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Growing up I remember the times when my father would drag me to historic villages. Our family would spend hours , sometimes a whole day , going on tours, talking to re-enactors, and trying to keep me and my brother from scurrying underneath the velvet roped stanchions. What child doesn’t like to play on furniture?To be honest, I dreaded these excursions. I mean it was fun to walk through the towns, but besides the rare occasion when our tour guide would tell us a ghost story, these trips were a drag as a six-year-old. While my siblings and I would pester our mom to take us to see the horses, I vividly remember my father being almost in a trance while in these homes. I would sneak up on him staring at a line of wooden pegs on a wall, or reaching out his hand to grace the top of a long bench in an empty hallway. Then he would slip out his trusty Minolta camera and take several photographs of a staircase. I thought he was crazy.

It wasn’t until I came to work at Popular Woodworking that I finally realized what my father was doing during all those trips to Pleasant Hill. And now his appreciation for the simple effective designs of the Shaker Village has become my own.

While working on digitizing our back-issues for Digital Download, I came across our special issue 12 Shaker Projects. While I should have just continued to quickly code the issue for you readers, I instead took a few moments to view the magnificence of these pieces of furniture. Not only do they look gorgeous, they are extremely functional (our staff meets around a Trestle Table to start each week).

So I’ve provided below the table of contents of this issue, and whether you wish to build some of these projects or just appreciate the fine design of Shaker furniture , this is a good issue to add to your collection.

Also, if you would like more of a historical background of Shaker furniture designs, be sure to grab a copy of the book Pleasant Hill Shaker Furniture by Kerry Pierce.

As a bonus, you can download the project plan for the Shaker Blanket Chest by Glen D. Huey by clicking here.

, Drew DePenning

12 Shaker Projects


Tall Clock

This stunning reproduction of Brother Benjamin Youngs’ famous tall Shaker clock will be an instant family heirloom in any home.

Oval Boxes
Creating the simple curves of these quintessentially Shaker oval boxes is easier
than it looks , once you know these tricks.

Tailor’s Cabinet
This authentic reproduction of a six-drawer tailor’s counter from Watervliet, New York, features plenty of drawers for storage and a drop-leaf to increase your work surface.


Chimney Cupboard
A traditional face frame, mitered beading and raised-panel doors turn this simple box into a finely detailed variation on a Shaker classic.

Trestle Table
This trestle table steals a trick from the bedroom to make it astoundingly rock-solid , without sacrificing its lines and proportions.

Entry-hall Bench
Adapted from a Hancock, Mass. piece, this straightforward but lovely bench will help teach you the fundamentals of good workmanship.

Games Cabinet
This large two-door cabinet hides scads of adjustable shelving , perfect for storing games, home-office supplies, and any number of other items in a small footprint.

Wall Clock
Contemporary CAD software helps restore the look of this occasionally corrupted 164-year-old classic Shaker design.

Hand-tool Stepstool
Practice your hand-cut dovetail technique with traditional tools and a shop-made 10-cent jig as you create this three-step classic.

Press Cupboard
Once used to help press linens, this beautiful Shaker reproduction serves as a showcase for any collection of china or pottery.

Blanket Chest
This faithful reproduction of a classic from Canaan, N.Y., features enough storage for a family’s-worth of quilts, plus two handy drawers at the bottom.

Tripod Table
Simple tenons make this iconic three-legged table easier to build than using traditional sliding dovetail joints.


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Showing 2 comments
  • cahudson42

    I have this great issue, and am about to build the Chimney Cupboard.
    Question: The cutlist shows the shelves as 10 1/4″ width.

    Everything I see on the Plan itself seems to indicate they should be 10 1/2″ if they are to be flush to both the back and front.

    Or are the shelves offset 1/4″ from the front, or the back?Sorry if I’m missing something.. Let me know?


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