Handtools, Machines, and Expectations
|Figure 29. The completed chest.|
SAPFM When you are creating or recreating a period piece how do you balance the use of hand and power
tools and when do you consider the piece to be a period reproduction?
DAVIS I strive to use the tools that are efficient for each aspect of the project. I grew up using power tools exclusively but learned that hand tools can be more efficient. I guess that’s why I recently started hunting and collecting “antique” tools. Consider the base molding....I don’t think there is a router or shaper cutter that exactly matches the profile. I could have changed the design, or designed and bought a custom shaper cutter to be delivered after several weeks. Instead, it was easily done by hand as shown. Alternatively, a router with a straight bit and collar could have been used to define the reference fillets and then use the two gouges to carve the profile. There are numerous ways to approach the problem. It’s best to choose the method that gives you the most enjoyment and then do it!
SAPFM When do I consider the piece to be a period reproduction?
DAVIS I have some flexibility since I am not making a reproduction for a client. Part of the fun is studying the variations in style, dimension and construction and really getting excited about the piece. Then I try to make a reasonably faithful reproduction. I make subtle changes as I deem appropriate but I try to use the same materials, joinery, and dimensions. If I have detailed photographs and measurements, I use them as much as possible to recreate the original feature. I sometimes dye the piece to match the original color if needed. It’s always helpful to get advice from someone who knows the original and has made the piece. In doing so, I always learn something new with each piece I make.