Shaker Sewing Stand

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Project by Craig Ambrose posted 12-14-2010 09:56 AM 2711 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this shaker sewing stand, modelled on one from the Hancock Shaker Village in the late 18th Century featured in fine woodworking magazine, almost entirely with hand tools. It’s walnut, with a pine drawer bottom, and currently only has a single coat of boiled linseed oil (it will get more).

8 comments so far

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 3520 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 10:35 AM

I like it. It seems well proportioned and distincitvely shaker.

-- Daniel -

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4598 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 02:07 PM

I love work like this because the joinery is such a strong part of the aesthetic and therefore has to be perfect. Beautifully done Craig.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View mafe's profile


12104 posts in 3594 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 02:53 PM

Yes this is sure a wonderful furniture.
Craft and design united.
Really well done.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3372 days

#4 posted 12-14-2010 02:57 PM

I like this very much and you’ve done it very well. I love the simplicity of Shaker furniture.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Skylark53's profile


2712 posts in 3566 days

#5 posted 12-14-2010 04:03 PM

That is a great looking little table. It looks to be ready to go to work and will be here for a long, long time.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3679 days

#6 posted 12-14-2010 04:31 PM

Begin with my inherent love for the Shaker, A&C, G&G, and Mission styles.

THEN … you did this with only hand tools, more or less ?!?

It’s beautiful. I’d love to have that in my home.

So … when you use straight BLO … do you have to sort of keep adding coats … almost forever ?

-- -- Neil

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 4077 days

#7 posted 12-15-2010 12:02 AM

Thanks folks.

NBeener, yes, all hand tools except during the final week when I was trying to get it done for a deadline, and pulled out a router for the sliding dovetails (just the groove, not the tail), and used the table saw for the drawer runners and bottom. My initial slab of wallnut was rough cut into planks on a table saw, but all other sawing, and all planing, was done by hand. I feel like my hand saw skills in particular are slowly improving. I don’t think that using the router for the sliding dovetails really saved that much time, although I admit that I’m a little scared of doing that joint by hand. Next time I’ll give it a shot though.

For the BLO, I’m using Stephen Shepherd’s advice (see his blog for details). I’ve started with a very thin coat, of 50% turps, 50% BLO. I’ll use a fatter coat (less turps) next. I’ll build a few coats (maybe 3) and then I’m considering finishing with some shellac and then some wax. I’ve oiled some test pieces too, so I’ll try the shellac and wax out on them first. Like many woodworkers, I’m not mad keen on the finishing stuff though, I’ve already started another project and that’s interesting me more than breathing in turps fumes is.

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3970 days

#8 posted 12-26-2011 04:45 AM

hmm just read a very brief post on Shepherd’s blog about using a thinned first coat. I have to say this makes no sense to me. could you clarify any on what this is supposed to do and how it’s supposed to work?

anyway your stand is excellent, I love the top as well as the dovetailed frame under the drawers

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