Thursday, February 10, 2011

Catching up on the Oak

Oh boy, this may be a doosey of a post. Some times the time just flies and one doesn't realize how many operations have gone by!
Back on the brackets adding the final touch. Using my jimmy riged x-y table to add the notch to the brackets. I was surprised at how well it worked while taking it easy. Last time I went over to Craig's to use his mighty x-y but looks like I wont have to bother him for that any more heh.
I like to think my clamping/positioning jig is a little clever. Milled a piece of Poplar slightly thinner than the brackets are wide. This way my clamping force is stable on the table and the brackets are held securely.

With the "carcass" all dry-fit together it was time to move on to the finishing touches with it too.
Sometimes I get a little antsy with edge treatment, just wanting to get on to the next step. This time it was different. I really found a "groove" with these edges. Being such a stripped down piece, the edges are one of the few places the maker's hands can really come through.
I'm sure I've said it before, but one of the things I really like toying with is the concept that the fewer components/elements in a piece of work, the greater weight each carries. If one blows any component on a very simple piece, there's no "making up" for it else where. Sure maybe that adds a bit of "pressure" but I like the challenge :).

Bam! Assembly, after pre-finishing of course.

On to the drawer, the only other component of the piece ha.
Using a small piece of Chinese Elm I saved from my school project at IP. It should go rather nicely with the Oak. For the rest of the drawer I've opted for Ash as it has a stronger grain structure better mating with the Oak than Maple may.

Poof! the Dovetail Gnomes are at it again!
Anywho, fast forwarding the sawing, chopping, paring, and fitting of the dovetails I was to flattening the bottom of the drawer in preparation of making the grooves for the drawer bottom.

This time around I tried putting a little flare into the pins and tails. The Elm being stringy and brittle across the grain I couldn't very well just shave a little curve into the pins. Thus the outcome isn't quite as nice as I was hoping for but hey, at least the fit of the joints are pretty spot on :).
Next drawers I;m planing on doing are with Walnut fronts. I think they would work better trying to get that flare. However the sides are looking to be of Oak which doesn't work all too well... hmmm don't know if I should try it in those or not, we'll see when the time comes.

Skipping ahead past drawer fitting and drawer edge treatment, the pull is the last piece of this "puzzle".
I originally made a different pull out of a different wood but when I mocked it up on the drawer in its pocket I got one of those sinking feelings that I didn't like it. The shape was decent but it was the color that screamed at me. I decided to cut into my prized little stash of Ornamental Maple I received from Jody at IP. The shape of the new pull is a bit simpler and cleaner which I thought would ultimately be better for the piece anyway. It is actually very similar to the ones I did for the Chinese Elm Cabinet but heavier and with less movement. I think it will be nice.

Well I've pretty much wrapped this piece up already :). Quite a change from the more lengthy pieces I have been doing. It's nice, but I feel like I may need another piece to push me. The desk may just be enough push for me. Don't know when I'll get to photographing this piece but rest assured I'm post the pics when they're done :).

Till later, happy shavings!


Jason Herrick said...

Very cool!!! That drawer is awesome! Well done. I bow to thee.

Be sure to use the 'good' walnut on your next project (That Western stuff sweet.) :)


Jeff Branch said...

I am interested in your finishing the case prior to glue-up. I did it the opposite way (finish after glue-up) on a recent project and finishing the interior was very difficult.

Do you have to do anything with the joinery differently knowing that glue won't stick to the finish, etc.?

Nicholas Nelson said...

Jason - Why thank you sir! It's the first flat square-fronted drawer I've done in a long time! It went pretty quickly, relatively ;).

Ha I don't have much of a choice on my Walnut. It's local which is to say Eastern Black Walnut. That Claro Walnut you get over there gets EXPENSIVE too! Personally, I'd love a Euro variety over the Claro or Eastern Walnuts :).

Jeff - Yes, pre-finishing makes life easier! Also, because glue doesn't stick so well to finish, squeeze out clean up is easier too!
Just be sure to not get any on the parts doing the joining. I don't use spray finishes but I still mask parts off with tape.