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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Chipman Oxbow Chests Sides Dados & Dividers Step 2

In this post I start by dovetailing the sides to the bottom. The culls clamped to the sides are to help keep them flat until the case is assembled.  I think it helps a little.

Now that the dovetails are made I need to cut off the front edge of each side where it sits over the front molding.

I am using my japanese flush cut saw to carefully cut away the corner. I want the cut to be perfectly straight

Now the side can sit in the dovetails with the molding attached in the front.

Looks like a good fit, so the next thing is to cut the base molding at a 45 degree miter to match up with the side molding.  There is a base frame under the bottom of 3/4 inch thick secondary wood. The bottom is 7/8 thick with makes the total 1 5/8 inches.  This side molding is 1 5/8 inches high just like the front molding. The dovetails are only 3/4 inches high so the molding hides them by 1/8 inch.

I cut the miter on the chop saw and it matches the side molding very well.

The base frame under the bottom on the sides has a 1/4 inch tongue on the edge that fits into the 1/4 groove in the side base molding this helps it hold on and strengthen the side molding. The feet will be attached to the underside.

Next I milled and glued up stock for the drawer dividers.  These are 5 1/2 inches wide by 36 inches long.  The pine that they are glued to helps save the expensive mahogany.

I use a small washer to follow the curve to add 1/8 of an inch to the profile which allows for the cockbeading to be added to the front of the oxbow curve.
Three of the drawer dividers have two beads and the top divider only has one cockbead.
I cut out the curve on a bandsaw and cleaned up the edge and then put the 1/8 bead on the front with a router bit.

I used my story stick to mark out the dados for the drawer dividers and drawer runners.

Then I cut the dados 3/16 deep by 13/16. I also cut 3 inch dovetail sockets for the dividers except for the top one. 
There is also a 3/16 vertical rebate for the applied cockbeading on the sides and a 1/2 inch rebate in the back for the back panel.

The top drawer divider is dovetailed into the side with half blind dovetails. There is only one cockbead on the lower edge of the divider.

There is a 3/16 bump out on the edge to fit into the 3/16 rebate. There will be a 45 degree miter on the bead when I insert the vertical cockbead in the rebate.

That is the progress so far.  Next I will dovetail a straight crossmember in the back like the drawer divider in the front.  These stabilize the case and will be used with screws to fasten the top.
Once that crossmember is installed I can glue up the case.

Here is today's video: 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Chipman Oxbow Chests Plans Bottom & Molding Step 1

Well here we go again.  I have a client who wants two of these John Chipman Oxbow Chests.  The original pair are in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the US State Department.  I hope to go see them in the next few weeks.

I have obtained the overall dimensions from documentation. I converted the pictures to PDF's This allows me to convert the pictures to line drawings with software and then scale them up to actual size.

By doing this I am able to figure out the drawer sizes, thickness of the sides, size of the feet and drawer dividers.  Pretty much the whole chest.  I don't have a side view picture but I made a drawing based on what I know.

After making the drawings, my next step is to make templates and a story stick for the chests.
The story stick lays out the drawers and divider separation.  The other templates layout the curved drawer fronts and bottom molding.

Typical of Boston and Salem chests of that period (1760-1785) the craftsman made a large dovetail in the base molding to attach it to the bottom of the chest.

I started by milling some eastern white pine to make the bottom to 7/8 inch. The case is 36 inches wide and 21 1/4 inches deep.

You can see by the template how the base molding is made and attached to the bottom.

I made a practise piece out of soft maple, I did not want to waste the expensive mahogany if I made a mistake.
The base molding is 1 5/8 inches thick by 4 3/4 inches deep and 38 inches wide.

The molding pattern is a roman ogee with at 1/2 inch radius. I'll have to carve the blocking line in the curves to make it crisp.

Looks good, so now I can make it out to mahogany.
This mahogany I purchased from Irion Lumber.  Mostly 8/4 figured mahogany. I hand planed one side so I could see the figure and decide which pieces I want to use for which parts of the chest.

I will need the sides right after I make the base molding so I resawed four pieces of 8/4 to make the sides after book matching and gluing up the panels.

To make the molding I traced the template on to a piece of mahogany 1 5/8 inches thick by 4 3/4 x 39

Then I band sawed the oxbow curve on the front and cleaned it up with a spoke shave.

Then I used the roman ogee bit to make the profile on the front of the molding.

Next I need to saw the back of the molding to start to make the dovetail.  These cuts need to be straight and accurate because they will be glued to the bottom board.  I use a stop cut on the table saw and then finish the cuts with a hand saw.

Using a hand saw here to cut out the dovetails on the back.

Using a hand saw here to cut out the matching dovetail on the bottom. I had traced the pattern from the dovetail on the front molding.

If you are careful with your sawing it should fit right in. This one looks good

The side molding is made of two pieces.  The molding extends one inch from the side and the same 1 5/ 8 inches high.  There is a 3/4 inch piece 3 inches wide that slides under the bottom. The molding has 1/4 inch mortise which the 1/4 inch tenon on the 3 inch piece fits into. This allows for the miter on the end and a straight edge to go into the front molding.

The bottom will have a dado of an 1/8 inch deep to lower the dovetail line on the side to 3/4 inch so the side molding will hide them.

So that is it for now. The next step is to cut the dado in the bottom and layout and cut the dovetails for the sides and bottom.

Here is today's video:

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pennsylvania Chippendale Slant Front Desk Repair Crack & Drawer Fronts Step 7

It has been awhile since I worked on the desk.  And while it sat in the shop, the side has split.  This was caused by stress in the wide board that reacted to the shrinking of the board from the summer when it was so hot and humid to now when it is cold and dry in the shop.  This is the only piece of furniture I have made that has cracked.

Well I am not going to throw it away, this is the way many antiques look. But I want to stabilize the crack so that it won't get any bigger.

I am going to make bow ties or butterfly keys and inlay them to the inside of the case.

I used my Dremmel with an 1/8 inch straight bit to hog out the bulk of the material and create a flat bottom.
Then I used a chisel to chop out the opening to the line.
I made the bow ties on the table saw with 7 degree blade tilt, they are 3 1/2 inches long and 1 1/4 in wide.

I glued them in with yellow glue and planned them flush.

To fill the crack on the outside I use home made wood filler. Made from cherry sanding dust and hide glue. I mix it to a paste and make a ball.

Using a putty knife I push it into the crack as best as I can.  I don't leave a lot of excess to take off after it dries.

Sanded smooth, it still shows but after staining and finishing I should be able to hide it.

Now I turned my attention to the drawers.  I milled some cherry for the four drawers.  All of this cherry is from the same matched set of cherry boards.  So when it comes to finishing the color should match well.

This is the largest drawer front, 6 inches, the board is 13/16 thick and sanded to 150 grit.
The board needs to be 3/16 larger on the top than the opening for the lip and 1/4 inch on both sides for the side lips.

Ripping the drawer front to size.

Rounding over the edges on all 4 sides with a 3/16 round over bit set to 1/4 inch.

Cutting the 3/16 dado on the top of the drawer with a dado set to create the lip. I use the dado set to cut the 1/4 inch on the sides as well.

Fitting the drawer front to the opening.  Looks like it is a good fit.

Now that the fronts are made it is time to mill all the pine stock for the sides, back and bottoms.
That will be in the next video.

Here is today's video: