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John Hemmings & the Joiner's Shop
This chair, probably made in the Monticello joinery, is a copy of French chairs used in the Monticello house. Jefferson may have commissioned this chair for use at Poplar Forest, where John Hemmings created interior woodwork and for which he made other furniture.
In the well-equipped Monticello joinery, John Hemmings used fine woodworking tools. He used a jack plane for the initial dressing of lumber after it was sawn with a pit saw or water-powered saw mill. A hand saw was for fine cutting.
A plow plane had a set of interchangeable cutters or ‘irons’ of different widths and was used to cut various sizes of grooves. The adjustable fence determined the location of the groove was from the edge of the stock.
This object, made for Jefferson’s youngest granddaughter, shows some of Hemmings’s woodworking signatures: the way the shelves are attached to the sides of the cupboard, the double-bead molding on the shelves’ front edges, and the curved molding on the door frame.