SIMPLE BUT USEFUL
Everyday wooden items that often go unnoticed.
SHOP OWNER: Robert Clough
LOCATION: Muskego, WI
This is a potpourri, an agglomeration of items that are simply useful. They are not important pieces or great works of art. Most of us forget how much we actually do for "around-the-house" type projects. These are little things, generally, that are just useful and forgotten as we become used to them. For example, I have a kitchen utensil tray made by my Grandfather circa 1895, which my mother simply kept and had. It is well made and was useful but now it is only a decoration. We have kitchen utensils dating to the late 1700s and a coffee grinder from the late 1800s. None of these things were made to last. They are all immediate "to be used up" consumables. Occasionally we should display these sorts of things. They are not appreciably different from scrapers made from church keys, scratch stock, etc., and other tools made by craftsmen to be used and used up.
Here are two tops I made. One is for a coffee canister, which our daughter got for us many years ago. The pottery top disintegrated, literally. The new top is made of maple and cherry. The maple is on the inside for weight. The other top is for a large mug purchased at Colonial Williamsburg that we use as a sugar bowl. I made the top this year from (what else!) cherry.
The breadbox is pine. It holds two long loaves of bread. The lid is made so it lies flat; there is no lip at all. The hinge for it is a brass #12 screw with a brass finishing washer. I could not find what we wanted at stores so I designed this with air holes in the back for ventilation. As the top makes a useable shelf, Sarah wanted it sized so the canisters would fit there as well as the sugar bowl. The canister set, by the way, was my mother’s and dates at least to the ‘50s. I remember it well.
Whoever heard of a dovetailed, wooden six-pack holder made of cherry? Our son-in-law asked for this about a year ago, so I made it. The bottom and dividers are 1/8” hardwood ply.
The wall shelf, which I use as a place for my type of curio, is a Shaker reproduction. It is a useful piece. I do not remember exactly where I found the plans but they were from a magazine. I made one for sale, one for my daughter, and one for me. Although the wood here is soft maple, any hardwood will do, or pine if it is to be painted. The shelves are fixed in place and have grooves for plates.
Another project I recently completed is two smoothing planes based on the Krenov - Finck sandwich method. I made handles for the larger plane because I wanted them. The front handle is of my own design, and is at the York pitch. The blades are Hock two-inch. Both planes work well and I thoroughly enjoyed making them.. . . Robert Clough
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