Stocking up

Over the last two weeks, the prototype materials have been arriving. I wanted to post some pictures of them for you. Recall that the prototype will be made of poplar. It will serve as the construction test case, especially for fitting and fine tuning the mechanisms. If my experience with the drawings is any indication, I anticipate that I’ll encounter a learning cliff on that last part! More on that in a later post…

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Based on the SketchUp models I’ve discussed previously, this is more than enough poplar for the carcase. It should cover everything necessary from the ten inch wide panels that form the bottom and intermediate dust frames between the main box and drawer, to the massive 12/4 thick side apron pieces, and literally everything in between. Forming and shaping the Louis XV style legs will be an educational experience. I can’t wait!

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Finally off to the left rear in the image above, are two more pieces of poplar for the prototype. Along with this, I’ve managed to pick up some materials that will be used in the final piece, specifically the marquetry. The massive reddish block near the center back is bloodwood, in front of that to the right are three pieces of satinwood, and two padauk boards. To their left is a chunk of Spanish cedar (which smells wonderful!). All of these will be resawn into 1/16 to 3/32 inch thick sheets of veneer which can be combined into packets to create the final designs. You will also note three sheets of commercially sliced veneer towards the front. These were used to assess the proper species for the parquetry on the side panels: kingwood, tulipwood, and bloodwood.

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A problem arose while researching the parquetry species in the original table. One source, Ramond’s Masters of Marquetry, states that the parquetry is composed of tulipwood and bloodwood, while the J. Paul Getty museum claims kingwood and bloodwood. The figure of tulipwood and kingwood can look similar, especially in small pieces such as those used on this table. Judging by the present appearance of the table, and the knowledge that woods change color with time, I’m going with the Getty on this one…

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