There haven't been a lot of restoration carving projects lately, which is good since I've been pretty busy, but sad because they are a nice change of pace. This last project, though the parts are small, was a big one. Replace six small finials that had gotten broken off the top of a cabinet piece. I only saw the top piece--a massive rectangle of crown molding with six small finials, one at each corner plus two on either side of a large finial in the center. Because the piece is so large, the guess is that movers didn't realize that it was not attached to the cabinet and somehow managed to break off all the finials atop its crown. The center final could be repaired without too much difficulty, but the smaller ones had been turned from the ends of corner blocks used assemble the crown molding. Rather than replace the corner blocks as well, Jim made the replacement finials with a tang. He then drilled matching holes in the cornerblocks to receive the finial.
There are 24 reeds and 36 beads carved into each finial, which made layout time consuming, even with Jim's good indexing setups. We had to eyeball the divide between two beads since he only had an eighteen-point index wheel, but the beads are so tiny, I don't think it shows. The whole finial is no longer than my cell phone; the beads are about an eight inch in diameter. Tiny, precise stuff. Not a whole lot of room for error, though I wonder how much it gets appreciated on the top of a big cabinet. The replacements are carved from pattern-grade mahogany: clear, straight grain, easy to carve and holds detail well. While I can't say that the original finishing was masterful, I do wonder how well the new finish matches. Ah, well, the color is close enough and, as I mentioned before, no one should be inspecting these close up.