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Tour an 18th-Century Cabinet Shop

comments (11) January 25th, 2011 in blogs

MKenney Matthew Kenney, special projects editor
thumbs up 38 users recommend

Take a photo tour of the workshop at Colonial Williamsburg. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Take a photo tour of the workshop at Colonial Williamsburg.

Photo: Matt Kenney

As the last day of this years Working Wood in the 18th Century conference started, I had an itch to get out and see some of Colonial Williamsburg. So, after lunch I took a walk over to the Anthony Hay Cabinetshop on Nicholson Street. Things were a bit slow, being winter and all. I took advantage of the quiet to take some photos of the shop. I thought it would be nice just to show some romantic shots of the interior. That's what you have here. No words, just pictures. Enjoy.

posted in: blogs, williamsburg, Anthoyny Hay, Cabinetshop

Comments (11)

RiteSpec RiteSpec writes: Yes, thanks for taking and sharing these photos. I would love to visit some day. I am going to build more shelves in my shop like theirs. I love the tool and bit holders especially the shelf brackets. amazing how things like that do not look old.
Posted: 1:01 pm on January 25th

V1kk1 V1kk1 writes: thanks for the photos.
Posted: 11:24 am on February 27th

MKenney MKenney writes: ATLbound,

Yes, the shop is open to the public and I suspect you can hang out as long as you want.

Posted: 9:57 am on February 14th

ATLbound ATLbound writes: Can someone like me really go in and just hang out in the cabinet shop for a few hours and soak up the ambiance? I may be able to go on a Friday in the next month or so, before tourist season kicks in.
Posted: 11:21 pm on February 7th

amaruk amaruk writes: Nice pictures. Since i'm getting more and more in to usuing hand tools it's inspiering me a lot.

TKS Stef.
Posted: 7:43 pm on February 7th

mrfixitnow mrfixitnow writes: Great pictures Matt! Of all the places that I like to visit, Colonial Williamsbug is my favorite. The cabinetmakers shop tops it all. While in Williamsburg, be sure to check out the Dewitt Wallace museum. The collection of furniture is unbeleavable. While in the area, be sure to visit the James River Plantations and Carter's Grove Plantation. The history of the resulting crafts and how they were performed is mindblowing. I continuely draw on Williamsburg for inspiration for the workshop.
Posted: 2:21 pm on February 5th

PatchOhouli PatchOhouli writes: Fantastic photos, Matt. I'm wondering -- is this Williamsburg shop climate controlled? Living in the upper Midwest (and working out of my shop in an unheated garage) I'm very curious about shops before central climate control. Any tips on websites that address this issue? Thanks! John
Posted: 1:41 pm on February 5th

MKenney MKenney writes: Bill,

Thanks for checking in. I'm glad you like the photos. I took your meaning about the panel gauge. I'll go back and edit the caption so that folks understand that it's only the design that isn't period correct. But it's nice nonetheless.

Posted: 8:55 am on January 31st

kenrup kenrup writes: Memories, In the middle 80's I was lucky enough to spend a number of weekends in Colonial Williamsburg. I spent hours in the shop just watching. Watching these guys work magic in wood is what inspired me to dream about hand tool wood working. Fortunatley I am doing wood working with antique hand tools.
Posted: 11:45 pm on January 30th

billpavlak billpavlak writes: Thanks for posting the nice pics Matt! I'm the guy who was working in the Hay Shop when you were there and I just wanted to clarify something about the panel gauge: they had them in the 18th century, they just didn't look like the one pictured (that's a design I made up at home several years ago and lent to one of my colleagues). Sorry if I created any confusion on that issue.
Posted: 6:33 pm on January 30th

dundasian dundasian writes: I always enjoy old cabinet shops. I wonder when the panel gauge was first used? It seems to be a very practical tool, but maybe in the absence of plywood, it would have been unnecessary.
Posted: 3:55 pm on January 28th

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Blog edited by Fine Woodworking associate editor Matt Kenney.