This summer I’m building a few reproductions of pieces from the White Water Shaker Village that I will donate to the village’s caretakers. I want these reproductions to be as faithful as possible, but I’m wondering just how far I can go on faith.
Take, for example, this 13′-long bench. It’s all in walnut and nailed together with cut nails. The curves in the base are clearly cut with some sort of turning saw with a little rasp work behind. The notches for the aprons were sawn out.
So far, so good.
I think the top piece was milled on some sort of reciprocating saw. The marks on the underside are too regular to be pitsaw marks. They’re not planer marks (like I’ve ever seen). And they are certainly not circular saw marks.
Is somehow reproducing these marks on the underside important? Or should I treat it like I would treat any non-show surface – fore plane it and call it done?
In other words, I want to use fairly authentic methods. I’m just not sure how far I should (or even can) take this.
We’ll be publishing plans for four of these White Water pieces in Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine in the coming year. This bench is the simplest project. The other three projects should get your heart thumping pretty hard.
— Christopher Schwarz