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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Curved Blockfront Lowboy Kneeblocks & Finials Step 8

Today I started working on the knee blocks.   I had cut off 2 inches from the top of each leg stock before creating the cabriolet legs. I numbered them so I would know which belonged to each leg.

If  I am careful I will orient the grain to match the knees on the legs.

I made a cardboard template of what I think the knee block should look like and test fit the area.

I traced the shape on the block of wood and cut it out on the bandsaw.

At this point it needs to be shaped.

I put a screw in the back of the knee block so I can clamp it in the vise. 

I am using a Nickelson #50 rasp to take off the extra material and shape the knee block. I use files to smooth out the rasps marks later.

This is a pretty good shape and grain match.

I cut out and glued on all of the knee blocks. I only apply glue to the side of the knee block that touches the knee.  Not to the back of the knee block, that allows the wood behind it to move freely.
I left them a little proud so they can be pared off flush when the glue dries.

I use a sharp paring chisel to trim off the excess and a file to remove the excess on the bottom curve inside the knee.

The one on the right side of the knee is complete.  I like how the grain matches.

I started to work in the finials.  I did not shoot any new video of the turning of the finials but there is a video from the last time I made this piece here. Curved Blockfront Dressing Table Drop Finials Step 23  Here is a couple of shots from that video.

These finials came out a little better than the last time since I was able to turn the little ball on the end as one piece.  The last time I turned the little ball separate and glued it on. 

They also need what I call a washer which goes between the apron and the finial to create a transition from one to the other.
There it is all complete. I will glue in the finials just before I start the finishing of the piece.

Next post will be the top and the hardware.

Here is today's video: 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Curved Blockfront Lowboy Dovetails & Drawer Bottoms Step 7

In the previous post I laid out the tails, then sawed and chopped them out.  Then I used them to trace the markings on the sides of the drawer fronts.

For a detail discussion on half blind dovetails, here is a link to a prior video. Curved Blockfront Dressing Table Detail Half Blind Dovetails & Drawer Bottoms Step 20

I am chopping out the half blind dovetails for the drawer fronts.  These are 5/8 inch long.  I have sawed on the waste side of the line.  With my small dovetail chisel, I am able to feel the line that I scribed with the Lee Valley wheel marking gauge. I set the chisel in the groove and start to remove the waste material.

After removing the waste to the bottom of the socket, again I am able to put the chisel in the groove and slice out the last of the material for a nice clean edge on the bottom.

Below I am cleaning up the sockets to make sure they are at right angles to the dovetails.

Here is another time when I use my number marking on the insides of the drawer.  This is a number IV and it matches the one on the drawer front.  (I use Roman Numerals)

If I have been careful with my sawing and chopping, the dovetails should fit right in. Looks like a good fit.

After all the dovetails have been fitted, I need to put a 1/4 inch groove in the sides 1/4 inch from the bottom.  This is the groove for the drawer bottoms.  I have made a reproduction of a Sandusky  119 plough plane.  It designed to make grooves just like the one that we need here so I used it to groove the drawer sides.  It is much quieter than the electric router or table saw.

Now I use the band saw to cut out the back of the drawer fronts.  They are curved both front and back.

The curve in the back is the same radius as the front. Once it is removed the drawer fronts are 1 inch thick.

Now the tricky part, I could use a very small router plane to cut a 1/4 inch groove in the back of the drawer fronts. But I decided to use the electric router with a large baring to make the 1/4 inch groove. This groove is stopped so it does not go through the ends and should not be seen on the sides of the drawers.  I use a chisel to finish the groove.

I cut 7 3/4 inches for the drawer bottom from the 1/2 inch pine that I glued up in the prior post and video.

Now I need to put a bevel on the drawer bottom so that it fits in the 1/4 inch groove.  I use my router with a large bevel bit.  After a couple of passes I have the correct cut and thickness.

Early in the morning the sun comes in that window.  It makes quite a contrast

I slide the bottom into the drawer and trace the curve in the front on to the bottom and then cut out the curve on the band saw.  This way the bottom curve is sure to match the front groove.

After I cut out the curve, I run it back through the router bevel bit again to finish the curved bevel in the front.  It is an extra step to do it this way but it make a good fit in the curved front.

Now all I need to do is slip it in the groove.

I left out the step where I cut 1/2 inch off the back of the drawer to make an opening so the drawer front would slip in.

The drawer bottom is a little too long.  I will cut it off later but still leave about 3/16 inch sticking out the back.    It will be nailed in the back to hold it in.

That's how it was done in the 18th century. Without the power tools.

Next post I will work on the knee blocks and turned finials.

Here is today's video:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Curved Blockfront Lowboy Pegs & Drawer Stock & Layout Step 6

I needed to make some cherry pegs for the joints in the case just after I had glued it up.  This is what the old guys did so I decided to follow their example.

Now they used square pegs but I like to use round ones.  I made some with my Lie Nielsen dowel plate.  I cut some 1/4 x 1/4 cherry stock. Then whittled the end to make a point to start into the plate.
I put the square in a drill and pushed it into the dowel plate.  And out come the dowels.

That is one way to make dowels. I like a second way, that is with a block of wood and a blade.  I have seen it done with a chisel. I have an old spokeshave blade that is sharp and screwed to the block of wood just over a 1/4 inch hole. The hole is a little wider at the beginning.  Again it helps if you pare away a little in the beginning of the rod to get it started in the hole.  I put it in an electric drill and push it through the opening.  It works like a pencil sharpener.  It produces nice smooth dowels.

I made some dowels and cut them to 1 1/2 inch pegs.

I drilled 1/4 inch hole through the tenon to 1 1/4 inch deep.  Then I put some glue on one end of the peg and pound it home with a hammer.

After the glue dries I pare off the peg flush and sand it smooth.

Next I start on milling some pine for the drawer sides, back and drawer bottoms.  The back and bottom will be 1/2 inch thick and the sides will be a little over 3/8 inch thick.

The sides and back will be 3 3/4 inches high.

The drawer bottoms will have the grain running side to side across the width of the drawer.  That way the expansion of the bottom goes to the back, rather than to the sides and make the drawers stick.
The drawer bottoms will be 7 3/4 inches by 16 inches.  I need to glue up panels and try to keep them flat with weights.

I rip the sides and backs to the appropriate sizes and pile up the stock to be dovetailed to the fronts.

I start the same way all the time by marking on the inside top of each corner of the drawer, starting on the left front.  So the two corners on the drawer front are i and iv on each corner.  This is so I can keep track of which piece fits into which dovetail.

Once they are marked, then I use the wheel markers to scribe lines for each of the lengths I need for dovetails.  I am going to make 5/8 dovetails in the front, 1/2 inch in the back and 3/8 deep for the sides. Using the wheel markers is real easy.

Once they are scribed, I layout the size of the dovetails.  There are many ways to layout dovetails.  I do it by guess.  I have done this so many times that I kind of know what will work.  If I did not know I would use dividers to come up with a consistent size.  You do have to decide how many dovetails you want to start with.  One this size drawer I usually make 3 or 4 tails.  In this case 3 - 3/4 inch tails and 1/4 inch pins make it come out even.  I usually start with 3/8 inch pin at the top and 1/2 on the bottom for the groove for the drawer bottom.

After marking the spacings I use a sliding bevel to set the slope.  I have it set at 15 degrees. Again this is arbitrary. It looks good to me.

I mark out the tails on the sides and saw them as a pair with the numbers on the inside facing each other.

I saw through the lines on the tails.  I leave the lines on the pins. I saw down to the scribe line. Then I chop out the waste with a chisel.

Here is a detailed video of mine on laying out and cutting dovetails.
Cherry Oxbow Chest Hand Cut Drawer Dovetails Step 11

So that is it for now. The next post will continue with cutting the pins in the drawer fronts and fitting the drawers.

Here is today's video:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Curved Blockfront Lowboy - Drawer Fronts & Glue Up - Step 5

It is time to concentrate on the curved blockfront drawer faces.  I made a practice one out of maple to see if I remembered all of the steps that are necessary.  I also went back and viewed my own video from the previous build.

This is a link to the video from the prior build where I made the drawer fronts
Curved Blockfront Dressing Table Final Convex Drawer Fronts Step 15

I was satisfied with the preparation I had made, next I needed to select the stock for the drawer fronts.
I have this large 8/4 figured cherry board that should be great for the fronts.  I want the grain to match and there to be interesting figure.

I use my hand planes to flatten one side of the board to expose the grain.  I select about 30 inches of the board for the stock.  I need to plane it to 1 3/4 inches.

I milled six blocks, the grain is continuous and should match the apron.

I mark out the pattern on the top of each of the blocks, I use the top drawer blade as a template  and bandsaw out the curves.  The bandsaw blade broke on the last one so I finished the cut with an old blade that was dull as you can see it burned the wood.

I use my round bottom spokeshave to clean up the bandsaw marks on the curved fronts.

To finish I use my card scraper to get a better finish.

Now that the fronts are smooth, I use two router set up to put the quarter round on the edges of the fronts.

I have to use the above router set up because the corners have been cut by the first pass on the router, if I turn the drawer front on the side and run another pass it will be too deep on the corner.  Routing from the top and registering from the back the second cut depth can be perfect.

Next using the router and a template I route out the majority of the 1/4 inch from the top, creating the lip for the drawer.

I use the table saw to cut out the sides to create the lip on the sides of the drawer front. I check the rough fit for each of the drawers.

I left about 1/16 of an inch for final fitting when I routed out the majority of the wood.

I use chisels and small hand plane to clean up the waste left by the router.

I carve away the remaining checking frequently for a good fit.

All six fitted and cleaned up. I love the grain in the fronts.

Now is the time to glue up the case.  I drilled the 1/2 inch holes in the bottom of the apron for the drop finials.  I sanded the sides and apron to 180.

This is a complex glue up.  I use Old Brown Glue liquid hide glue which has a long open time.
I glued the rear legs to the back, then laid it flat on the table. Then I glued the front legs, apron and drawer blades together to make the front.  Then I glued the sides and the drawer runners to the back.  Everything was sticking straight up off of the table. Then I fit the assembled front to the sides and drawer runners.
Once it was all together I stood it upright and clamped it.

I have to clean up the excess glue and sand a little when it dries.
Next I will work on making the drawers.

Here is today's video: