It's Tambour Time

As my training nears it's end I have been trying to squeeze in a few of the more advanced techniques, the specialist features that you generally see on antique furniture - This has included cabriole legs and tambours, don't worry I'll explain what I mean by these in a mo. 

It's been great to practice a technique as an individual component rather than a large complex project, as well as developing my hand skills I have also enjoyed the freedom to experiment without fear of messing up a significant amount of work.

Furniture making is a tricky business, the stakes are progressively raised from the first cut all the way to the final rub of polish. I have learnt the hard way that the key to success - not only in making something fine but also within a realistic time - rests with careful planning and thoughtful execution, reducing errors is paramount. Throughout my training I have had numerous situations where I have spent days rectifying a silly mis-measurement or haphazard cut, in fact every time I now hear myself say things like "oh, it should be alright if I just..." it generally isn't.

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The Cabriole Leg - An elegant example of this popular leg design, it was wonderful to refine the use of hand tools including a spoke shave (seen behind the leg to the right) and rasps - the rasps came from a French company called Auriou which hand make each one, a joy to use. 

To practice some hand carving I shaped the foot into the shape of a 'duck's foot' perhaps too alarming a concept to share, although I understand this may now be presented to the student with the biggest mistake at the end of term, you never know it may become a close friend!

Next up is a Tambour, you often see this in cabinets or roll-top desks, mine is a smaller version made into a box - think swish bread bin, or if we're getting technical, Wikipedia explains it as 'a flexible, sliding, slatted shutter'.

The key to success is making the Tambour seamless as if an uncut piece of wood, I think I pulled it off.

The wood here is sycamore and cherry. 

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Thanks to Tom for being a hand model in the pictures.