Eeek Alors! I’m currently ensconced in the command seat in my office, squirming in excitement at the thought of what is to come.

As you may recall from my recent column — Just Call Me a Woodworking Fool — I’ve spent the last six months beavering away at the weekends building a replica of an 1820 Welsh dresser for my wife (Gina the Gorgeous).

I still remember the day way back in the mists of time we used to call summer when I commenced work on the knobs for the doors and the drawers. After creating numerous test pieces in poplar, followed by more test pieces in walnut, my friend — Carpenter Bob — deemed me worthy of working on the first real knob.

The first walnut blank for a real knob (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: Max Maxfield)

The image above shows the walnut blank after we’d cut the edges off with a band saw prior to mounting it on the lathe. As I said in my previous column, once I’d finished this first real knob, I remember standing there triumphantly holding it aloft thinking, “Now all I need is a Welsh dresser to stick on the back of this and I’m done!” This was moments before Carpenter Bob noticed what I was doing and said, “Not bad. Now make me 15 more just like it.”

A few weeks later, following myriad other bits and pieces, I started working on the two turned columns that adorn the central portion of the lower cabinet. The image below shows one of the first tests that I turned out of poplar.

Turning a test column (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: Max Maxfield)

Of course, the real turnings are made out of walnut to match the knobs. This video shows a few seconds of me working on one of the walnut turnings. Unfortunately, all I’m doing at the time this video was taken is reducing the diameter of the upper part of the turning prior to adding more detail, but you get the idea.


I’m not going to show any more photos just now because I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice it to say that we finalized fabrication two Sundays ago as I pen these words. The dresser was then picked up and taken to another shop for staining and finishing.

I had toyed with the idea of performing the staining and finishing myself, but I’m so glad Carpenter Bob persuaded me otherwise. I had no idea just how many steps are involved in this process in order to do it properly.

I worked from home yesterday to allow me to be there to greet the stained and finished dresser when it was delivered. I’d arranged for this to occur at a time I knew Gina would be out. Just 15 minutes after she had departed on her errands, our house experienced a flurry of activity as some strong masked (pandemic-aware) men arrived with the dresser and installed it in its official resting place.

Awaiting the great unveiling (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: Max Maxfield)

Unfortunately for Gina, by the time she returned, the dresser was hidden behind a large drop cloth as shown above. And this is the way things will remain until Christmas Day morning (Gina has pinky promised that there will be no sneaky peeking).

To be honest, I don’t know who is the most excited. Gina is desperate to see it, but she doesn’t actually know just how good it is. By comparison, I have seen it, and it has turned out better than my wildest dreams. I shall post a follow-up column next week when all will be revealed. Until that frabjous day, as always, I welcome your comments and questions.