Well I’ve been working on this federal period highboy off and on for the last 2 years. More off than on. Legs…carcass …drawers…scrollboard are done. Well…I say done…but there is always something more to do to make this or that to make it look better. Such as applying a nice looking crotch mahogany veneer to the already nice loooking solid mahogany drawer fronts. Well…I am currently working on the gooseneck mouldings.
If anybody is going to build this project…the I would recommend 2 books. 1st is Glen Huey’s Illustrated Guide to Building Period Furninture…$29.99. 2nd is Period Furninture Details by Lonnie Bird…$27.00 I’m on my 2nd attempt at building the goosenecks. Good thing I’m using African Mahogany (Kahya) and not South American/Central American Mahogany…since the first is about half the price. Well…I have tried all sorts of router bits to achieve the desired profile. Glen says in his book that he had some custom router bits made. Not sure what supplier provided those. Soooo…in Lonnie’s book he demonstrates how to make a gooseneck moulding. He’s using a shaper and a very large custom bit. The mouldings on this piece are almost 3″x3″ before being machine. Yep…they’re BIG mouldings.
So…I bit the bullet and searched craigslist for a shaper machine. Found one not far from here(Mt Juliet,TN). Its a Grizzly G1026 3HP beast. so I get it back to the shop and I’ll spend the next 2 days integrating it with my workshop island and wiring it. I got the shaper at a good price with a couple of bits thrown in. Now comes the expensive part. I researched the source for Lonnie’s shaper bit(Freeborn Tools). Call’em up and talk to ’em. Oh yeah…they know exactly what bit I’m referring to and its only $495. OUCH!! Thats 70% of what the shaper cost me. In Freeborns defense…this is a big hunk of metal that is machined to exacting standards. I was thinking (thats always dangerous)…why doesn’t somebody start a shaper/router bit loan program. The loanee could post a deposit to cover the value of the object and then return it after a specified period of time and get his/her money back. Of course…I’m sure all the router and shaper bit manufactureers(?) are pulling their hair out thinking about all that lost revenue from bit sales. But…most people would buy a basic bit set a and a few infrequently but good to have bits for use in their shop and then they could rent the exotic ones that they need once every 5 years. Well…anyway…it was just an idea.
Sorry for going on so long and thanks for your patience!