Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The shadow of my van logo looks nice on cherry.

This has been a good week. Furniture has been moving in and out of the studio. I had a sort of logjam for a little while there in January because I had a few larger jobs that took a considerable amount of time. This is always great but it definitely disrupts the flow of those small glue-ups and white ring repairs that people drop in for. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone become impatient waiting for my schedule to clear for them but I like having these little guys trickle through in the midst of bigger projects. It helps the notorious small business cash flow dilemma.

Before Treatment

After Treatment

I dropped in at the Tool Barn recently and picked up this little molding plane. I’ve looked at it several times but just couldn’t justify spending the cash he wanted for it. Not only was it an elegant profile but it was in excellent condition. This time reason (or was it covetousness?) won over and I ended up taking it home with me. No regrets. I love this little guy.

I was at the Fisher house this morning for a little while looking through the archives. There are a ton of letters and books of anecdotes and drawings. Lots of mathematics and notes about the sciences. One of the books I found most interesting today had a bunch of perspective drawings and diagrams of various contraptions.

I also found a recipe that Fisher copied down about making “Water-proof glue”. I’ve never heard of the linseed oil method before. I’ll have to try it out one of these days. Right before I left the museum, I stumbled across a new discovery in the dark. As my flashlight passed over a shelf against the wall, I almost leapt from excitement. Can you discern what I discovered? (More to come on this unearthing later…)

Can you guess what it is?

Oh yeah, FIY historic furniture book collecting geeks… the Met’s Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York is on clearance for $14.95 right now. When mine arrived yesterday I was very impressed. High quality as usual from the Met’s publications. It’s worth picking up at this price for sure. I’ve had it on my book purchase list for a few years now but the going $40 used price kept it in line after too many others.

On the home front, I’ve been living with a three foot scallywag pirate captain. The kid’s relentless. He wakes up and put this garb on and if we didn’t make him, he’d sleep with it. He told me today he “dreamt visions of treasure chests all night”. Aye aye aye, matey.


  1. Thanks for the excellent blog. The Jonathan Fisher material looks spectacular - very publishable, in fact. I hope you will be able to post more of it from time to time. Thanks also for the tip on the Phyfe catalog, for which I too have been biding my time. -John Vernier

  2. Thanks, John. As the research is coming along I am convinced of the publishability of this story. Several books have been written already on his life but none have spent much time investigating his furniture making. Expect more Fisher to come. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments about the work.

  3. I'm not sure if it's just me, but non of the photos that are hosted on appear here for me. Anyone else not seeing photos?