Today's project is a tallow pot, a
small wooden box in which beef or
tallow and sometimes beeswax were kept for
lubricating the soles of planes and the blades of backsaws.
When coated with wax or tallow the
sole of a plane glides over the wood with little resistance and
a good backsaw won't bind or chatter in the kerf due to the
I reproduced an old English
specimen that is made of mahogany. Mine is made out of Ozark
wild cherry and the lid is made from a black walnut knot. I have
made several kinds of tallow pots but this one is very
challenging because the lid turns on a central pivot away from
two stops exposing the cavities in the box in which the tallow
and beeswax are kept.
The walnut lid is inlaid with two
pieces of mother-of-pearl. It has one coat of boiled linseed oil
rubbed in it but once that hardens it will be rubbed and another
coat added and polished.
All the English tallow pots I have
exhibit this kind of screw. One has a grommet-like washer. I
guess I could engrave a screw head to make it more elaborate.
Here are some other tallow pots I
have collected over the years and some reproductions of these
The above photo shows an original one in
the shape of a coffin and a similar one I made.
Here is another original pot and a
replica I made.