I was surprised to find, upon starting research for this blog entry, that it has been less than a year since I began my most recent stage of making miniature furniture.
I had a nice run of making 1/12 scale furniture about 25 years ago when I built a dollhouse and some furniture for my daughter, however, 20 years lapsed. It wasn’t until October 2019 that I designed a small shelf/cabinet piece for our bedroom and decided to make a scale mock up of it first. Interestingly, I never made the full-size piece. Creating that set me on a path to make increasingly challenging pieces.
I have spent countless hours researching interesting furniture to recreate in miniature. Google and Pinterest are great sources and I have built up an image library of dozens of furniture examples I would like to create or use for design inspiration. All the miniatures I currently offer for sale I designed based on pictures I found on various websites.
One day about a month ago when I was finishing a piece and trying to decide what to do next, my eyes fell upon a nice antique table that has been standing by our front door for the last 18 years:
Betsy bought this 1920s walnut and mahogany table in 1981 at a little antique store on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. It was in terrible condition with crackled, darkened varnish which took a lot of TLC to strip and restore. When she moved back to Holland in 1982, it was kept in storage in her parents’ basement. Since then it has resided in seven different apartments and houses – a pretty little companion on a journey that has spanned nearly 40 years and counting!
I started looking around the house and realized that I have many inspirations for miniatures – thus was born an idea for a project. I am going to try to recreate many of the pieces of furniture we have around the house. A few of them we acquired together since we bought this house, but most are Betsy’s, who has long loved classic, well crafted antiques. So this table became the first in a series I plan on doing. Here is the first miniature based on the 1920s table.
The body is made of Walnut and the top inlay is Brazilian Rosewood and Blistered Masur Birch.
As with every piece I have made thus far, I designed this in Fusion 360, set up the cutting parameters using VCarve Desktop and cut the parts on my homemade CNC machine. The big difference with this piece is it required eight turned legs. I only recently added a fourth axis to my CNC for carvings and turned pieces, and used it for only a couple of small parts. With this piece, it took turning at least twenty legs before I managed to get the eight perfect ones I needed.