pressure is applied correctly and you do not end up with a convex curved edge (which is what a plane naturally wants to do). So, at the start of the cut the pressure is entirely on the toe of the plane, for the middle of the cut the pressure is evenly spready between the toe and heel of the plane, and at the end of the cut the pressure is entirely at the heel of the plane.

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Marking off the final width using the Hamilton Tools panel guage

Only once the first edge is square and true do I move on to the matting edge, using exactly the same process. Once both edges are jointed, the next task is to set them together and check for any gaps at both the front and back of the joint. If the joint is gap free without needing clamps, then it is good to go. All three boards were over width, and so before gluing up the first assembly I used my panel gauge to mark the final width of the two boards, and ripped the excess with the Disston D8, leaving 1/8″ waste still on the boards to allow for some final clean-up. The excess material ripped off the boards will provide the spindles of the matching staked chair, meaning that the entirety of the chair can now be made from scraps of the table timber!

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Ripping the excess with the Disston D8 and staked saw benches

I worked the top in two stages – jointing and gluing the first pair of boards, and then jointing and gluing the third board to the larger panel. Hide glue was used for both joints, and the top is now back in the study ready to be squared and cleaned up. I’m going to leave any further work on the top until after the legs and battens are complete, as there may yet be a spot of seasonal movement in the top, especially after a big glue-up, and I don’t want to remove any more materaial than I have to. One flattening just before the joinery is cut will be enough to get the top ship shape.

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The complete top, glued up and curing.

Crown and Glory

Because I don’t work with pre-dimensioned timber, it always takes a while when working on a new build to get to the point of actually doing any joinery or reaching for the glue bottle. There is always a goodly amount of time spent on stock preparation. After a bit of a slow start on this build, all of the stock for the desk is now processed and lying in stick ready to be used.

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I’ve written before about the benefits of traversing in order to flatten and thickness stock, but I’ve not spent much time talking about how to deal with the crowned side of a board. Which I think is an oversight for two reasons. Firstly, traversing is dead easy providing you can sharpen a plane and resist the urge to tilt it down as you exit the cut. Secondly, traversing the cupped face of a board before you have flattened the crowned face is a recipe for stock that wobbles and tilts under the weight of the plane, which definitely makes flattening more difficult. Because the cupped face generally provides a stable surface on the workbench, I normally flatten the crowned face before moving on to traversing the cupped face. So why not talk about flattening the crowned face?

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Winding sticks show that the crown is twisted – see the difference in height between the left hand end of the far winding stick and the corresponding end of the near winding stick

In my defence, I don’t think I have come across a detailed description of flattening the crowned face of a board (most books will say something similar to “plane the peak with the grain until it is level with the sides” without giving much more detail, which is technically accurate but misses some of the nuance) so I’m not alone in neglecting this subject. I was reminded of this as I flattened the three 9″ wide and 54″ long maple boards that will make the top of my staked work table, all of which had a decent amount of cupping from their time drying at the tinber yard. And so I thought this would be a good opportunity to shed some light on an essential, but often overlooked, element of flattening timber.

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The sole of my jack plane is plenty accurate as a straight edge for this sort of work.

Before I start planing any board, I first check for twist using winding sticks. Now, I really wish I had a beautiful pair of winding sticks by my friend Dan Schwank (and one day I will add these to my tool chest, because Dan’s work is impeccable). But in the meantime, a pair of 36″ long aluminium corner pieces works just fine. On this board the winding sticks showed that the extent of the crown was inconsistent across the length of the board, but this is easily planed out when removing the crown. For heavy stock removal like this I use the sole of my plane as a straight edge – it is always at hand, and is plenty accurate when judging where to take the next heavy cut from. My Starrett straight edge stays in the tool chest until I’m checking finer work.

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Take a good heavy cut, and don’t worry about tearout or woolly texture – that will all be smothed out later.

All of the crown is removed with a jack plane fitted with a cambered iron, set for as heavy cut as I can comfortably take. A heavy cut removes more material, and gets the job done quicker, but there’s no point exhausting yourself by trying to take superhuman-thick shavings! Start off by planing the very peak of the crown, along the grain, focusing on the highest areas of the length of the board, and then working the peak of the crown across the full length of the board.

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The peak has been knocked off, so next I work the high points to either side, followed by the middle again.

When the plane bottoms out in the cut, I check the crown with the sole of the plane. What you expect to see is a small hollow where the peak of the crown was, and a new peak to either side of the hollow. I plane the new peaks out, and then work the mid-point (where the original peak was) to ensure that I’m not planing a new crown into the board. Skewing the plane a little helps the toe and heel of the plane ride on the two new peaks, and when you bottom out in the cut you know it is time to work the new peaks again. I try to take an equal number of shavings from each of the new peaks, check my progress with the sole of the plane, and then work the middle.

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The high points are moving well towards the edges of the board, so I’m getting close to flat. Plane off the highpoints, work the middle, and check again. Repeat.

And then repeat. Many times. What you find is that as the middle of the board gets lower, the two high points move further apart towards the edge of the board. When the high points are on the very edges of the board, the board effectively has a very slight hollow. Check with the winding sticks to make sure that the board is free of twist, and then lightly traverse it until it is flat. All of this is done with the jack plane, and only after that light traversing do I reach for a different plane.

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The winding sticks say this board is now free of twist. Now to finish flattening this face

I’m trying to learn from Joseph Moxon, and allowing the purpose of the timber to determine which plane I reach for – does the workpiece need to be dead flat but not super smooth, dead smooth but not necessarily cricket-wicket flat, or both deadnuts flat and super smooth? The tyranny of assuming everything needs to be perfectly flat and smooth can be hard to shake, but thanks to Mortise and Tenon, and Moxon I’m making progress in my rehabilitation. For the top boards for the staked worktable, I reached for the No.8 jointer once the crowned face was flattened with the jack, as I need the boards to be flat before they are jointed and glued, but won’t be smoothing them until the table top is glued-up. And so my No.3 stayed in the tool chest for this session.

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The No.5 is the perfect plane for this sort of work. Long enough to keep planing true, but light enough to not tire you out.

With the stock for the table all processed, my next task will be to joint and glue up the boards for the top, after which I can start work on shaping the battens and legs.

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All the stock for the staked table is now processed and ready to be made into something useful

The Anarchist’s Office Suite?

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Nearly every project seems to start with my Vesper 10″ square and a pair of dividers

Once the Policeman’s Boot Bench was collected by the client I turned my attention to my next project – a staked worktable from The Anarchist’s Design Book. The maple had been sitting in stick at the end of my study (which is where the completed desk will stand) since April, and I’ve been looking forward to getting stuck into this project. As well as the desk I need an extra bookcase to house my library of woodwork and history texts, and so next year I am planning to build the boarded bookcase from The Anarchist’s Design Book, in maple to match the desk. Of course, a desk is no use without a chair to sit on, and I had originally planned to buy a generic office chair. Then, as I was tidying up the workshop at the end of the Policeman’s Boot Bench build, I looked over my timber stock and realised that I had enough surplus maple for a staked chair (also out of The Anarchist’s Design Book). So my plan is now to build a matching office set of desk, chair, and bookcase. Because it is good to have both a plan and a set of durable, stylish office furniture.

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Bringing the rough stock down to square for the legs

Due to various committments I’ve not generated much momentum or rhythm on this build yet, but the stock for the desk legs and battens is now processed, ready and waiting to be shaped and for the joinery to be cut, and today I have started to tackle the three boards that make up the desk top. This is all very much as I’ve written about before – flattening rough boards with a No.5 jack plane followed by a No.8 jointer. Because the legs and battens are structural components I processed them in two stages to ensure they would not move once at final dimension. The first stage involved flattening one face and one edge of each piece, and taking the opposite edge and face down until they were 1/’8 shy of final dimension. I then left the stock for another week to rest before taking to final dimensions. Because the stock had been stickered for 4 months, and the humidity in my study is reasonably consistent, the pieces didn’t move whatsoever. I then took them to final dimension.

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I love the change in texture from rough boards to a glassy-smooth planed surface

There are a lot of aspects of this project I am looking forward to. In addition to having a sturdy desk to work at (my first proper workspace in 5 years – no more writing from my arm chair) the desk will involve a number of new skills and techniques which I am looking forward to getting to grips with – half-blind dovetails for the drawer, turning the tenons, and the longest edge joint I’ve done to date (two 52″ long joints for the top). Then there are the finishing options – traditional soap, Osmo, or shellac and hardwax? And of course, a return to octagonalisation, with some big tapered octagons for the legs.

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Heavy cut from the No.5 jack plane.

Building the chair alongside the desk will be an interesting experience – as the chair requires many of the same techniques, but on a much smaller scale. So as well as practical projects these should offer plenty of valuable learning opportunities.

Behind the scenes at Over the Wireless

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This limited edition sea monster print by Quarrelsome Yeti makes me want to listen to nothing but sea shanties

Due to the inevitable compromises necessary when you rent accomodation, I’ve not had a dedicated place to write since early 2012. That all changed when we bought our house in 2015, but decorating and setting up my study was somewhere towards the bottom of the DIY to do list, especially as we moved in only six months before the Apprentic was born and my focus was on getting the nursery and main rooms all decorated before she arrived. As a result, my study remained a beige graveyard for countless boxes and stacks of timber, and I continued to write magazine articles and blog posts on the sofa. Which is fine up to a point, but with the John Brown book progressing at a pace (and more on that next week) it really has become time that I sort out a proper workspace. So early this year I decanted the study and set about decorating. At first I was at a loss as to what the colour scheme should be – it is a smallish room so I wanted something light and vibrant, and I am deeply opposed to beige in all of it’s hideous varieties. Then Dr Moss made the excellent point that my woodwork, and writing, all stem from a love of music and passion for lutherie. So why not look to my favourite vintage guitar colours for inspiration? After that it was easy – three of the walls have been painted a vibrant sea foam green (the very best colour for Fender Jazzmasters) while the fourth wall, framing the window, is a deep teal not dissimilar to another classic colour used by Fender. Perfect.

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Breaking down the rough boards with the Skelton cross cut panel saw and staked saw benches

With the room decorated I need a desk. If I’m honest, I can’t resist the idea of building the desk at which I’m then going to write about building other things. So on Tuesday I took a trip out to Sykes Timber and collected a stack of maple which will be turned into the staked worktable from The Anarchist’s Design Book. As is becoming a re-occuring theme, the project started with breaking down the rough boards to length using my Skelton “Kenyon” style panel saw and the staked saw benches I built last year. Every time I use the Skelton saw I am blown away – it cuts like a chainsaw but has 18th century style and charm. Just wonderful.

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Rough stock acclimatising in the study

The boards are now lying in stick at the end of the study, and once I’ve finished The Policeman’s Boot Bench I’ll start building the desk in earnest. This is going to be a fun project, and not just because of the large octagonal legs. It will give me an opportunity to finally press the lathe into use, as well as some big sliding dovetailed battens, and an excuse to use half-blind dovetails on the drawer front. And of course, more octagonalisation. So a useful piece of furniture which contains lots of lessons and practice opportunities. That is pretty much my favourite sort of project at the moment. Stay tuned for more on this build later this year.

The Anarchist’s Saw Bench… part 6

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The finished pair of saw benches

The second staked saw bench is now assembled, and I’ve had my first opportunity to press the pair of benches into use. In my last post on this project I had finished work on the legs for the second bench and just had the mortises to drill and ream before glue-up. I approached the rest of the build in the same way I’ve written about previously in this series (which is collected under the “staked furniture category” on the right-hand side of the screen).

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The sliding bevel provides a reference surface for drilling the mortise, but is less assistance when reaming the mortise to match the tapered tenon.

This project has been my first introduction to staked furniture, and to the compound geometry chairmakers use. Dipping my toe into this new world (which is very different to the guitar building or casework I’m used to) has been a great experience. When drilling the mortises for the second bench I was amazed at how quickly the angles for the sight lines settled into my arms and eyes, and steering the auger bit through the bench top at the correct angle using only a sliding bevel for reference felt a lot more natural. There’s no voodoo to this – just a matter of practice. Unfortunately reaming the mortises still feels much less natural, I suppose because there is no reference edge on the reamer which you can use to follow the sightline. I was quite happy with the splay on my first saw bench – it could afford to be a touch more consistent, but it certainly wasn’t terrible. Somehow, despite prioritising the reaming on the second bench I managed to be less consistent than with the first bench. This is definitely an area I need to work on, and I think there may be a third saw bench in my future to really get to terms with this technique (anda to be honest  third saw bench would make sawing long stock easier anyway). I have total admiration for chair makers who can get this operation right time after time – it is definitely the most difficult element of the saw bench build. That being said, even with legs that look a little like Bambi on ice, the second saw bench is still rock solid in use, which goes to show how forgiving the form is.

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A simple coat of shellac and pumice powder is all the finishing these saw benches need

In The Anarchist’s Design Book Chris didn’t apply any finish to his saw benches. I decided that a simple finish would help them survive the rigours of workshop use, and I wanted to try a recipe Derek had given me. Both saw benches received a coat of freshly mixed amber shellac (a one pound cut) to which I added pumice powder. After this had dried and sat for a couple of days I then burnished the benches with a handful of plane shavings. The result is a slightly grippy, matt finish which will offer the benches protection and which can be easily renewed as and when it becomes necessary.

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Then just burnish the finish with a handful of fresh plane shavings

As soon as the finish has been burnished I was keen to put the saw benches into use, and so I used it as an opportunity to break down a 14′ long board of 12″ wide pine that I’ve been saving for a second Packing Box from The Joiner & Cabinet Maker. This is the first time I’ve used a good pair of saw benches sized specifically for my height, and the experience was extremely illuminating. My initial observations on working this way are as follows.

  1. I need to re-organise my workshop so that I can break down long stock without having to open the doors. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing anyway, but it is now clear that having the workbench in the middle of the shop (instead of against the wall) is not an efficient use of space. Time for a reschuffle in the new year. I’ll then be able to set up the saw benches down the middle of the workshop as needed.
  2. Crosscutting stock at the saw bench is a much more efficient way of working than breaking down wide boards at the workbench, especially with the Skelton Saws Panel Saw (which is a complete monster).
  3. For long rip cuts I think I still prefer working at workbench height and using an overhand ripping technique. Partly because I find it easier to keep to the line when overhand ripping compared to ripping on a saw bench (although I am sure that will improve with practice) but also because I carry an old shoulder injury from martial arts training which makes ripping at the saw bench somewhat uncomfortable.
  4. The saw bench design offers an excellent platform for sawing. Placing the workpiece along the length of the saw bench top provides a great deal of support for ripping long stock. Placing the workpiece across the width of the bench top gives a good reference edge for making square cross cuts.
  5. Two saw benches are good, three would be better. Working the 14′ long board required careful placement, and the occasional relocation, of my two saw benches, and having a third would definitely make life a bit easier. That will be another project (and opportunity to get the reaming bang on) for next year.
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A good pair of saw benches can entirely change your hand saw experience

Furniture in the wild

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I can’t seem to escape staked furniture – this small bench was in our cottage, and the Apprentice enjoyed toting it around with her.

In early November every year we head down to the Cotswolds for a long weekend. It is mainly an opportunity to break up that long, dreary expanse of autumn, and to have some family time away from the pressures of everyday life. One of the highlights of these trips, for me at least, is looking at the furniture in the period cottages we stay in, as well as in the local pubs and eateries. I always find the moments reflecting on the furniture surrounding us on our Cotswold breaks to be instructive. I don’t have much time to look at furniture in antique stores, historic buildings, or any of the other places that you’d go to look at handmade furniture in the wild, so most of my interaction with non-mass produced furniture is through woodwork texts or the internet. Which is fine up to a point, but something is lost when you are left engaging with a tactile subject such as furniture at a distance. The other advantage of engaging with the furniture pieces when we travel is that very few of them are museum quality pieces – by virtue of staying in holiday cottages all of the furniture is there to be used, and there can be a pleasing variety on display. And finally, living with a piece for a few days gives you much more opportunity to become accustomed with it than a brief encounter in an antique store or lunchtime google search. These trips have therefore come to play an important role in my on-going quest to pry open my design eye.

This year’s trip away bought a bumper crop of furniture experiences, all of which seemed to highlight the unusual and unorthodox. It seems I can’t escape staked furniture at the moment, as the first piece I enountered was the little staked bench pictured above. This low bench was perfect for the Apprentice to use, being about 10″ high and featuring octagonal legs back-wedged with dirty great 1″ tenons through a 1.5″ top. Either the tenons have shrunk a little, or whoever made the bench wasn’t too concerned about flushing up the wedges as these were all quite proud of the top. But the bench was stable and solid, and the Apprentice loved pulling it round with her and sitting on it. The proportions of this bench are quite different to the staked benches currently on my workbench, particularly the thin top compared to the large tenons and wedges. But the beauty of seeing pieces in the wild is how they can vary from accepted norms of design and still provide good use.

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Clinched door latch

The other great find in our cottage was the bathroom door, the tongue and groove boards for which had been secured by nail clinched battens. Even the latch was clinched in place. I confess that this is the first real world example of clinching I’ve encountered – previously it was a technique confined to the pages of The Joiner & Cabinet Maker, the Packing Crate project from that book, and also a blog post by Richard McGuire. So to unexpectedly stumble upon an entirely clinched door was a wonderful reminder that these furniture forms and techniques are not historical curios or academic exercises – they are genuine techniques that craftsmen have relied upon for generations.

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The final memorable piece was a little more highend. Whenever we go to the Cotswolds I always steal and hour or two to browse the inventry of Christopher Clarke Antiques in Stow on the Wold – one of the leading experts in campaign furniture. Amongst the usual collection of gorgeous secretaries, folding bookcases, and campaign chairs, was this lovely chest of drawers. Two things set this piece apart from any other example of campaign furniture I’ve seen in print or at Christopher Clarke. Firstly, the dimensions are significantly smaller than most other pieces – this chest of drawers was roughly 3/4″ of the usual size. Secondly, this is the first example of campaign furniture I’ve seen which has used two primary woods; the casework is ash but the drawer fronts are quartersawn oak. This combination of timber is really striking, and with the smaller dimensions makes for a wonderfully compact yet stylish piece which has a very different feel to many of its campaign brothers and sisters. I always find a trip to Chrispher Clarke Antiques to be inspiring, and there are several items of campaign furniture on my “to build” list. But this unusual chest of drawers has opened up other possibilities for the form, and provoked synapses into firing. Not for the first time, I am amazed at how changing a couple of simple design decisions can dramatically alter the impact of a piece.

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No trip to Christopher Clarke is complete without a close up shot of some campaign brass. The skeletonised draw pulls are by far my favourite, and the lack of clocked screws on this example is the icing on the cake.