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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cherry Oxbow Chest - Shaping Curved Molding - Step 7 Some Interesting Challenges

The next step in the construction of the chest is to create the curved molding which runs around the front bottom of the chest.  This is a two piece molding with one piece 7/8 inch wide x 1 1/8 high with a cove and 2 steps.  The second piece is a straight 1/2 inch piece, that the molding sets on.

Below is my first attempt with a practice piece of soft maple.  First of all it was only an 1 inch high, that is how I learned that the molding did not look good unless it was 1 1/8 inch high.   Second, I learned to mark the back side of the molding first which is cut off of a larger board.  It is really hard to mark out after routing out the pattern.

I milled a piece of 1 1/8 inch cherry board and marked out the shape with the template that I have been using for the bottom and drawer blades.  You can see I marked the front and back of the molding shape on the board.  I am now going to bandsaw just the front.  Then flush trim the front to the template.

Here is the board after bandsawing, looks kind of rough.   I have attached the template with screws in the waste area.

The flush trim bit has the bearing on the bottom, so the template is attached under the piece with screws.

One pass and it's all cleaned up, nice and smooth now.

Now I need to cut the cove in the board. I remove the template.   I am using a core box bit with a 5/8 inch radius which matches the curve that I need to make.  There is a lot of material to remove so I take multiple passes taking a little off each pass.

I marked a line 3/16 inch from the bottom of the board. This is where I want to stop.  I just make light passes by raising the bit to sneak up to the line.

All done with the core box bit on this piece.

Next using a rabbeting bit with a large bearing, I cut a 3/16 inch deep x 1/8 inch wide rabbet along the top edge. I turned the board upside down for that operations.  The bearing ran along the inside of the curved portion.

Now the molding was created, I need to rip it off of the board with the bandsaw following the other line I put on the board.   I leave a little extra material and use a spindle sander to remove the excess and smooth the back of the molding.  I tried to use a spoke shave but could not find a easy way to clamp the molding in a vise to work on it.

Here I am test fitting the molding to the front of the chest.  It was pretty close but I did have to do some final fitting to get it to match the curve.

Now that I have the curved piece, I ripped the remainder of the board straight and repeated the process two more times to get two straight pieces of molding for the sides.  It was much easier to do since there is no curve and I used the table saw to rip the molding off the board.

Next I needed to make the 1/2 inch piece of molding that the curved molding sits on and the bracket feet attach too.

It is a 1/2 inch piece of cherry that is 3 1/2 inches wide.  It sticks out 1 inch from the front creating another step of 1/8 inch from the curved molding.

Now I was set to go with mitering the pieces together.  I mitered the 1/2 inch piece first and glued it together with a spline in the corners to help hold it together.

Once the glued dried I attached it to the bottom of the chest with screws and elongated the last screw hole to allow for expansion of the chest since the molding is going cross grain at this point.

The rear two pieces are for the rear of the bracket feet and are not seen.  They are screwed on flush with the back and with a floating spline between the two mating faces.

Then I mitered and attached the curved molding.  It is glued and nailed to the front.

Then I attached the side molding.  It is glued in the first 8 inches from the front and nailed.  I filled the nail holes with my home make wood filler.  Cherry sanding dust and hide glue.  I sanded everything to 180 grit before attaching and then did a little light sanding over the nail holes after filling.

The molding is finished.  Now the next step will be making the curved bracket feet.  Should be challenging.

Here is today's video:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Quick Shop Tour - Lakewood Ohio

One of my friends from across the pond asked for some pictures of my shop.  So I thought I would do a quick video of the shop.  I did not clean it up, it is in the everyday condition.
Hope you enjoy the quick tour.  If you have any questions please post them.

Here is the link to the shop tour:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cherry Oxbow Chest - Making Quarter Columns It Takes Two Tries - Step 6

I started to work on making the fluted quarter columns that are in the corners of the chest.  These are decorative touches that really make the chest stand out.   I have made them before on a lowboy so I didn't think it would be too difficult.  But these are much larger.

I started by gluing four 1 1/4 inch pieces of poplar together with craft paper between them and turned it round to 2 1/4 inches.  I'll show a step by step later.

Below is the first test piece ready for grooving.

 I built a jig to mount on my lathe so I could use a router to cut the flutes.

I mounted the jig on the lathe and placed the turned column in between the centers.  Now I can slide the router back and forth to cut the flutes with a round bottom router bit.

My lathe has indexing pins on the head stock which will hold the turning in place while I push the router to cut the flute.

The picture of the chest that I am reproducing shows that it has 3 large flutes.  So I figured this is a good place to start.  As it turns out I didn't like any of the flutes that I cut with router bits.  I tried several and I didn't like any of them.

I needed to start over.  I cut four new pieces of soft maple, since I ran out of poplar and then glued them together with hide glue and craft paper.

Once the glue dried I was ready to turn the square round in the lathe.

Then I made a scratch stock and mounted it a wooden jig that fit in the router jig on the lathe.

At first I tried to cut the flutes with just the scratch stock.  I did work but it was a lot of work and it took a while to cut them to the depth that I wanted.

I decided that the router could help.  I mounted a 3/16 inch bit in the router and used it to cut a smaller and shallower grove in the column.  Then I used the scratch stock to widen and deepen the flute to the correct depth.   This helped a lot to speed up the process, I also waxed the sides of the box to help the scratch stock slide better.

So now I was happy with the results and had a method that would work.  I needed to repeat the process with the cherry.  Below is the cherry column after I had turned it to size and then scrapped it smooth prior to cutting the flutes.   You can see the test pieces of soft maple next to it on the bench.

I also need to turn the base and capitals for the top and bottom of each quarter column.  I followed the same method of gluing up four pieces with craft paper and then turning the pattern on the lathe.

By turning them on one piece, all I needed to do was cut it in half,  split it apart and pick the best one for each column.

Below is the completed column ready for glue up.

Looks pretty good.  I sanded it before gluing it into place since it would be much easier before attaching it to the case.  

Now that the columns are done I can start to make the molding.

Here is today's video:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cherry Oxbow Chest - Cockbeading the Drawer Openings - Step 5

Now that the case is glued up, it is time to start working on the cockbeading that is on the side of the drawer openings.

The cockbeading that is on the curved front drawer dividers I put on earlier when I was making them with a beading bit in the router table.

Next is to add the side beading and miter the corners.

The first step is to add a vertical piece to where the beading will be attached.  This is a 5/8 inch thick piece of cherry.  Once we add the 3/16 inch beading it will look like it is 13/16 just like the drawer dividers.

This vertical piece is held in with nails or screws to the drawer dividers.  It defines the space for the quarter columns.  If I measured correctly, there is 1 1/4 inch square space for the quarter columns.

With the vertical piece attached, I have to make the cockbeading that will be mitered and glued into the sides.

I have a piece of cherry 1 3/8 inches wide by 1/2  inch thick.  Using the 3/16 inch beading bit in the router table I create the bead on the edge.

Then I rip the 3/16 inch bead off of the stock with the table saw.  I got some burn marks but that is common with cherry.

Now comes the more difficult part.  I have to put a 45 degree miter on the beading and fit it to the drawer opening.  I have to be very careful not to ruin the beading on the drawer divider since it would be difficult to replace.
You want these miters to fit with out a gap.  I cut them with a miter saw in a home made miter box and leave them a little long.

Doug Moulder came over and built a miter trimming jig like one he had just used.  With it I could clamp the cockbead in the jig and sand the small miter tip so that they would just fit.

Below is a picture of one of the pieces ready to be fit to the opening.   Using a chisel or knife I would mark the matching miter on the drawer divider.  Then use a chisel to trim off the miter on the divider.

 Should be a good match if I am careful with the chisel.

Looks like a pretty good fit but not perfect.  The tiny gap will be filled.

Finally by the time that I finished, I got really good tight miters with no gaps.  Isn't that how it always goes.

I glued all of the cockbeading with hide glue and then filled the minor gaps with my wood filler.  I make my own filler by using sanding dust from the cherry and a little hide glue.  Since it is mostly wood dust it will take the stain and you can not tell it is there.

I need to add glue blocks to the back corner of the vertical piece, this will reinforce the rail with the quarter column and the side.

Putting a chamfer on the back of the glue blocks.  This is a 1 inch by 1 inch cherry stock that I am going to glue in to the corners.

I put two blocks in each of the drawer openings with a small gap between them.  I use hide glue and just rub the blocks to hold them in place.  No clamping.

So now I am done with the cockbeading and drawer openings.  The next step is to make the quarter columns and do the fluting.   That will be in the next post.

Here is today's video:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cherry Oxbow Chest - Making the Drawer Runners, Dust Panels & Glue-up Step 4

I got back into the shop this week after the weekend in Detroit.  The smell of sawdust is great but I think it is making my allergies act up.

I started to mill some poplar for the drawer runners,  checked my measurements since there is an offset for the quarter columns.  I have to make sure they are wide enough to reach to actual drawers. It wouldn't be good to put them in and the drawers not rest on the runner.

I put a 3/8 inch mortise on the back of the cherry drawer blades and a tenon on the end of the drawer runners.  Originally, I only made the mortise groove wide enough to fit the tenon.

I did not plan on putting dust panels between the drawers.  I have seen a number of 18th century pieces without. However, after checking with my expert Tim Garland in the UK, he said I really needed to add them.

I in my early days of making furniture I would cut a 1/4 inch plywood panel and insert it into the runners.  But Tim Garland said I have to make the panel flush with the top of the drawer runner and of course no plywood.

So I am going to need 17/32 stock to make it flush with the top edge.

I don't have thick enough stock to cut in half to make panels that size. To mill 4/4 stock to 17/32 would be too wasteful.   So I made a trip to the lumber mill to pick up some 5/4 soft maple.  This I could re-saw into 2 panels 9/16 inch thick with some consistency.  Then plane it to 17/32 inch.

Then I went back and completed the mortise groove completely from end to end on the drawer runners and blades.  This created a groove clear around the inside of each drawer support.

This is how it looked before I added the groove all the way around the inside.

Here I am gluing up to 9/16 inch dust panels for the chest.  After they dried I planed them to 17/32.

Then I rabbeted the edge to a 1/4 inch to fit into the groove in the inside of the drawer runners.

Before I glued up the case, I cleaned up the drawer blades with a spokeshave blade that I used as a scraper.   The blades that had a double bead I used a narrow chisel.

Now I was ready to glue everything together. Drawer blades, drawer runners and dust panels all glued together.  I did leave the dust panels about 1/16 inch smaller to allow for expansion and they float in the grooves.

Also, the drawer runners are only glued to the case sides near the front.  This allows the case sides to expand and contract when needed.  If I had glued the runners in all the way from front to back the case sides would probably crack at some point.

Now the next thing to work on is the cockbeading and the quarter columns.

Here is today's short video: