Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bremer Cabinet - The Next Chapter

Wow Hickory is hard. I knew it was hard but I didn't know it was this hard.
Also it tears. As soon as there is a dive to the grain "shhhh-crugh!" (is that was a tear sounds like?).
Looks like I'm going to reacquaint myself with the cabinet scraper on this one.

Since last time, I have been breaking down the rough lumber, picking what pieces go where, and bringing those close to dimension.
Using the planer was a painfully slow and loud process on a count of the Hickory's hardness.
While I was edge gluing bits to make up the carcass components I worked on the door bending form pictured above. I got a little carried away with the thickness of it, but I'm sure it wont deform under clamping pressure. One could get away with a much thinner form when using a vac press but I'm just going the mechanical route.
I got some sheets of 1/8" Baltic Birch clamped on the form to make the door substrates and moved on to working the main carcass pieces.

Here I'm checking and adjusting the inside of the top, bottom, sides for flatness to make solid tight joints. What I have in my hand is a wooden straight-edge.

Provided that you have stable wood, these are great tools! This kind of straight-edge is of a Japanese tradition, this particular tool was made by my bench-mate at IP, Daisuke Tanaka.
This one is made from amazingly tight grained Yellow Cedar, very stable. You can make them any size you want, and the wood edge wont mar your project. You just use one side as a straight edge, you check that against the other half for trueness, and use a hand plane to adjust. Might sound unfamiliar but they are very accurate.

finally for this installment I got to shaping the outsides of the sides. Being that this Hickory is a bit of a pain to work I tried to rough out the profile closely with a dado set on the table saw. Worked alright but my arms still got tired mighty tired from scraping, sharpening, scraping, sharpening, and scraping. In the end, it looks good.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bremer Cabinet - a Start

Hello, it has sadly been a few months since last time!
This new project is one that has been in the air for a few months but have just got a real start on it.
This is a project for some good friends and their new addition to the family.

The Bremers were passed down a rocking chair that, I believe, Grandpa Bremer had been rocked in.
The chair was made in Red Oak and included scroll-ish design. They desire a table to go along side it that also acted as a storage piece.
What we've come to is a sort of genre bending cabinet.
It will be about 28" tall. Taller than a typical side-table but significantly lower that I would typically make a vertical storage cabinet.

It will have a bowed front and sides, also include probably a pair of drawers.

I chanced upon some Hickory aka Pecan. There were a few boards of nice clear planks, particularly clean for the species. Unfortunately all that was available was 4/4" stock, and not enough of the same selection for the whole cabinet. I picked up two more boards of a different nature that I thought matched.
Turns out they did not match each other. I had wanted to make solid doors, but looks like I am again forced into veneering the doors.
As I understand the names Hickory and Pecan are associated with different characteristics of the wood. "Hickory" being a more uniform "plain" variety and "Pecan" having more variation and contrast. In that case you could say that the carcass will be "Hickory" and the doors will be "Pecan."
Whatever the case may be I hope they look good together.

The pink tones in the Hickory should make it a compliment to the Red Oak chair. I think I will use some Red Oak for the little stand if I can find a nicely red piece.

Before I went to cutting veneer, I glued up a blank for my bending form. Hoorah!