As Tommy tackles the construction of a white oak frame and panel blanket chest with mortise and tenon joinery and intricately carved panels on the front, he pays a visit to Whipple House at the Ipswich Museum to check out an example of 17th century American joinery, a Thomas Dennis chest built with 28 mortise and tenon joints and a magnificently carved front panel. The chest was made in America out of American materials, but the style of its construction and decoration was rooted in England. The chest was built of green wood, unseasoned, split literally out of a log from tall, straight forest primeval trees, yet in the elaborate arched pattern in the carving detail one can see the influence of Gothic church architecture brought to the colonies by master English craftsmen like Dennis.

Visit the Ipswich Museum