joe mendel

Hepplewhite Sideboard

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Wow! Two things immediately come to mind. First, what amazing talent you have. Second, I would love to try a piece like this or others i've seen but what would I do with it? While the woodworking challenge appeals to me and like a well done tattoo I can appreciate the artists work I just don't have that formal of a house to display something like this. Someday I may try a piece regardless just for the immense challenges provided. Well done and thanks so much for sharing.

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Thanks for detailing some of your methods Joe.  You are a gifted craftsman.  Truly beautiful work.  You are spot-on about choosing your clientele.  My brother has made a good living in the car repair, restoration and parts business . . . but, . . . he doesn't cater to Chevy owners.  I learned from his success.  I have been lucky enough to gather some repeat customers who want something made just for them; and they have friends, and their friends have friends.

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The focus of that book is how to identify a good period furniture piece, so it contains no construction details.  I have one of the earlier editions of that book, I hope the newest edition was finally printed in color.   

That's a great looking piece, the Federal period is my favorite.  Is your book new?  I couldn't find it anywhere.  

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Spectacular piece, Joe. In addition to having to master about 24 new skills, I would have to study meditation for years to acquire the patience necessary for such a project. 

Kudos!

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Very, very nice build, Joe!  I hope the recipient truly appreciates the work that went into that piece.

Where do you source your veneer?

David

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Berkshire Veneer in MA is the best experience that I have had consistently.  When in a pinch I will drive the thirty minutes  to Certainly Woods in Aurora, NY, but the mgr there Greg Engle is not the most accommodating of salesman.  It is like I am putting him out by stopping buy to purchase; it must be they prefer mail order customers to do-drop-ins. 

 

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I've been buying from Certainly Wood since they opened but I'm in Louisiana so the only buying I've done is over the phone, mail order (back in the day... :rolleyes:) and now online.  I'll have to check out Berkshire Veneer - thanks!

David

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On 2/8/2019 at 11:03 PM, difalkner said:

Very, very nice build, Joe!  I hope the recipient truly appreciates the work that went into that piece.

Where do you source your veneer?

David

+1

From whence cometh the drool-inducing veneer and how did you get it onto the painstakingly shaped doors?

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The veneer was hammered and hide glue on the curved surfaces, and the center drawer and two center doors were hide glue and veneer press.

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I haven't done hammer veneering in the last 20 years, matter of fact it was probably 30 years ago the last time I did that.  Neat process and glad to see how well you made it work out.  Excellent job!

David

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Joe this is an awesome find for me - I’m just getting into stringing and banding, and some of the techniques you show here are things I’d like to pick your brain about later. 

I have read quite a bit about the Hepplewhite and Sheraton period furniture, its origins, development and its commercial rise and fall. As more time goes on, fewer decent craftsmen who can successfully execute this work will exist. 

I have plans for a Federal side table drawn by Steve Latta and purchased through Taunton Press. I think I’ll start on it later this year or next year. But you can count on me asking you questions as I stumble through it! :) 

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On 2/7/2019 at 3:50 PM, pkinneb said:

 Second, I would love to try a piece like this or others i've seen but what would I do with it? 

You sell it for a price that reflects the many, many hours it took to create, as well as the lifetime of learning and skill building that fueled all of those hours.

Then you buy a fancy new toy for your shop!

At least, that's what I'd do. Fortunately, I'll never be in the position of building anything even close to that nice.

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I'd love a house full of federal period reproductions; that's my sole interest for woodworking.

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Stunning work, and a very informative series of photos and dialogue to boot.  A tour-de-force piece.  Your clients are very lucky people. This kind of work, from that period, is still the standard by which all other work is judged.  Hard to overdo the superlatives.  Doing this kind of work in commercially feasible timeframes, for a discriminating clientele, is about as hard as hard gets.

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On 2/6/2019 at 4:45 PM, joe mendel said:

I made a pair of sideboards based on a piece in Good, Better, Best , Masterpiece by Albert Sacks.  They are mahogany, with holly, ebony, lacewood and poplar.  The finish is about 15 coats of  super blonde shellac, which were rubbed out with pumice and rottenstone, and then obviously waxed.  I am sorry to have to watermark the pictures, but photos of mine that have been on this forum have been used by someone who claimed my work as his own.  Pictures when I am in the shots have no watermark, and I hope that the other pictures are not obstructing the view of the work.   The hardbound book that I made of the project has 104 pages showing all the aspects of construction.  I choose more pages to show then may be appropriate for this forum.  If this is too much for the site I hope the webmaster would politely ask me to remove whatever needs to be trimmed off the post.  I hope there is a way for anyone of you Home Service Club folks to feel that the information will assist you in your work.   Any questions will be responded too, and if pictures make the explanation easier, I will post those upon request.

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Exellent work by hand amazing,

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