After 18-plus months of building campaign furniture for this upcoming book, I’ve experimented with several different techniques for insetting the ubiquitous brass hardware that adorns every piece.
I’ve used electric routers and templates, routers freehand, drills, firmer gouges, chisels and carving tools. Sometimes I combined several of these tools.
All of the methods work just fine, and so I don’t have any particular recommendation as to the tool set you use. I’m going to show all the different ways in the book.
What was surprising to me is that the 100-percent hand-tool methods (chisel, gouge, router plane and mallet) weren’t slow at all. Yesterday I inlaid 25 pieces of brass into a trunk that I’ll be finishing tomorrow, and I did the whole job in four hours.
That’s on par with the time it takes me to do it with a router and a template.
In other “Campaign Furniture” book news: I can’t draw for possum poo. Yet, I want all the drawings in this book to be hand-drawn by my hand. The solution: Photoshop, a light table and tracing paper. All week I’ve been experimenting with taking my SketchUp drawings, combining them with bits from photos and then tracing the results.
I am not where I want to be. But it looks better (to me) than a CAD drawing in a book that discusses pre-Industrial furniture and has a “manual” feel to its design.
— Christopher Schwarz