Popular Woodworking 2002-12 № 131, страница 87

Popular Woodworking 2002-12 № 131, страница 87

American Woodshops

A Lifetime of the Finest Work

For 60 years, George Reid has built breathtaking period furniture using

only modest power tools, patience and a steady hand.

During the last 30 years I have journeyed to every corner of our country to visit people who have mastered unique aspects of woodworking. But I didn't have to go far from home to meet one of the most impressive artisans ever, master woodworker George Reid of Kettering, Ohio.

Reid and I have been good friends for 18 years, and I never will forget the first time I walked into the Reid home. Heirloom antiques adorned every room. Because I collect antique furniture, I quickly calculated that Reid had a king's ransom in antiques in

his modest home. But then came the real shock: Reid told me they weren't antiques. He had made them all.

Reid's eye for proportion and dimension not only gives him the ability to build re-

At 88, George Reid is still working every day. Here he's sitting at his workbench with two recently completed miniatures. Each miniature includes completely accurate hand-cut dovetails on the drawers with raised solid panel bottoms.The Delta drill press you see behind him is 1940s vintage. It's all original except the motor, which he salvaged from his first 1940s-era bench saw and upgraded with a length of link belt.

Three views of a miniature Chippendale chair. Reid's chairmaking skills are simply astonishing. Photos of the originals are indistinguishable from his copies.

production Chippendale, Queen Anne, Sheraton, Hepplewhite and other classic furniture styles (both full-size and exquisite miniatures) - it has given him the grace to carve them beautifully. His carving is what sets him apart from just about any other cabinetmaker I know. Lots of folks can build the furniture; few can really master the carving.

Other than his signature and date on every custom piece, you cannot distinguish his work from museum originals. Even more impressive, Reid doesn't just make copies. He has studied the classical furniture styles to a degree where he can think and design like an 18th century cabinetmaker. He can handle sensitive furniture restoration, as well as design new pieces in the classic styles, sometimes even adding additional detail that would be appropriate for that period.

From the Farm to the Woodshop

Raised on a family farm near Fletcher, Ohio (the farm is still in his family), Reid grew up with a strong work ethic. If you wanted something, you made it; and the milking stool that was his first woodworking project is still in his den being used as a footstool.

Working with his hands on the farm led to a love of wooden models, including his perfectly built scale model of a stagecoach. That model was eventually shown to folks at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) in Dayton, Ohio. Impressed, the

92 Popular Woodworking December 2002

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