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derekcohen last won the day on July 28

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About derekcohen

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    Journeyman Poster

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    Perth, Australia
  • Woodworking Interests
    Building furniture predominantly with handtools

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  1. In July, I posted a router-based method I used to remove the waste from hand cut hand-blind sockets (link). This involved orientating the boards vertically and routing into the end grain. This necessitated a rather clumsy piece of work-holding - which, as I explained at the time, was difficult to avoid as the end grain was not square to the sides, as is usual with drawer front. The bow fronted drawers created ends which were angled.With the usual square drawer fronts, both Bill and Roger on the forum preferred to place their boards flat on the bench and rest the router on the edge. Roger's photos ...However, this method leaves is too much waste remaining at the sides of the socket - as this is angled and the router bit is vertical - which means that there is more work needed to clear ...Bill's objection - that holding the work piece vertically looked too clumsy for easy work - continued to ring in my head. The horizontal method certainly had the advantage of being more stable. So, now that my then-current project, the Harlequin Table, is complete, between pieces I take some time to solve these problems. Which I have, and hopefully in a way that others will find helpful.Just as an aside, my preference is hand tool work, and generally if the wood is willing this is my go-to. The method here is not to replace all hand work, but to make the process easier in particular circumstances. Some of the timbers I work, especially for cases and drawer fronts, are extremely hard, and it is not viable to chop them out, particularly when there are several to do. It is not simply that this is time consuming - after all, this is just my hobby - but that it is hard on the chisels. I use machines to compliment hand tools. There is a time and place for everything.Let's take it from the beginning:Step 1: saw the pins ...Step 2: deepen the kerfs with (in my case) a kerfing chisel (see my website for more info) ...Now we come to the new jig. I must tell you that this did my head in for a long time. As with everything, there is a simple solution, and in the end it could not have been simpler!The need is (1) quick and easy set up, (2) accurate routing leaving minimal waste, and (3) visibility and dust control (bloody machines!).The jigThis turned out to be nothing more than a block of wood. This one is 16"/440mm long x 4"/100mm high and 2"/50mm wide.I used MicroJig clamps, which slide along a sliding dovetail. This is not necessary; one can just use a couple of F-clamps. However the MicroJig clamps not only make work holding less finicky, but they extend the length of the board one can hold with this particular jig to 500mm. That is easily enough for most case widths.To use, place face down on a flat surface and clamp the drawer front close to centre ...Up end the combination, and place the end of the drawer front into your vise. This could be a face vise or, as here, a Moxon vise. Note that the image is taken from the rear of the vise ...This is what you will see when standing in front of the jig/vise ...Let's talk about the router.This is a Makita RT0700C trim router. Fantastic little router: 1 hp, variable speed, soft start. Together with a Mirka 27mm antistatic dust hose, the dust collection is amazing! The photo shown is after use, and there is no dust to be found (I very much doubt that a small plunge router could remain this clean). That also means that visibility is good, even though it does not have a built-in light. There are other excellent trim routers around for much the same price. This is the one I use.The baseThe base is the other half of the jig. This made from 6mm perspex. This is not the strongest, but does the job. I plan to build another out of polycarbonite (Lexan), which is much tougher.There is just the single handle as the left hand will grip the dust outlet.Below is the rear of the base. Note the adjustable fence/depth stop ...This is the underside ...Plans for anyone looking to make their own ...Setting upStep 1: set the depth of cut - I scribed marks on the fence for two drawer side thickness I use. Mostly I use 6mm (or 1/4"). The other is 10mm, which is used here. I shall make another, deeper fence, so that I can add a few other thicknesses, such as 19mm for case sides.Step 2: set the cut to the boundary line - this is done as close as possible. In the end I want to leave about 1mm to clear with a chisel (this is such an important line that I am not willing to take a risk here). If you move the bit side-to-side, the scratch pattern will show where it is cutting ...The resultThe router bit is 5/32" carbide. It is very controllable, and this makes it possible to freehand close to the side kerfs. The fence/depth stop prevents over-cutting the boundary line. In 15 seconds, this is the result ...Turn the board around to chisel out the waste ..Order of waste removalFirst lever away the sides. The waste here is paper thin and breaks away ...Secondly, place a wide chisel in the scribed boundary line, and chop straight down ...Finally, use a fishtail chisel into the corners to remove this ...A note: removing the waste this cleanly and easily was facilitated by using the kerfing chisel to ensure that there was a release cut at the sides of the socket.Regards from PerthDerek
  2. FINAL PICTURES We are done building the side table. Here are pictures (taken with my iPhone6). The case is Hard Maple from the USA. The drawer fronts are Black Walnut, figured Hard Maple, and pink Jarrah (hence the name, Harlequin). The drawer sides are quartersawn Tasmanian Oak, and the drawer bottoms/slips were made from Tasmanian Blue Gum. Finish was, initially, two coats of dewaxed UBeaut Hard White Shellac (the very faint amber adds a little warmth), followed by three coats of General Finishes water-based poly (this remains clear - does not yellow the maple - and appears to have some UV protection. It is hard wearing, which is necessary for a side table). The build features mitred, rounded dovetails and bow front and back. Eight drawers featuring compound dovetailing to match the bow front. Drawers are traditional half-blind dovetails at the front and through dovetails at the rear, with drawer bottoms into slips. About 2 months to build, mainly on weekends. Here is the rear of the table (which will be seen through the windows, which run floor-to-ceiling along the family room ... The pulls were shaped from what-I-believe-to-be-some-type-of Ebony ... The obligatory dovetails ... Do you think that anyone will notice that the drawer bottoms run sequentially? And this one is for Bill, who was concerned that the chamfers at the end of the drawers (to ease entry into the case) might impair their extension ... A last look ... Thursday morning I haul the table to the Perth Wood Show for the annual furniture competition. Wish me luck. Regards from Perth Derek
  3. Coop, I assume that you are wondering why the slips and not a groove in the drawer sides? The reason is that the drawer sides are 1/4" thick. Not only would a groove weaken the construction, but the bearing surface is small, and wear is increased. Besides, don't the slips look better? Regards from Perth Derek
  4. I am in the process of completing the Harlequin Table. I will post the finished piece in a couple of days. Here are a few pictures of making the drawer bottoms for the slips, which may interest a few. Bill was not enamoured with the slips as they has this ruddy great groove down one side. That was a too-wide quirk from the beading blade. Not to worry Bill, I cut that section away, leaving just the bead. Here are the slips being glued in ... The drawer slips and bottoms are Tasmanian Blue Gum. The drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak. Both are 1/4" thick. The groove in the slip is 1/8" (3mm). The slip requires a matching 1/8" rebate. This was planed with a skew rebate plane on a sticking board ... Although the plane has a nicker, I always scribe the line as well ... It is worth the effort to set up the rebate plane for a precise cut ... Once the one side is done, slide the tongue into the groove of the slip, and mark off the width of the drawer bottom ... Then saw to width ... Any fine tuning is done with a shoulder plane ... The drawer fronts are all curved, and the drawer bottom must be scribed to match this ... Here is the fit behind the front of the drawer, and the match with the beaded slips ... The rear of the drawer, with the added bearing surface from the slips ... The profile of the drawer sides ... Until the final pics ... Regards from Perth Derek
  5. Realise that Japanese chisels need to be sharpened freehand. If you are not up to this, then begin with less advanced chisel designs. This set, and expensive chisels like this, are not for a beginner. I am sorry if this is going to come across as condescending. Get yourself something useable - read much cheaper - and learn on them. You will thank us later. This is not a time to purchase the best you can afford so that you "buy once". It does not work that way. I am not saying buy rubbish. I am saying get something modest to learn on. Narex chisels are superb for those starting out. You may even decide not to purchase others. Regards from Perth Derek
  6. I was planning to next post with the completed Harlequin Side table, however it has been two steps forward and one back. Selecting the drawer fronts .. well, I've cut and recut them a few times, and only now satisfied with the result. It is no small deal each time since a drawer front has to be fitted into a recess that is shaped like a parallelogram. And if the fit is not good enough ... well, a few would-be drawer fronts were discarded. What parts are needed? Well, the drawer sides are 1/4" thick - too thin for grooves, so there will be slips to support the drawer bottom. The drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak, which I use frequently, as it is a light wood that allows the drawer fronts to be shown to their best, and it is available quarter sawn. The drawer back will also be Tassie Oak. The drawer bottoms are solid wood and 1/4" thick. Rather than use Tasmanian Oak, I thought I would add a little life with Tasmanian Blue Gum. It is quite similar is texture and tone (although the photos here do not show this), but has more figure. Enough here for 8 drawers ... Drawer sides and drawer fronts ... Great sander ... Mirka Ceros ... These will be the drawer bottoms. The board in the centre is the Hard Maple case back ... Do you think anyone will notice that the drawer bottoms run sequentially? The making of the drawer slips may have some interest. I used Tasmanian Blue Gum (because it links to the drawer bottoms). This is quite interlocked and any planing with a plough to form either grooves or beads would be expected to end unhappily, with much tearout. I have posted this tip before: add a 15 degree backbevel to all plough blades to create a high 60 degree cutting angle. The 3/16" beads were ploughed with the Veritas Combination Plane ... Brilliant finish ... ... and a 1/8" groove for the rebate in the drawer bottom was ploughed by the Veritas Small Plow ... Again, tearout free ... This is a mock up of the intersection of the drawer front (back), drawer side into drawer slip and against a drawer side ... Note that the drawer front is straight/flat at this stage but, once dovetailed, they will be shaped to curve along the bow front of the case. These are the timbers I have chosen for the drawer fronts. This is what gives the side table the harlequin name. Three timbers: Black Walnut, a pink Jarrah, and figured Hard Maple. Keep in mind that there is no finish at this stage ... Next time hopefully with everything completed. Regards from Perth Derek
  7. It is called a Fritz and Franz jig. Look on Youtube. Regards from Perth Derek
  8. It is a side table. Look at the first photo in the first post for context. Regards from Perth Derek
  9. A frustrating Sunday: I began installing the horizontal divider/drawer blade, and my spatial confusion (or lack of concentration) kicked in. In went the divider ... upside down! Well, fortunately it jammed half-way and could not be glued in ... Knocking it out, however, caused the rear section of the panel (it is made of three boards) to break off. It was glued back again, but the panel needed to dry before starting again, and so I lost my Sunday afternoon. This table is destined for the Perth Wood Show at the start of August, and I am already battling with time as weekends are generally all that are available for woodworking. Fortunately, I had this afternoon (Monday) off from my practice, and had a couple of hours to try and catch up a little. The glue dried, and the panel was fine. It was sanded to 240 grit, and then installed. Ditto the side dividers. All went smoothly ... all lined up and everything is square. Clearly I have been a good boy The reason why the table is termed "Harlequin" is that the drawers will be a mix of different timbers: Black Walnut (x3), Figured Hard Maple (x2) (both from the USA), and Tasmanian Blue Gum (x3) (which is local, of course). The drawer fronts all curve, and I spent the last part of the afternoon cutting out the Walnut blanks. This will will give you an idea of the effect .. Unless someone is interested in a walk through in dovetailing on the curve (which I have posted here previously), the next images will be the completed table. Regards from Perth Derek
  10. This should illustrate it better .. Regards from Perth Derek
  11. The case was completed last time ... ... but before the drawer dividers can be permanently installed, the legs need to be made and attached. This was the original drawing ... Some has been retained and some has been changed. Instead of curved legs, which I later decided did not match the overall style, I decided on round, tapered legs that will splay out from the case. Before turning the legs, the splay was created by tapering the top of the legs on the table saw. The slider uses a Fritz and Frans jig to rip the end at the chosen angle (8 degrees). This ensured that the splay angle would be the same for all legs. The blanks were then turned to shape. Here I am checking that the near-to-finished legs are the same dimensions and have the same taper angle ... The ends were then cut off and the top was shaped with rasps and sandpaper ... How to attach the legs? Well, that had given me a real headache. I was thinking along the lines of a loose tenon ... overcomplicating matters (as usual). A number suggested simply glueing and screwing. I was skeptical, but of course, a glue joint alone is generally stronger than the wood ... and reason prevailed There are three screws per leg, which were countersunk for the drawers. The glue chosen was Titebond III. All cleaned up, this is what we have (drumroll) ... The splay to the side is 8 degree, and from the sides, the legs are aligned with the front and rear of the case. Drawers next Regards from Perth Derek
  12. I work from each side towards the centre Working across the ends will lead to spelching. Regards from Perth Derek
  13. We left off with the drawer dividers a dry fit in the case ... And then this was pulled apart and the case glued up. After a clean up, the ends were looking a little tidier ... Now we've been through this together with the Jarrah coffee table, but for those who want to know how ... The ends are marked (with a washer) .. The aim is the remove the waste progressively to the lines ... This is quick to do with a low angle jack ... .. and finish with a block plane ... Now finish with sandpaper - 80/120/240 grit ... The completed case ... I spent a few hours today turning a few legs. Rather than show the prototypes, I am hoping that I may have enough time to complete them tomorrow - I have the afternoon off! - and then I will post more photos. Regards from Perth Derek
  14. The Harlequin side table will have 8 drawers. The drawer case sides and the central drawer blade are panels and run in dados or housings (depending on which side of the pond you live). Positioning of these dados is critical since any misalignment will affect the aesthetic. It goes without saying (but I shall) that the alignment also determines that the side panels will be square ... and drawers need to run against square sides. All this is done here with hand tools. Some of the finer points in getting it precise ... First of all, templates (or story sticks) are created to position the dados. There are two for each side panel: the second is 10mm longer than the first. Scoring each creates an exact 10mm dado. There is a series of templates to position all the dados. This ensures that the upper and the lower dado are position exactly the same distance from the reference wall ... A chisel wall is created for the marked outlines. This wall enables the fence to be lined up using a wide chisel ... The sidewalls are sawn with a azebiki saw. This have two curved sides, one with coarse rip teeth and the other with fine crosscut teeth. I begin with the fine teeth and use them to establish the kerf, and then switch to to the coarse teeth for speedier sawing. With a compass, I check that the kerf is parallel and to the desired width (10mm) ... The sawn side wall is now chopped away close to full depth ... This is done across the dados on one board at a time ... The waste in the centre of each dado is removed with a router plane. The dados are done at the same time to save have to reset the depth of cut (one stroke on dado #1, one on dado #2, and one on dado #3 ... then back to #1 ...) ... Keep an eye on the depth ... Fine tune the dado should theoretically be unnecessary if they were marked accurately. In practice, I find that there is usually some waste in the corners, or a slightly sloped wall. For this reason I run a side rebate plane (here a Veritas), the length of each wall. This is not held vertically, since that with remove some of the width. Instead it is run at an angle away from the side wall, as it it was undercutting the side wall ... The fit is now checked with an offcut from the side panel ... The side rebate plane can take a smidgeon off the sidewall if the fit is too tight. Some will argue that it is preferable to plane the panel instead. In this situation that is not advisable since the panel is to slide along the dado, and a tight point will impede all points of the panel. The carcase is Hard Maple, with Merbau as the secondary wood. Locally, Merbau is used for decking. It is cheap and hard, both qualities valued. But is a really brittle wood, and awful to work with. The number of splinters I have had ... and they are sharp and lodge deeply. Ugh! It can look like this ... ... and then a section breaks away ... At least it will be far inside the carcase and not be seen. A panel is made up for the interior dividers ... The pieces are fitted. Will the careful planning and neurotic execution pay off? I was holding my breath. This is a dry fit .... (sound of breathing again) Then I pulled it apart and glued up the carcase ... More after the coming weekend. Regards from Perth Derek
  15. Coop, by day I'm a shrink ... clinical psychologist specialising in working with children and their families. Woodworking is my therapy Just a different type of problem-solving. Regards from Perth Derek