Welcome to our workshop blog. We aim to post Heritage Projects that we’re engaged in which we hope will be of interest to you. These may or may not be complete stories, however it is our hope that they contain matters of interest.
This picture is of a mid 1800’s kitchen table that we have in our Heritage Workshop, At present there’s no definative way of determining this piece of furniture’s real age or its original intended use. Having a good close look and having some contemplation time might help narrow down dates. I think that there is no better way of having a close look at a piece of furniture than measuring it to produce a technical drawing. The scan is of notes made which will help in the production of a drawing.
Without doubt this table has been largely handmade. I say largely handmade because the evidence is there, but we also know that machines have been used in woodworking from approximately the late 1700’s & the UK had a myriad of carpentry shop producing all type of timber products. A former heavily industrial town like Dudley and its surrounding areas would have had many woodwork shops. Measuring the parts will begin to reveal constructional methods, particularly when tool marks can be seen & thus joint construction inferred. The next two photos show marking gauge lines indicating that the joints were marked out and ultimately cut by hand.
And here we’ve have a photo of two vintage marking gauges. The Rosewood tool marks the double lines and the lighter colour Beechwood gauge the single lines. Of note the Beechwood gauge is craftsman made, if you look carefully on the stock you can see scribed lines made by the craftsman to guide his cut lines.
Thus in a small scale workshop you had a situation where the carpenter/maker not only ‘produced the goods’ but also made many tools to help with the job.
Furthermore for this table there is the intriguing possibility that this table was made somewhere in the locality, was used in a local household (or households) before ending up in our workshop.