Author Archives: AdminCherubini

Old Tools

Craftsmen in Colonial Williamsburg prefer NOT to use antique tools. When asked they say things like “they aren’t making any more of these”. Besides the irony of that statement (CW is indeed making more of those), I believe preserving old tools by using them is generally a good thing. Many tools see little wear...

Learning about Furniture: History v. Archeology Part III

In my pursuit to learn about period furniture and furniture making, I employ a controversial approach called experimental archeology. Experimental Archeology involves the recreation of past events and relies on the assumption that if the conditions are correctly recreated, results of the experiment will be similar to past events. In my woodworking, I typically...

Learning about Furniture: History v. Archeology Part II

There are few “smoking gun” historical documents dating from the 18th century. Moxon’s “Mechanicks Exercises” was written in the late 17th century. Peter Nicholson’s “Mechanic’s Companion” was written in the early 19th century. The only source I know of dating from the 18th century is Roubo’s “L’Art du Mensuier”. These texts are both enlightening...

Learning about Furniture: History v. Archeology Part I

I’ve been surfing various wood forums lately and I’ve seen a pleasing amount of discussion on period furniture. As all of you know, you hear contradictory things on the internet. A recent discussion about 18th c drawer construction still has my head spinning. Seeing Allan Breed’s recent post, originating from a sapfm forum post...

Style and Structure in 18th c Furniture

I really love the bold style of William and Mary furniture. Unlike the styles that preceded it, William and Mary features modern construction techniques. Chests and drawers were dovetailed together. Thinner pieces of wood were used. Drawers were no longer side hung. Nails were less prominent. In my mind, William and Mary style furniture...

Black History Month Wrap-up

Through no fault of my own, I was seperated from my laptop containing several interesting blogs about African American Woodworkers. Now that we are united, I feel the month is gone and the moment lost. But I do want to say a few things about Black History Month before I leave it until next...

John Hemings (1776-1830)

John Hemings started life as an enslaved carpenter at Monticello, home of President Thomas Jefferson. His Mother Betty, the daughter of a slave ship Captain and an unknown African woman, belonged to Jefferson’s father in law (John Wayles). After the father in law’s third wife died, Wayles took Betty to his bed. She bore...

Cesar Chelor ( -1784)

Picture from Joel’s website (linked below) When I first began collecting antique wooden planes, the name Cesar Chelor was an oft told inside joke. Chelor was a mid 18th c planemaker. He was owned by New England planemaker Francis Nicholson. When Nicholson died in 1753, he freed Chelor, providing him with land, and tools....

Black History Month

As you all know, February is Black History month. School kids will learn about the likes of George Washington Carver and Dr. Charles Drew. If they are really lucky, they will get to hear stories about the Tuskegee Airmen. I got to meet some of them when I was in the service. Their presentation...