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Monday, October 9, 2017

Mahogany Curved Blockfront Chest Cockbead & Drawer Fronts Step 6

Time to get started on the cock bead around the drawer openings.

The strip of wood that I cut off of the side in the beginning will need to be glued on to create the recess for the cock beading.   But before I do that I need to put a 45 degree mitre on the edges of the drawer blades.

I have a block of wood that has a 45 degree mitre slope clamped to the drawer divider. Using that as a guide I pare off the edge of the drawer divider with a bench chisel flush with the guide block.  This creates the mitre for the cock beading to match.

This is how it looks with the cock beading installed after gluing on the front piece and  mitering the edges.

Now I'll show you how I made the cock beading

First I made a strip of mahogany 1/2 inch wide by 1/8 inch thick with a 1/8 inch round over on the front of it.  This is the cock bead.

Then using a flush cut saw and the same guide block I used on the drawer dividers I cut a 45 degree mitre on each end.  I made the piece a little long so that it could be shaved and  fitted to the opening exact.

Then using a shooting board with a jig to allow me to shave a little off at a 45 degree angle, I am able to creep up on the exact size.  If I go to far then I just start over with another piece.

Now that the cock beading is on,  the drawer openings are exactly to size.  It is time to start on the drawer fronts.  These are probably the most difficult part of the build process.

I rough cut 12/4 mahogany to the 4 drawer sizes.  There is a lot of waste in cutting these out but the original was made from solid wood so that is what I am going to do.
Doug Moulder had made me a drawing of the drawer edge, I am going to make a template from this drawing.

I milled the stock for the first drawer and fitted it into the opening.  I used a pencil to trace the curve of the drawer divider on to the bottom of the drawer front.  This is the exact curve that we need on the front.

From the template that I made I can check the curve as well as trace the back curve on the drawer front.  You can see the large amount of waste that there is in using solid wood for these drawer fronts. I would be much more economical to veneer them.

I cut out the front curve on the band saw, I'll get to the back cut out later.

Checking to see how it looks even before I cleaned up the saw marks.

I use my round bottom spokeshave to clean up the saw marks and get it to the correct dimension.  I left 1/32 extra above the line while cutting on the band saw.  I use a small square to check to see if the fronts are flat and square.

I use my block plane to clean up the flat part of the drawer front.

I am using a flat carving chisel to clean up the line between the flat and the curve, it need to be a crisp line.

I use my flat bottom spoke shave and the block plane to clean up the center flat portion of the drawer front.

Here are the 3 drawer fronts all together after they have been shaped.  I try to make them identical.  If they were not the same your eye would catch the error when they were in the chest.

Now that they are all shaped I trace the line from the template for the back of the drawer front.  Then I cut it out on the band saw to remove the waste.

Here is what it looks like with all the material removed.  I still need to clean up the saw marks on the back.

I did make a partial cut with the table saw to make sure I got a nice square corner for when I cut the dove tails.

Here they are all fitted.  They look pretty good.  Now it is time to start on making the drawers with sides, bottoms and backs.

Here is today's video:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mahogany Curved Blockfront Chest Mount Feet & Knee Blocks Step 5

Now that I have carved the 4 ball & claw feet, I need to mount them on the bottom of the chest.  The feet have a one inch square tenon on the top of the foot. 

I made a cardboard template to set the position of the tenon.

Then I positioned the template on the bottom of the chest and marked out where to drill the hole. I am going to use a 1 inch bit and then chop out the balance to square it up.

I used a 1 inch Forstner bit to drill the 1 1/2 inch deep hole in the bottom.

Chopping out the sides to make it square.

Paring to the line.

Test fit and it is nice and tight. 

Gluing and clamping the feet to the chest, I sanded them to 150 grit before mounting.

This is a photo of the knee block that I took at the Yale Furniture Study. I made a cardboard template to use for the cutout of the knee block.  You can see how much curve there has to be in both directions.

I cut out the face pattern on the band saw and then taped it back together. I positioned it on the leg and traced the curve on to the top of the block and traced the face of the curve on to the side.

I can only cut out the face curve on the band saw and will have to shape the second curve with files and rasps.

Here is the rough shape after bandsawing.

Here is the rough shape in place on the foot.

I use a pencil to trace the shape on the inside on the knee block.  It needs to follow the shape of the leg.

As you can see the shape is almost a continuous curve.  This is the shape I need to create with the rasps and files.

I put a screw in the back so I can clamp the block on my bench.

Following the pencil lines on the side I use the rasp and files to round over the block to match the curves.

This is about how it will look when I test fit using the practice foot. I am getting close to the final shape.

This test of the shape shows that I am just about complete.  Still needs a little more clean up.

The side ones are much easier because they are only curved in one direction and can be band sawed near the final shape. 

The original did not have mahogany blocks in the back. Just pine blocks which were not shaped.

That's it for now, I will glue them in place and do some final fitting to the feet. 
Next will be the side cockbeading in the drawer openings.

Here is today's video:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mahogany Curved Blockfront Chest Ball & Claw Foot Step 4

Time to start working on the ball & claw feet for the chest.  This foot has a short cabriolet leg and a fairly large ball and claw foot. The two side toes are curved toward the back and it has bulb knuckles. This foot is similar to others in the Boston area from that period.

I took a number of pictures of the foot when I was at Yale. Here I made blow ups so I could study them while I carved a practise foot out of poplar.

I laid out the bottom the traditional way with the 2 circles and 4 toes.  But notice on the side I traced a curved toe sweeping back on the side.

Here is a look at the other side.

Here is the practise foot. It came out pretty well, I did play with it for a while until I was satisfied that it looked ok. 

Now that I have a good model, I am ready to cut out and carve the mahogany feet.

Here they are all cut out and with the bottoms marked with the circles and toes.  I left the tops on so that it would be easier to clamp them in the vise for carving.

Again I drew the side toes sweeping back.

I use a molding gauge on the model to transfer the height of the ball with a pencil mark that I draw on the side and front. I will use the molding gauge later to check the progress on my carving of the curves.

Here I am using a 1 inch 3 to carve a cylinder all the way around the four sides.  I stop at the first circle drawn on the bottom of the foot.  I use the small square to check that the cylinder sides go straight back from bottom to top. This one has a little way to go, you can see the gap at the base of the square which means the top is high and needs more carving.

After carving the cylinder all the way around, next I start to round over the ball on the back side.  I carve from the center down toward the bottom and round to the second circle on the bottom. I carve from the center up to the top and try to make the same curve. The center on this ball is 1 1/8 inches from the bottom.  But this is where I use the molding gauge to check the curves.

There is a lot more carving to do here to match that curve from my practise foot.

Now I am getting closer. Just a little more. I repeat the process on the other side.

When you view it from the bottom the ball should look continuous as it passes under the toe. Also the curves of the ball should be smooth without bumps. 

I roughed out the side toe before I started carving the front ball because I needed to expose the portion that was hidden under the toe before I carved it.  Now I can made the ball on the front.

I carved the front ball the same way I did the back by using the molding gauge to check my progress on the curves.  I also roughed in the webbing so I could see the size of the toes.  I wanted to make them thicker than the model.

Now that I have the ball carved, I can work on the toes. From the pictures and the model I need to carve these bulbs along the toes.  I made mine similar but not exactly like the one at Yale.

With most of the carving done, it is time to clean up the saw marks off of the cabriolet leg.  I use my curved bottom spokeshave and a file to clean up the marks.

There you have it, one done and it looks better than the model. Now I have to do 3 more but they should go faster as I am repeating the process.

Here is today's video: