Cross Section

Back skirt

Scotia molding

Rule joint

The upper skirt board served two functions. First, it helped to lock the open top of the case together and to keep it from racking. And second, the skirt, in conjunction with a strip of wood run around the underside of the lid, formed an effective dust shield. An interesting variation of a top skirting along the hinge side of a box is shown in the bottom drawing on the facing page. Seen occasionally in English chests (including the well-known Dowling chest), the top edge of the skirt has been planed to form a rule joint with the back edge of the lid. This created a highly effective seal, and it also reportedly functioned as a burglar a/arm as we/f. if you purpose/y did not wax this joint, it would make a piercing squeak each time you lifted the lid—an alarm as effective as hanging bells under the lid (another trick reportedly employed in other English chests).

Most cabinetmakers constructed the lid from a single plank, mortising the ends into a crosspicce to help keep the lid flat and to reduce end splitting. (A lid made from several planks was usually joined with splines and hide glue.) To allow the plank to shrink and expand, some craftsmen cut the tenons toward t ac outside edges of the lid narrower than their mortises.

Because the edge of the lid protrudes past the rest of the box, it is subject to a certain amount of abuse. The builder of the chest shown in the drawings on ; ¿n. 12 and 13 inlaid a strip of brass bar stock around the outside edges of the lid to absorb the wear and tear that would •herwise destroy the wood. Some other ways builders found to add metal protection are shown in the drawing above right.

The campaign-style lift handles for this chest were hand-forged by the builder, possibly while working on board a whaling ship. The photo clearly shows one drawback of a metal lift handle: The attachment bolts, having passed through the same grain line in the wood, have caused the wood to split in this area. Chest courtesy of Leonard Langevin; photo by Vincent Laurence.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment