Seems as if it’s been a while since I blogged and watching my wife, Diane being so consistent in her blogging makes me feel like a slacker so let me share what’s been going on with the woodworking side of the family now that the frames are completed for her work.
First off, after a series of convo’s back and forth with a potential client on the Etsy store she liked what our combined plans were and purchased her custom order. Essentially it will be a finger jointed, hinged box made of Walnut. It’s designed to hold surgical loupes so I’m including a piece of Kaizen foam for her to custom fit to the loupes. Since the hardware she requested needed to be ordered I’ll wait until next week to begin on it, not a good practice to cut a box apart until you have the hinges and latches to make sure of their placement.
Another thing I was able to complete is this example of dovetailed simplicity in the form of a Pine box:
This box started out being the example of the box we were going to build for the recent hand tool class that I taught earlier this year. Everyone decided they would rather build a tool tote so this was a “left-over” that needed to be completed. The handle is, I think, a piece of Curly Cherry I had in my exotic scrap pile that I really liked. Decided to go ahead and use the one and only proper mortise chisel I own to mortise the lid, good to utilize these hand skills and really it doesn’t take much more time than it would to set up the hollow chisel mortiser.
To keep things pure Tried and True Danish oil is the finish used which I wet sand into the surface. The bottom of the box and tray will get a leather lining and then it’ll be placed on the Etsy store or taken to the Summerlin Art Fair in October.
Next up I had the opportunity to do some more work on my personal project, John’s Armoire. You may recall that it’s been stored in the bathtub and it’s been quite some time since I’ve had the chance to work on it. My goal was to get the front and rear frame pieces assembled knowing that would take up a lot of space that I couldn’t afford to lose next week when work begins on the box. This is a challenging project to say the least! Many, many things I’ve never tackled before but how else can you learn? Luckily as I was getting things together I realized I needed the stretcher that will go from the top of the left leg to the section with the three drawers. Also came to the conclusion that I don’t have enough material for that or the vertical divider between them so off I went to Peterman lumber hoping to find a piece of Mahogany that matched the color and grain of the rest of this piece — lucked out and the panel has been glued up. The stretchers need to be dovetailed into the top of the leg which was accomplished before the glue up began. You’ll notice in the fourth slide how I used a small piece of a very thin scraper to complete the cuts for this dovetail. That’s the technique shown by Tage Frid that does work to cut down the material where your saw won’t reach.
That being completed it’s time to assemble these things! Assembling the front and rear frames is a two step process. First up was to assemble the drawbored pieces that are the stretchers between the drawers. You’re seeing the left leg (from the front), the center vertical member, and the stretchers. I used Old Brown Glue to give me ample working time and even though clamps weren’t required decided to use them anyway. Just as a reminder, the frame is Genuine Mahogany and the pegs are 3/16″ Walnut. Just enough width on the assembly table to get this together.
Stage two of the assembly was even more of a challenge. The rear framework has a panel for the back of the right hand section which will have shelves installed. That gave me some squareness issues that hopefully I can overcome and conceal! The front is what’s shown here and by using the tablesaw and the assembly table I was able to accomplish it. It began glueing and pegging the top of the door section squarely into position. For that it was Old Brown Glue. The two, horizontal members at the bottom are dovetailed to the legs while a lap joint is glued/screwed from that center member. For these Gorilla glue is my choice. In my experience it cleans up really well and by placing a piece of polyethylene between it and the clamp the squeeze out is easily scraped off.
After cleaning up the joinery tomorrow they’ll probably head back to the bathtub while I work on the Etsy order and begin the process of planing down all of the panels for the sides and doors to size. This will be a complete exercise with hand tools as they measure about 19″ in width and my planer is 15″. Usually I like to let the planer do the grunt work and I’ll refine it by hand —- looks like I’m the grunt on this project!
I like the armoire design. Looks challenging, at least to a beginner like myself.
It’s a real challenge for sure! Final assembly is a head scratcher – not even thinking about all the drawers yet.
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