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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Townsend Kneehole Bureau Making the Drawers Step 10

Time to start working on the drawers.  I start by selecting the stock from the mahogany that I have been using for this piece. 
I want the grain to match on the drawer fronts, fortunately I have a board wide enough to accommodate the six small drawers and the one large center drawer.

All of the drawer fronts are 1 1/8 inch thick and have the same curved blocking pattern on the six drawers.  The large drawer has the concave shell carved in the center and the two convex shell applied.

The drawer sides will be poplar since I don't have any chestnut that Townsend used.
I used the bandsaw to rough out the blocking pattern on the drawer fronts.  Then I clamped them together and cleaned up the curves with a small plane.

I made a custom scraper from a putty knife, which I have done many time before.  This profile that I ground matches the curve that I need on the drawer fronts.  It does a good job of cleaning them up.

I put the drawer runners in the dados in the sides and used three nails to hold them in place.

Townsend's drawer construction was unique but since I am trying to be accurate in the construction I am going to build them as he did.  He beveled the drawer bottoms to 1/8 inch and nailed them to the bottom.  Then added running strips to the edges for the drawer to slide on.  This results in the bottoms being seen on the sides.

I counted the tails from the picture and fitted them to the space on each drawer to match what Townsend had done.  The half blind dovetails are only 1/4 inch wide because the drawer front is only 3/8 of an inch thick at the edge.

The sides are 3/8 of an inch short of the front on the bottom to allow for the drawer bottom and runner.

The bottoms are 5/16 thick and I uses the table saw with a 6 degree tilt to create the bevel on the bottom. The bevel is 1 7/8 wide tapered to 1/8 inch.

The drawer runner is 5/8 wide with the same bevel as the drawer bottom.  The wide end is 1/4 inch with the 1/8 inch bottom this make the 3/8 inch that is needed.

Drawer sides are 3/8 of an inch and rounded over on the top. 

Sawing the pins on the drawer fronts, like classic 18th century dovetails my saw cut goes past the thickness of the side and can be seen after the drawer is assembled from the inside.

Dry fitting the dovetails, I want a nice tight fit.

I am applying hide glue to the drawer runners before nailing them on.

Using my 18th century pin nailer I nail on the drawer runners.  I will cut them off in the back flush with the bottoms.

That is it, all assembled.  I may have to hand plane the sides or bottoms for a perfect fit in the drawer opening.

I need to repeat the process six more times for the rest of the drawers.

That's it for today.  Next I'll carve the large concave shell in the top drawer.

Here is today's video:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Townsend Kneehole Bureau Kneehole Door & Shell Step 9

Time to start on the kneehole door.  This is one of the more challenging steps in the construction of the Townsend Bureau.
The concave shell and the large recess that is in the door makes it a lot of work to remove all that material.

I took a portion of the plans and cut out the shell and door pattern. 

I milled a piece of mahogany 1 inch thick and fitted it to the opening.  Then I traced the pattern on to the door with carbon paper.

The bottom pattern shows how much material that I have to remove to make th recess.

I carved a practise shell in a scrap piece of mahogany.  A little practise never hurt anyone.

The first thing I needed to do was remove a large portion of the recess with my dado set mounted in my radial arm saw.  I moved it over 3/4 inch each pass.

Now I need to remove the steps created by the dado set and carve the cove on the sides.  I am using a #5 1 inch carving gouge. 

I picked this piece of mahogany because of the straight grain, only to find out that the grain changes direction right in the middle. Oh well have to carve in a different direction

I have the recess carved out now and lightly sanded. Now I have to carve a dish at the top for the shell.

Carving the dish 1/4 inch deep for the shell.

Now that the dish is created, I copied the shell pattern on using carbon paper.  I marked out which of the shell rays are to be lower and which would be upper.

I carved the shell rays by lowering the two from each side of a raised one and then rounding it over.
Here I am carving the lower one next to the raised ray.

After carving the shell, I cleaned up the tool marks using a little ultra flexible sand paper from 3M.  This is the first time that I have used it and I think it is great.

All cleaned up ready for the lock.

I marked out where I wanted it positioned and then traced around it for the pattern.

Then using a chisel and hand router plane I created the lock mortise

 I placed the escutcheon over the hole for the key and traced the keyhole shape on to the door

I used a jig saw to cut out the material in the shape of a key hole.

I temporally mounted the escutcheon and made sure the lock was working smoothly.

I mounted the hinges on the door in mortises created with the router plane. The hinges are 2 inch brass.

Putting the hinge mortises in the kneehole with the router plane was a real pain because of the narrow opening. I cut a mortise for the lock in the left side of the knee hole with a short chisel.  The kneehole is only 10 inches wide. There is not a lot of room to work.

The door closes and locks correctly, so that step is complete.. 

Now I think I'll go back to working on the drawers.

Here is today's video: 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Townsend Kneehole Bureau Making the Top Molding Step 8

Well, I am back from vacation in Florida and ready to get back in the shop to finish the Townsend Bureau. 

I am starting to working on the top molding now that the top has been mounted in the previous post.
This molding is somewhat complex, so I will need to make it with hollows and rounds.  It could probably be made with a series of router bits but I think it is easier with hollows and rounds.

The molding is 1 1/2 inches high and 1 inch wide. It is made of a flat, a cove, a bead, a flat, and lastly another small cove.

I need 3 pieces one for the front and two sides.

I decided to make a practise piece so that I don't waste the mahogany.  I made a cardboard template of the profile and traced it on the side of the stock.

I marked out the steps that I am going to make with the table saw, This will remove the bulk of the waste.  I turn it over on the table saw and raise the blade to the position on the drawing and make a pass.

Here you see it after I cut out the material on the table saw.  This method works well with straight molding. If it were curved I would have to carve or use router bits.

Using various sizes of rounds and hollows, I cleaned up the steps and created the molding.  Now I know the sequence and molding plane sizes that work well for this molding shape.

Now I am ready to work on the mahogany stock.  I cut out the waste area using the table saw, I got carried away with making the steps.  You really don't need as many as I made here but it didn't hurt.

I start with the large rounds to smooth out the large cove, I used two different sizes.

Then I used a smaller round to make the small cove on the bottom.

Then I used a small hollow to round over the bead.  This took a steady hand on the front, back and top.

I made a custom scraper to clean up the bead. I ground the shape on a putty knife, I have done this many times before, then i save them.

I am using a custom scraper I made some time ago for a different project to clean up the small cove on the bottom.  The large cove I cleaned up with sand paper on a dowel.

I placed the molding on the bureau and marked where the miters need to be and used my chop saw to make the 45 degree cuts.  I used a shooting board to trim the miters.

I glued and pin nailed the front molding. Then I glued about 5 inches of  the side molding and pin nailed the rest.

After the glue dried I cleaned up the miters with a little sanding and sawed off the excess on the sides.

That's it for the top molding, next I am going to working the drawers.

Here is today's video: