Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Work continues on the Chinese Elm cabinet. While waiting for the drawer stock to calm down I did a little more work on the stand components. Cut the legs closer to height (at least they are all the same height now) and did some rough cleaning of the long stretchers. I'm looking forward to the stand. The Cherry is much nicer to work!

Stack of concave drawer fronts. These are cut and shaped of solid wood. No laminations or veneers here finally!

Shooting the drawer sides to height for a snug fit.

I barely got the stock I needed due to the tension in the wood bending the pieces off the saw. I thought I was leaving them plenty on the thick side but with all the correction I came up with 5/16" of straight material which is what I wanted for a finished dimension. So if the marking and fitting of the drawers go well I should end up with a fat 1/4".

Curved fronts call for angled joinery, so here one of the sides is getting its angle cut.

Thinking of cutting curved drawer side angles can be confusing, but once you know what to do it's not. You don't need such a "thorough" cradle, really you just need a riser block or two and some double sided tape. I already had this and it's male mate for shaping the fronts so why not use them? I will be slightly modifying this block for used in a chopping block much like the set-up I used for my last curved dovetails but on a different axis.

Backs are cut at the same time to ensure a proper fit.

I used my tiny spokeshaves to do some touch-up work on the fronts after being cut. This picture makes it look pretty big but the blade is a bit under 1"! these little guys are around $25 from Lee Valley but are pretty much useless with the blades that come with them. I made the new set of irons before the new-year and have found that these function not only as legitimate but fine tools in the called for applications! The labor to make the irons from a cheap file will take the better part of a day which of course add cost to the tool. However when the time comes that all your other spokes shaves are too big and a chisel is too clumsy you'll chuckle while zipping away with a mini shave leaving a finish-ready surface... or maybe that's just me.

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