Author Topic: Block front secretary - closed  (Read 1777 times)

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Block front secretary - closed
« on: February 24, 2013, 09:22:36 AM »
(For some reason I am having trouble posting. This is my 3rd attempt. Each time it says it was successful but nothing is there. Sorry if it is there 3 times.)

A Salem, MA mahogany secretary or desk and bookcase I recently completed. The blocked lid is carved from one piece of wood as well as the four lower drawers. The arched doors are flanked by fluted columns with a candle slide under each door. The panels are book matched. In the upper section scalloped dividers form 19 cubby compartments. Two concave ribbed shells are behind each door. There are 31 drawers total with 16 hidden drawers or compartments. Some compartments require two special tools to open. 95H x 46W x 25D.

(In this hi-tech world I don't understand why we can only post 165 KB in each posting. So I must post open and closed separately.)

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

John McAlister

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Re: Block front secretary - closed
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 12:49:52 PM »
Dennis, An incredibly beautiful piece of furniture! Were the lids of most originals made from a single board? John McAlister
Textile mfg, 30 yrs. Owner travel agency 10 yrs.
Hobbies other than furniture making include fishing, hunting and tennis. Flew P 51's WWII, 8th Air Force, Europe.

Jack Plane

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Re: Block front secretary - closed
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2013, 03:49:09 PM »
A lovely bit of work!
Regards, Jack.

Jeff L Headley

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Re: Block front secretary - closed
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2013, 09:37:40 PM »
Dennis. Nice work! Is the interior back of the bookcase primary wood?

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Block front secretary - closed
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 08:34:47 AM »
The secretary was copied from the book, "American Furniture in the Met. Museum of Art". The book gives a great description of how parts of this piece were made as well as some close up photos of the interior. The lid was shaped from a single piece of 5/4 mahogany. I also made the lower sides from a single piece (made to be hand planed). I decide to use mahogany for the upper back boards. The cost was minor compared to the overall cost of the entire piece. And it looks better when open. The goose neck molding was all hand carved.

Two slide bolts hold the left door secure when closed. One at the bottom and another at the top. The upper one is a high reach so I made a longer slide bolt from 1/2" wide brass, a brass knob, and a piece of spring steel on the inside.

The support slides for the lid have a wooden sliding plate/door on the bottom edge. Inside is a deep mortice where the keys are kept to open the upper doors and lid.

Several of the esc. plates and pull plates had to be bent to fit the curved areas. Cold bedting snapped the plates. So I heated them red hot and then was able to easily hammer them to shape over a curved scrap piece of wood.

For the enclosed bonnett top I tried something new (for me). I bought a roll of maple veneer with an adhesive backing. I cut two pieces and placed them back to back. That is, adhesive to adhesive with the grain running front to back.  I then glued the doubled up veneer to a piece of canvas from the fabric store. Then this was glued and nailed to the top. This made it very strong yet flexible. I had first tried a single piece of veneer glued to canvas but it was too weak.

(When typing this message and I get past the bottom of the box my glider jumps up and down and the text is not seen unless I force the slider down. Does this happen to you?)

Dennis Bork
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

Freddy Roman

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Re: Block front secretary - closed
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 01:10:30 PM »
Dennis,

I will make sure to bring up the issue of In this hi-tech world I don't understand why we can only post 165 KB in each posting." to the website committee and make sure this gets on list of issues.

Fred

Now on the piece GREAT JOB!!! Looks great. 
Freddy Roman
Maker & Restorer
Inlay Maker