Friday, February 20, 2015
Bombe Chest - Drawer Blades - Fourth Installment
The cock beading needed to be cut out of the sides before the dovetails for the drawer blades were cut. I had to develop a way to put the beading on the side. I have a Stanley Beading plane that could round over the small strip of wood which makes the bead but how to make the small strip of wood. The sides are 7/8 inch thick so I need to lower 3/4 of an inch wide by 1/8 inch deep to leave the 1/8 inch bead but how could I do that. If the sides were flat I could use a router with a rabbet bit to cut it out. But the sides are bowed. I could use a chisel and carve off the material but that would be difficult to get it even and smooth.
Here was the trick I used to do it. I put a very narrow base of wood only one inch wide on the base of my router in the center and put the bit though a hole drilled in the center of the wood this allowed my router to follow the bowed side but still rest firmly against the curve. Using a 3/4 inch rabbet bit with a bearing I removed 1/8 inch deep strip leaving the bead on the edge. The bearing rested on the wood that became the bead. The bearing was large, only exposing 1/8 of an inch of the cutter. The only care was to not tip the router from side to side with only a 1 inch base rest. Once the 1/8 inch was exposed I used my Stanley beading plane to round over the cockbead.
Now that I had the cock beading on the sides, I turned my attention to the drawer blades and drawer runners. I should have thought about it earlier because there was not an easy way to insure that they would be perpendicular to the sides. When I started to look at the sides and thought about how to put the groove and dovetails in the sides I first thought about using a router. But how could I steady it against the curved sides without making some complicated device. It looks like the router is out. I decided to do it by hand.
I used the drawings to locate the position of each of the drawer runners. I marked them out with a marking knife and pencil. I don't have any pictures of me actually sawing and chopping out the dovetails but this is what it looked like after it was glued up. I had to be very careful not to mess up the cock bead on the side because it needs to be mitred with the bead on the blade. When I first cut them they were undersized. Then I fitted them when I had the blades made.
As for the groove for the drawer runners, I chopped them out with a chisel, they were just 1/8 inch deep.
Now that the grooves and dovetails where in the sides, I needed to make the drawer blades.
I used the drawings to make templates for the runners since each one is different due to the bow on the front of the chest.
Above are couple of the drawer blade templates, only half is required. Then the length of each blade need to be measured perfectly because you need to add a dovetail and mitre the cockbeading with the side.
So I made an adjustable template for length.
With this template I could test fit the dovetail for each drawer blade and then make the blade exactly the same knowing that it will fit.
Putting the cockbeading on the drawer blades was simpler than the sides. I mounted 1/8 inch beading bit with bearing in the router table and put the bead on both sides and then used a fly cutter to remove the material between. I could have used my Stanley hand beading plane.
Above is a practice piece for drawer beading and dovetailing. There were three blades to make each a different length and shape.
The drawer runners and the rear cross pieces were put together with mortise and tenon but not glued in the back. This allows them to move with the wood sides. When I did glue up the assembly I only glued about 4 inches from the front of each blade and put a couple of finish nails in the runners to the sides.
The base molding was made from 8/4 stock. The shape was traced from the drawing to a cardboard template. I used several router bits to match the profile and some carving chisels.
I also routed an edge to the top of the chest using multiple router bits.
Mitring the side pieces but not attached yet. Again they would be glued in the front 4 inches and attached with nails.
Next installment I will tackle the drawer fronts. Everything was easy up to this point...