Edwardian Mantle with Secret Compartment

Secret compartments are the coolest part of any woodworking project. When my mother-in-law asked me to make a mantle for her Edwardian-era farmhouse, I knew what I needed to do.

I found a few reference pictures for the aesthetic design, and figured out how to integrate a secret compartment using the two glyph decorations on the front as “keys”.

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The works, as viewed from the not-yet-panelled back
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Some mouldings in the old farmhouse

 

I happened to have a large board of reclaimed, old-growth douglas fir that perfectly matched the woodwork in the old house.

Aside from some ripping with a table saw, it was an entirely hand-tool build. All-in-all, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

 

 

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First Post

Hi Folks. I created this blog to document my adventures in traditional woodworking. Right now I am starting work on a reproduction of a 19th century wash table from Lanark County, Ontario, with a few modifications to the original design.

I recently finished a linen chest based on several 17th century examples from the American colonies and England, and based on Peter Follansbee’s examples. Here are a few photos for your perusal.

The layout for the middle panel of the chest, based on examples from Devon, England, brought to my attention by Peter Follansbee.
The layout for the middle panel of the chest, based on examples from Devon, England, brought to my attention by Peter Follansbee.
V-tool layout done to the drawn-on lines.
V-tool layout done to the drawn-on lines.
The completed centre panel, less the date.
The completed centre panel, less the date.
The completed chest from front.
The completed chest from front.
The side of the chest.
The side of the chest.
My daughter with her new chest.
My daughter with her new chest.

Now I just have to attach the top with the snipe bill/gimmal hinges made for me by George Paré.

Snipe Bill hinges from George Paré.
Snipe Bill hinges from George Paré.