December 10, 2020 4 Comments
Greetings and Happy Holidays! I know this is a busy time of the year, thank you for sharing your time with us! Here at the Shop we are looking forward to hanging festive lights and rediscovering cherished tree ornaments. Rob is busy making boxes for January orders, he is also making a few #3, #4, and #5 boxes that will be available on Etsy around the end of January. Where we are in Maine, there have been snow flakes in the air more days than not and nice hot tea has replaced lemonade in the afternoon.
Winter 2019 View from the Shop. This year's snow is piling up and we are anxiously awaiting the return of the "Deersly" family.
One of our readers asked recently how stitchers use Rob’s boxes. He actually makes the boxes special for the folks who do needlework, the boxes look the same but have a recessed lid so that the finished needlework piece can be fitted into the top of the lid. The carriers are also used, with the finished work being fitted into the bottom of the carrier. There are patterns designed specifically for the boxes. They are truly works of art when finished. I am in awe of their skills!
Here are examples of needlework completed by a few of our very talented customers.
(Left) Round 8" Shaker Box, Finished by Carolina Stitcher. (Right) #3 Oval Shaker Box, Designed by Threadwork Primitives, Finished by Lauralee
#1 Oval Shaker Box, By The Spotted Hare
Making a Shaker Box
When we left off last month Rob was trimming the fingers, or swallow tail joints. After the fingers are neatly trimmed, he sands the bands again with a hand orbit sander. At this point the bands are ready to bend into oval or round shapes.
In order to make the bands pliable enough to bend, they need to be soaked for a few hours. Rob fills a ten-foot copper tray with water and heats it with hot plates (the college apartment type hot plate). The Shop gets very sauna-like on bending days which is pleasant this time of year but torturous in the summer months!
Rob bending a # 8 oval box
Once the bands have soaked for a bit, they are bent around a form and secured with copper tacks. Copper tacks are used because they won’t rust and won’t stain the wood. Shapers are inserted into the bent bands so that they hold the oval or round shape. They are then left to dry for a few days until ready for the next step!
Securing the band with copper tacks
Shaker Fun Fact
The Shakers invented many useful and time saving devices, among them: the wringer washer, the circular saw, a revolving oven (I need this), and !Wrinkle-resistant fabric! Thank you, Shakers!!!
#1 Carrier in Antique Natural
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