Gentleman’s Valet #1


A few weeks ago I started work on a new project: A Gentleman’s Valet. The plans once again came from Tom Fidgen’s book, The Unplugged Woodshop. The Valet is a small box/table on a stand, with a drawer, a rail and a coat hanger. It is a retro object, that in times gone by a gentleman might have used to hang his jacket and keep his wallet and glasses on.

As with any new project, I started with timber selection, settling on mahogany, with sycamore accents. I had a medium-sized board of mahogany, which provided me with most of my material, and I had an old snooker table as back up.

I made myself some templates for the curved parts out of thin ply. In this case, the curved parts are the feet, the box supports, the hanger and the hanger supports. I was then able to mark out all of the project components on the mahogany board before ripping them roughly to size.

I managed to bugger up my last blade for my homemade turning saw, so I had to resort to my trusty old coping saw. Don’t worry, I’ve got some new blades now.

With the curved parts roughly to shape, I then went on to the joinery for the leg assembly, which consists mainly of mortise and tenons. However, the upper supports are joined to the legs with lap joints and, as you can see, the mortise and tenon joinery for the legs and feet is slightly unusual – the delicate “cheeks” on the top of the feet are very exposed. The two lower stretchers for the feet were turned on the lathe.

And there we have it for now. Dry fit successful and ready for the next stage – inlay.


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