Search This Blog

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Project Mahogany Curved Blockfront Chest of Drawers - Step 1

I must be stuck on curved blockfront furniture pieces.  I just finished the lowboy that was like that and now I am making a chest of drawers.

I located this piece in a book "American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale",

I also found one documented a Winterthur.  The picture below is the one from Winterthur.   However both were of the same style and size but different wood.

The piece at Yale was made in the Boston area, maker is unknown.  The ball and claw feet have the turned back toe which is common to the Boston area.  

The one at Yale is made from mahogany with a strip to cover the dovetails on the front from the drawer dividers. The one at Winterthur does not hide the dovetails in the front. 

I have not worked with mahogany for quite awhile, for one reason it is quite expensive. I was able to get some nice looking figured mahogany from Irion Lumber, so I think it was worth the price.


The drawer fronts are so curved that you need 2 1/2 inch stock to cut them out much like a bombe chest.

The Yale Furniture Study was nice enough to pull the piece out for me to measure and photograph.
I spent a day there and used a photo to record  the various measurements.


I was able to get the profile of the drawer front.


And examine other construction details.


I made full size drawings, Doug Moulder helped with the molding design and he made a drafting of the full size drawer profile.


From the drawings, I made full size templates of the drawer fronts and drawer dividers as well as the moldings.


I have purchased some 13 inch wide 8/4 mahogany that I plan to resaw to 4/4.  This way I can book match the grain for the pieces that I need.  First I get one side flat with hand planes.  Then I joint one edge on the jointer.  Then I can flatten the other face with my planer.
Now I am ready to resaw.


I have an old 20 inch Delta Bandsaw with 15 inch clearance under the guides. Could probably go 16 inches if I took the top guide off.  I am using a 3/4 inch 4 tpi Sterling blade.  Works well for me.


2 nice pieces.


Resawed all the pieces that I need for the case.


There is a little cupping in a few of the pieces which will mean I have to re-flatten the boards.
Still there is enough thickness to the boards after flattening again.


Below I have glued up the 2 sides and the bottom. They still need to be trimmed to length and width.


This will be the top. I love this grain pattern.


A little more milling to do and then I be able to start the construction of the case.

Here is today's video: