Garvan Lowboy Joinery

It’s less than a week out from our next gathering at big city carver’s house. I was hoping to have all the joinery done and cabriole legs carved prior. It hasn’t been a complete miss, but as you can see I still have work to do to meet that goal. Hopefully I can get one ball and claw carved ¬†before the weekend. Here’s the ‘craftsman’ version of the lowboy:

For those new to 18th century furniture, or almost any furniture with curves, try to get joinery completed before cutting any shapes. There are at least two reasons for this. ¬†First, when pieces are square it’s easy to gang them together for layout, clamp the assembly together, hold components in a vice etc. Once the ‘S’ curves are cut, that becomes increasingly more difficult; especially on 18th century Queen Anne and Chippendale chairs. Second, after joinery there will be lots of ‘value’ being added with shaping, smoothing and carving. Knowing that the components will fit together once they are detailed is reassuring. Or said differently, performing joinery on finished compenents that aren’t square is dicey business.

Intuitive right? Well yes, but I’ve seen it done otherwise many times. Just take your time and complete joinery first. It will be worth it in the long run.

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