Looking Toward 2010

It may have taken me over two-months but, I’m now ready to make the transition over here, to WordPress! Sadly, it is time to close the door on my UKworkshop Blog; I hope we don’t lose many followers in the process! That blog was dead easy to easy and was, in fact, no more challenging than making a post on any the forums.  I feel it lacked the flexibility that some of the others sites can offer, which is why I’m here. I did also consider Blogger, which has proven to be very popular over the years. But, in trying to keep up with the times, WordPress appears to be the new no.1.

So, where to start?

As you some of you may have read in my previous blog, I am keen to participate in a local exhibition for Bristol-based furniture makers, early next year (currently pencilled in for February).
  If you have a look in my Gallery, you’ll see a drop-leaf table and a small step stool, of which some of you may recognise from the UKW forums a few months back. I’m currently looking to exhibit both of these items. With that, I’d also like to add two more items. We’re currently looking at several potential venues and so, at this time, it’s not clear to say how much space each individual will have to exhibit. I’d still like to come up with at least two other items – as my Gallery probably shows, I have plenty of tables to my name but, I’d like to show that I can produce something else!! 😀

Currently, I have two ideas in mind…

Jewellery Chest

I’m thinking along the lines of something with a set or series of drawers, which would show off my attention to fine detail with hand-cut dovetails. While browsing Google for images, I first came across Marilyn’s Jewellery Chest. The design isn’t quite to my liking but, as you can see it offers plenty of storage opportunities.

Marilyns Jewellery Chest
Marilyn's Jewellery Chest

Another one that caught my eye was at CraftMill.co.uk. I am keen on the idea of incorporating a small mirror and I quite like the overall design. One thing I noticed straight away is that, unlike the other designs I have looked at, this one doesn’t have an ‘attractive’ means of storing necklaces. Instead, they’d be crumbled up inside a small drawer where they are likely to become entangled with others.

Jewellery Chest from CraftMill.co.uk
Jewellery Chest from CraftMill.co.uk

This now brings me smoothly back to UKworkshop, where gav’s Jewellery Box almost fits the bill (by gav’s own admission, this was something he saw in The Woodworker magazine). Okay, I don’t like purpleheart and I think the drawer front-sizing could do with some attention but, I do love the vertical drawers for storing necklaces.

gavs Jewellery Chest at UKworkshop
gav's Jewellery Chest at UKworkshop

I think the best thing now would be for me to start putting some ideas together in Google SketchUp – this is also where I could do with a girlfriend, someone who knows about these things and can offer first-hand thoughts and invaluable feedback! I also highly recommend a search of the forums, whenever you are looking for ideas. If you can put up with the imperfect search engine then, it can be an excellent resource, if only for the documented work-in-progress shots and descriptions of processes during the build.

Wooden Hinge featured on a Jewellery Box from FineHardwoodBoxes.com
Wooden Hinge featured on a Jewellery Box from FineHardwoodBoxes.com

One last example comes from Fine Hardwood Boxes.com, where I really like the addition of solid wooden hinges (something that is also sure to excite Mike Garnham, if he’s reading!). This may not be something I want to include in an exhibition piece this time but, it is certainly worth bearing in mind.

Other Ideas?

Another thought was to build some kind of tea or serving tray; I’ve been wanting to make one with ‘canted’ sides for some time. Dovetails would be the obvious choice for corners joints but, if I’m already going to include them in a series of drawers then, perhaps I should be thinking of something else?

Tea tray from Emulations.com
Tea tray from Emulations.com

For some time, I’ve been dreaming up this idea for a step stool. If you’ve seen Jeremy Broun’s nest of tables [sadly, I cannot find any images online] then, you’ll have an idea of how the lower step would reveal itself (unlike many of the others stools available today). This is something I’ve been meaning to develop for the home workshop and would certainly come in handy if I ever get around to adding that secondary floor overhead… If I tidy it up a bit though, I believe I could produce something that has a larger appeal.

Back to the head-scratching for now, then! There are several good reasons as to why I’m thinking on such a ‘small’ scale… One of which is to use up some of the many offcuts I’ve accumulated within the last year! For example, those 1in. ‘wonky’ oak boards with the beautiful medullary rays, currently about 20mm thick at each end, could be thicknessed down to produce some lovely drawer sides! Whenever I get around to building my mum’s extending dining table, I know I’m going to end up with a load of 2in. beech as well – if I can help it, I want to avoid buying any new timber!!

…Excluding the timber I’ll need for the chair I’m designing at college. Currently, I’m in the middle of sabotaging my softwood and MDF mock-up. If I can remember to take some photos this week then, you’ll be able to read all about it come the weekend. 😉

2 thoughts on “Looking Toward 2010

  1. hi olly , on the lack of a girlfreind front you can borrow swimbo… erm, no that came out wrong 😉 – what i meant was if you want input into your jewelery box designs i’m sure she’d be happy to look at them and feedback if you email them to us.

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