Monday, November 29, 2010

More Drawer

BAM! Poof! Drawers!
So here are the drawers all fit together with groove for the bottoms. It was all kind of a whiz, a blur of work and interruptions coming from my part-time and the holiday. I don't clearly remember working on these but there they are heh.

The grooves for the drawer bottoms are easy for the flat parts. Curved parts take a little strategy... Ha look at my angled, curved "jig". Crude, simple, and effective. Just how I like them.

Here's a nice little trick to plane your drawer sides. I just used the lag bolts and bottom cross member of my chop-block with a cut of Birch ply to get the support and clearance I need for handling the drawers. With bigger drawers one may want to double up on the ply.
Careful for blow-out at the back of the drawer planing through the end-grain of the pins! Just give the back corners a bevel and your good to go.

Boof! Drawer bottoms. 1/4" thick bottoms of the same Maple the drawer sides are made of. The "dot" in the middle of the bottom at the back is a screw to hold the bottom in place. When making the grooves for the bottoms I made the groove in the fronts deeper to allow for seasonal movement in the bottoms.
The drawers are done except for pulls and finish.

The last thing I needed to do with the stand itself is locaters for cabinet placement. I used a template of the cabinet base to plot a pair of dowels going into the stand and bottom of the cabinet. Kind of cute little things made of Kwila. Could have more easily used standard dowels, but come on heh.

This project is finally coming to a close. It's hard not to rush these last steps/details and move on. I'm getting pretty sick of staring at this thing all day ha. It would be nice to not have another job so I could get these pieces out from under my nose in half the time! Well, one can dream...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stand assembled, on to drawers

The stand is assembled! Thought this cluster of joints looks pretty nice. Too bad people wont be seeing it heh.
On to drawers, but first I need the pocket partition. You can see a groove routed in the center of the web-frame. That is for a spline to get to join the partition.

Fast forward the partition fitting, it's just shooting until snug. Here is something a little odd. End grain on long grain. Sounds like a bad idea, but with only 2-7/8" tall of quarter-sawn Maple I'm not worried about it. The dowels give most of the holding power here.

Pre-finish the front section the same as the web-frames and glue her in. See the nice consistent lines of dark and light wood, thanks to my little end-grain joint there :). Well, I like it ha.

All the drawer stock was preped and it's once again dovetail week. These 3-way angled joints on the outsides aren't turning out too hard, just a number of extra things to keep in mind.
I'm using the waste side of the drawer fronts for my cradle. It already had the same curve, just clean it up a bit, make a mating chop block and your set! This seems to get easier the 3rd or 4th time around ha. Well, maybe not easier but quicker and smoother.

Cutting pins. This time around I'm getting a little bit more "free". I have mapped out about where I want to points of the tails to be and then just free-hand drawing the line to be cut. There will be a bid more variation in the joints which I like. Don't know if it is best for this piece but I've been getting a little worn on how "polished" this project is ha.
The Kwila feels a bit dry and stringy under the chisel. That and it was killing my edges with that silica Kwila has. I raised the bevel angle by perhaps 2 degrees, and put a slightly heavier double bevel on. That kept me going.

The Maple feels like cream compared to the Kwila fronts! The fronts are more forgiving though.
Here sawing up some tails for a drawer front. Saw to the waste-side of the line! If you saw that line off, you might as well stop and try again. However the further away from the line you saw, the more work you have to do to fit them and the more likely one is to screw something up. It's a balancing act that I'm getting a little braver with heh.
I have more chopping and paring to do. See you when the drawers (hopefully) come together!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Back to the shop! Web-frames for the Kwila stand. The web-frames create the drawers pockets I'm wanting in the stand and give the stand way more strength than it needs heh.
Pictured above, using the band saw to cut the slip tenon mortise.

On the table saw cutting shoulders for the tenons

BAM! Fit slip tenons with allowances for easy clamping.

I guess I forgot to photograph the center piece for the drawer partition. Well, it is fit with shooting board and block plane then doweled into place. Pictured is applying the Kwila front edge.
I have enough good Kwila to have made the frames of all Kwila but I like the look of the Maple. A nice splash of colors for the curious. That and the drawer sides are going to be of the same Maple, it will all be nice and bright in there.

Fitting the frame to the stand and making it all nice and square. The nice thing about the web-frames is that when gluing up I know my stand will be square if the frame has a seamless joint. That is without ridiculous pressure.

Both frames fit with splines and dowels... I don't think they are going to go anywhere heh.
On to edge work and pre-finishing.

The first glued assembly of three, scary! It went smoothly enough, I'm glad I had an extra set of hands.
I can sense the light at the end of the tunnel... not there yet!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Man and a Mill

A little while ago I was invited down to Spencer, IA to meet a man with a passion and a mill. Tuesday morning I made the 4 hour trip.
Spencer, I was informed is a bit of a railroad town denied the railroad. Charming yet strange. Brandon is the resident wood nut heh.
I have seen and participated in a bit of chainsaw milling and I have seen a little of a band saw mill in action but have never seen the whole process let alone operate one. Brandon showed me some of the ropes.
It was a great experience gaining new appreciation and having a good time.

I saw a log of Walnut among a few others behind the barn that looked promising to me. Brandon got it on the mill with a tractor and asked is I wanted to "drive" the mill. After getting the log oriented in the way we thought best suited it we went ahead with flitch cutting the log. Perhaps the easy way to mill but my preferred method.

This Walnut log was about 22" in diameter and 8.5 feet long. The mill was pretty easy to operate. Up and down, forward and back, and a speed control. Then again, a hand plane is pretty easy to operate in theory.
The belt drive decided to take a short smoke break as it was displeased with some of my effort. Brandon assured me all was fine.

Whoo Wee! You don't see logs/lumber like that every day! I don't anyway. Clean and  mostly straight with only one sizable knot to work around.

Don't get drool on your key board...

Staked and stickered. all 8/4 (cut green at about 9/4) with the pith plank being about 10/4.

Next I was wondering about a log of Bur Oak out back. Nice straight and long. This one fought though. After the first pass we hit a nail. Then another. The log was getting shorter due to cutting sections with metal off. You can see the start of some black staining due to the nail(s). Then hit some copper too!? Ugh. One thing lead to another with some tools and we had to retreat for the time being.

Beautiful color and grain in this section. I hope more can be salvaged!

Well sir thank you for the time and hospitality, I shall return for more wood. So watch out!


    Tired and weary, roll to the side. The clock reads seven o’clock. It’s Sunday. I worked late last night. Would like to rest though I know it wont come.
    Today is the last day of a three-day event at the gallery, I’m scheduled to work elsewhere at four. Off to the gallery, I’m the first one there after the director. People walk in, eyes glance, and bodies turn back to the door. Some make little conversation. One lampshade was sold.
    A rumble comes from my stomach. I need fuel before work.
    Walk into work looking forward the sustenance in hand. There is no place to sit, all seats taken. Sit in back on the floor, it’s almost four. Go to the bathroom to change out of some dress clothes. Start the work day by picking toilet paper off the floor. Walk behind the counter to handle the dishes and stock neglected by my co-workers as my shoes stick a little to the floor.
    How does this place go on? Why am I here? I want to go home to my bed. Tomorrow morning I’ll be in my shop again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stand Joinery

Last time I left with mapping out mortises. Here are the mortises being cut!
I put the shop-made X-Y table back into action because I felt with the angles in the joinery it may be easy to lose a visual reference when cutting free-hand.

Fast Forward the tenon fitting and here is the rail stalk with four tenons on each side! Looks kind of neat and holy crap is it strong!

With the floating tenons glued into the rails I'm looking to get a "seamless" transition between legs and rail on the inside which is a drawer pocket side. Yes, I know my plane's mouth is a bit big. I had replaced this smoother with a Vera one that then de-laminated ... it felt so good in hand and made my hands smell good ha. Oh well.

Using little 45 degree cradles to hold the legs for edge treatment, after pillowing was done.

Aaaaand more pre-finishing. I have a good amount of work left to do with this stand but I figure I want to glue the legs to the side aprons now to eliminate unnecessary variables down the road. To make the glue-up happen I need to pre-finish first. Then I am making the web-frames and assembling the rest of the stand around those.