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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cherry Oxbow Chest - Attaching the Hardware and Staining the Finish

Well it has been awhile since I have had a new post.  I have been working on the chest and started the finishing process.   However, since it is summer time and a honey-do list that needs attention I don't get as much time in the shop as I do in the winter.

I ordered hardware from Horton Brasses and I thought I had the right size drop handles for the chest. As it turned out they were too small.  So I ordered larger and returned the original set.  Horton is easy to work with.

The plan for mounting them was to have the drop handle in the center of each of the drawers.  I also ordered keyhole escutcheons.   I usually mount the hardware before finishing because I do not want to disturb the finish with drilling and fitting after it is completed.

Here is the chest with the hardware attached.  Looks good to me.  I did have to bend the bales a little because of the curve on the drawer front.

  
I then took the hardware off and put it away for later.  I still had some small tasks to do, like chop out a lock striker mortise.  Each drawer has a lock so it needs to have some place for the lock to go.
I turned the chest upside down to work on the underside of the drawer blades.  I used short chisels and a mallet to chop them out.


I drilled holes in the drawer blades for screws to attach the top.  But I could not use any power tools to make the countersink holes.



So I made a handle for the countersink bit and routed them by hand.



I attached the top with 1 1/4 inch screws and then took it off.


   I had already sanded the chest to 180 as I was assembling it.  So now to sand at 220 was not a big deal and I hate to sand.

I knew that the cherry would blotch if I hand applied a water based dye to it.  There are some things you can do to reduce the blotching.  Spray the dye, this works but on a piece like this I would have to mask a lot to keep the spray away from where I don't want it.

I tried using a conditioner of shellac, I used a 1lb cut of shellac, let it dry and then sanded it back.  It did not block too well.

I tried Charles Neil's Pre-Color Conditioner and it worked really well.  So that is what I used.  I practiced on cutouts from the back of the drawers.  The top piece is full strength dye and the lower is reduced by 50%.


I applied the conditioner with a rag and let it dry.  Then sanded it lightly with 320 grit sand paper to get it smooth again.  The conditioner raises the grain.



Then I applied the dye with a rag as even as I could.  I let it dry and then sanded with 400 grit sand paper to get it baby butt smooth.  Here is the top after it had been dyed and sanded.



Next it did the drawer fronts.


Lastly, I did the chest carcass. But I still need to sand it at this point.



 Here it is all assembled.  I have to do a little more sanding but then I am going to apply the Original Waterlox Tung Oil finish.


Here is today video: