For years, one of the great mysteries to me was, how did artisans of the past make those spectacular decorative twist finials often found on the most elaborate grandfather clocks, highboys, and other high-grade period furniture? In this video, we meet Irion Company staffer Brad Ramsay, an accomplished cabinetmaker and highly skilled carver who shows us the fundamental approach used to carve these flamboyant furniture elements. It’s a technique that can be used to carve spirals in any wood project, be it a finial or even a twisted table leg.

Learn the core skills used including how to secure the workpiece to the workbench, how to start the carving, and how to rough-carve to the layout lines. But most importantly, in my view, Jeff explains how carvers — and all woodworkers — need to read the grain of the wood for feedback. The take-away lesson: let the wood speak to you whether you are carving the twist of a finial or tuning the fit of a dovetail. — Keith (10 Minute Woodworking Video) For more in this series go to: The Big Payoff: Finish Carve a Decorative Spiral (Part 3 of 3)


Don’t miss new videos? Subscribe to my email or RSS feed updates for free.

The Irion Company specializes in the restoration, conservation, and hand-made reproduction of American antique furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Brad Ramsay is a cabinetmaker and he specializes in period correct carvings.

(10) Comments    Read More   

Inlay is the traditional technique of inserting decorative elements into the surfaces of furniture, musical instruments, or other wood-crafted objects. In this video tutorial, Irion Company’s inlay expert Jeff Williams demonstrates one of the most important aspects of the process; making finely detailed strips of inlay bands. You can buy pre-made banding, but making your own has distinct attractions. You can fabricate the exact style, dimensions, and pattern you want, using the woods that compliment your project. But perhaps the best reason is the satisfaction and accomplishment of making your own.

Join me as Jeff shows us how to make an elegant, repeating, geometric-patterned band from simple strips of laminated contrasting-colored woods. It’s a useful technique whether you aspire to reproduce fine antique reproductions, restore or repair existing furniture, or incorporate inlays into contemporary projects. — Keith (9 Minute Woodworking Video)

The Irion Company specializes in the restoration, conservation, and hand-made reproduction of American antique furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Jeff Williams specializes in period correct Federal style furniture with an emphasis on veneering, inlaying, and marquetry.

(12) Comments    Read More   

For centuries, decorative string and banded inlays have been highly valued embellishments that were applied to the finest furniture. Among the many techniques and styles of inlay, string inlay is perhaps the most common and useful method. Even today, some designers and craftspeople use simple string inlays to define, highlight, or bring focus to elements of an object — be it furniture or other decorative art.

In this comprehensive video tutorial Jeff Williams, inlay specialist for the Irion Company, demonstrates his period correct method of cutting the recessed groove, making traditional holly string, and applying this string into your workpiece. Mr. Williams is a master artisan and as an Irion Company employee, Jeff has crafted some of the finest antique reproductions of Federal Style furniture being built today. In filming Jeff, I had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him. His modest, easy-going nature makes him the perfect guide as he patiently shows us the ropes. Making and applying string inlay never seemed so accessible. You can do this too. — Keith (9 Minute Woodworking Video)

The Irion Company specializes in the restoration, conservation, and hand-made reproduction of American antique furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Jeff Williams specializes in period correct Federal style furniture with an emphasis on veneering, inlaying, and marquetry.

(21) Comments    Read More