Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Art of Georgian Cabinet Making

An interesting little challenge came into the workshop recently. Part of the case of a chamber organ made by George England in about 1760 was missing. This particular case had been in storage for many years in various locations and one of the tower caps had somehow been mislaid. The tower caps are very distinctive features of organs of this period and with quite complex mouldings. The task was to make a copy of the matching tower cap.

The tower cap is made of mahogany on a pine carcass.
The side mouldings are made separately and all the profiles were made by hand using a mixture of traditional wooden moulding planes and more modern (but now discontinued) Record combination planes.
The top of the cap is solid mahogany and had to be carved by hand as the radius was far too big for my lathe. I suspect that the originals were made as a pair with a circular cap made on a large lathe and then cut in half. The rest of the carcass is covered with a mahogany veneer and smaller mouldings. There is also a pine 'roof' on the tower cap to keep out dust.

The natural mahogany colour will be stained and polished to match the rest of the case later in the restoration.