Saturday, February 28, 2015

Trestle table legs

Baroness Rhiannon has a lovely trestle table for medieval cooking demos but it rests on modern sawhorses. So she thought it would be nice to have proper trestle legs for it. She showed me a few pictures and so I am making these. Old sawn lumber, planed down, shaped and pierced.

The making of holes is said to be boring, so brace yourself.

A box for two goblets

Requested of me was a box for two glass goblets, to protect them while they were on the wagons to and from events.

I had a rough sawn plank of sufficient width which I planed smooth. Then cut to size and rebated for the corners. Then they are trimmed up for final fitting with a chisel.

Several extant small coffrets have square feet in the corners. As there was a bit left of the plank I thought that this box too should have them as well. As the remaining piece was 6 13/16 the math for that would be difficult at best. Here then a medieval technique to the rescue! They aren't called dividers for nothing.

Gimlet then for the pilot holes, that the nails don't split the timbers.

Friday, February 20, 2015

World’s oldest gardening manual to go on display 

14th-century Ruralia commoda

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Boring is the act of making holes. But planing can be pretty boring as well...


Started with this billet at 4 o'clock.

At 4:03 it went to plane, at 4:10 it looks like this

At 4:13 it's been cleaned up a little more with the hatchet, and back in to the planer

You know you're close when you get good long ribbons

At 4:21 it is just about done

And so the billets become boards, and soon the boards become boxes

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Here is a good idea for the kitchen. Glass jars are a better storage option than plastic. Mason jars have a two part lid, so we cut a circle out if the original package to identify the contents.


A little further along with the stools, hit the ends of the legs with a drawknife to get them into the holes. Also two examples depicting the legs going through the slab, tables and benches. Doesn't mean they were all done this way, but some were. And as it is ridiculously easier than trying to seat the legs in closed mortises, my money is that most of this type of furniture was done this way. Christopher Schwarz will have these in his forthcoming book 'furniture of necessity', about which you can read on his blog