Mahogany Knitting Chest


This is the third or fourth knitting chest I've made in this style and it's the first time I used mahogany for anything. I've been evolving this "pagoda" style shape with each new piece and this one I regard as the "final" shape.The curves are a little smoother than some of the earlier pieces and the "feet" are are a higher and more pronounced. When I make a piece like this, I begin with a straight rectangular box. Without the curves and feet the proportions are all wrong, but once I begin hacking the curves with various woodworking tools of destruction things start looking much better.


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Initially, I was kind of disappointed with the mahogany when compared to the cherry I usually used for these pieces. I found it to be very soft and porous; a delight to work, but nothing special. This piece spent some time in a window display before the photographs were taken, and the color changed from an orangy pink to the deep reddish brown seen here. Now I'm really pleased with the wood, though I'm still a fan of cherry. I also experience an element of guilt when using tropical woods when I can't be sure that a rain forest wasn't raped and pillaged to cut the tree.

I had a single wide piece of mahogany for the piece and was able to have the corners of the piece wrap around three of the four corners. The top handle is carved from a piece of cocobolo and the side handles are from the scraps left from the leg  cutouts.   

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The finish is a few coats of orange shellac followed by French polished super-blonde shellac and wax.

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