My Next Project – A Chippendale Style Looking Glass

I’ve had a hankering to build a Chippendale style Looking glass for some time now, so I think Its time to tackle it.  I was planning on Following the Steve Latta plans in Fine Woodworking, but have changed my mind.  The scroll work is a bit fancy for my taste, and more importantly for my first go at it!  I stumbled across an antique looking glass for sale through the Wiscasset Antiques Center that I have decided to reproduce.  The dealer believes it to be a Boston Piece circa 1790 – 1800.

frame profile 003

Photo Courtesy of Wiscasset Antiques Center

I contacted the dealer and he very kindly responded with details clarifying where the measurements were taken. Its a much smaller piece than I thought, at 12 1/4″ in width at the widest point from ear to ear.  That puts the mirror somewhere around 8 1/2″ X10″.  I think I may scale it up a bit.

I have been trying to figure out how to make the moulding which has given me a chance to play with my hollows and rounds.  I bit of Goggling turned up a blog post from Kaare on the Anthony Hay Blog, with a tutorial on making a looking glass frame moulding.  As luck would have it, its the same profile on the glass I want to reproduce!  I spent a bit of time trying to stick short lengths of the moulding, and am getting pretty good results.  Now sticking a 3′ to 4′ piece might be a bit more challenging, but I’m going to go for it.

As I was working at the bench referring to the tutorial on my I Phone, the idea of using 21 century technology to learn to use  early 19th century tools to make a reproduction of a late 18th century piece struck me as a bit odd!


Thanks for Visiting.


Wood is Good For Your Body and Brain!

“Exposure to wooden furniture and fittings has real and measurable health and well being benefits.”   Of course as woodworkers we all know this.  “These benefits are outlined in a new report launched by Planet Ark’s Make it Wood campaign in the lead up to World Wood Day.”

You can download and read the report here.

“The use of wood in the interior of a building has clear physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature.  The feelings of natural warmth and comfort that wood elicits in people has the effect of lowering blood pressure and heart rates, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing positive social interactions and improving corporate image.”


The Finished Panel Saw

I finished it up a while back, but just got it sharpened last weekend.  It has a 24″ .032″ thick plate toothed at 8ppi.  The handle is based on a Disston #16 in Honduran Mahogany that I scaled down a bit.  The saw nuts are salvaged from a junker.  I sharpened it with 12 degrees of rake and 20 degrees of fleam and and added a bit more set that I normally would do to the un-tapered plate.  It cuts great, but I haven’t used it enough to decide if I can notice a difference between a tapered and this un-tapered plate.  Parts one and two of the build were posted earlier.



Next up is a rip configuration, and then I hope to get some .042 steel and make a pair of full size saws.  I’m also researching methods to add an etch to the plate.  If anyone has done this, I’m all ears.

Thanks for looking.