derekcohen

Apothecary chest

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The only way to avoid run out is to veneer or laminate the fronts. I am not set up for that (I do not have a vacuum press). The method I used in dovetailing the fronts was aimed at angling the boards so as to minimise runout. I reckon that this was the best result possible using solid fronts.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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48 minutes ago, derekcohen said:

The only way to avoid run out is to veneer or laminate the fronts. I am not set up for that (I do not have a vacuum press). The method I used in dovetailing the fronts was aimed at angling the boards so as to minimise runout. I reckon that this was the best result possible using solid fronts.

Regards from Perth

Derek

I guess i meant playing with the grain direction in the material choice. My thought is some grain orientations are going to lend themselves to hide run out more than others are. I suppose the answer there is rift sawn or quarter sawn material. Or finding flat sawn boards that get close to rift sawn near the edges.

No criticism just thoughts. I still think the outcome you had is amazing.

*Note: apparently my web browser doesn't think sawn is a word. I always find it interesting how many woodworking terms are flagged as being misspelled.

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Built to the nth degree! Outstanding. I'm sure the finish on the drawer fronts will be eye popping. Well managed grains...

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Even with the run out I think it will still end up being a note worthy piece when all is said and done.  Re-sawing is another time when the grain change can have the final say in a project.

I'd be interested in some photos of the Japanese hacksaw rasp.  I had never seen or heard of those prior to you mentioning it.

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30 minutes ago, Chet said:

I'd be interested in some photos of the Japanese hacksaw rasp.  I had never seen or heard of those prior to you mentioning it.

https://www.amazon.com/Shinto-SR-10-9-Saw-Rasp/dp/B004DIHDU0 

They work pretty good for removing stock quickly and they're cheap. I used one like this on my sculpted bar stools.

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Oh, okay I have seen those.  From the angle in Derek's picture it was on edge and I thought it was something different.

Are they a throw away tool or do they last a good while.

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Shaping the curved faces of the drawers was a lot of work, and I was very pleased to see it done. Dusty and dirty.Not fun. Now the inside faces need to be done, and this will complete the the third stage of building the drawers (the first stage was to fit parallelogram-shaped drawer fronts into their recesses, and the second stage was dovetailing the fronts).

The drawer front shaped on the outside only ...

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Blue tape (what else! :) ) is added to upper and lower edges ...

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The inside curve is scribed ...

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Pulled apart, the rear of the drawer front is chamfered with a round bottomed spokeshave to prevent spelching ...

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The waste is removed with rasps - this is an Auriou 10 grain ...

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Three rasps in all are used to remove and smooth, ending with this 15 grain ..

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The surface is refined and finished with a scraper ..

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Final shots of the completed drawer front ...

image.jpg

10a.jpg

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Brief side bar...I am glad to see someone far beyond myself doing the scraper that way. There are times I use cards, and times I use a sharp 90° or even a heavy Hock back end. It all depends on the effect produced and how it fits your hand and style. Thanks for the journal. Enjoying the ride. 

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This is a long post, and so feel free to skim through it. Who needs another dovetailing documentary?

This one is specific to the back of a drawer, and so is different from the through dovetails which one might use on boxes. Also, I have a few techniques to share, ones that I do not see mentioned much, if at all.

The drawer is one in the Apothecary chest. What has been shown before was the dovetailing hijinks needed for the curved fronts. This affects the drawer sides as well, since they are not equal in length. In fact, the length for the sides need to be measured individually.

Here is a drawer front with sides ...

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It is fitted in the recess and positioned carefully (top right hand drawer) ...

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At the rear of the chest, the drawer sides are clamped to avoid any movement ...

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Now the drawer side length can be marked. The final length is 10mm in from the back of the recess.

We are ready to begin joining the rear of the drawer. A drawer back has been added to the parts ...

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"Drop" (the gauge) for the width of the drawer back and transfer it to the ends of the drawer sides ...

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Now do the same for the drawer sides and transfer this to the drawer back ...

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With 24 drawers, it was quicker and easier to make up a template for positioning the tails ...

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Note that the tail alongside the groove (for the drawer bottom) is not a triangle, but one side is vertical (flanking the groove) ...

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Saw both drawer sides ...

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Time to remove the waste from the tails. First, create a chisel wall for all the tails ...

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Fretsaw the waste to 1-2mm from the line ...

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Remove the waste in thin layers for the cleanest finish. Note that the Tasmanian Oak is too thin (6.5m) to confidently pare half way by hand (better to use a hammer for precision). By taking very fine layers it is possible to push through the board without spelching the other side ...

12-1a.jpg

Blue tape on everything!! The drawer sides have blue tape ala the #140 trick (I wrote this up recently on my website). There are 4 layers. The drawer back has tape to aid in transferring marks (don't knock it if your eyesight is better than mine).

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Transfer the tails to the pin board ...

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The great thing about the blue tape method is that you only need one knife stroke to cut through. No sawing away to make an impression in the end grain. Saw against the tape. Go for it!

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Now remove the waste with a fretsaw. Again, aim for about 1mm above the line. For control, hold the saw handle very gently, and saw as lightly as you can - do not force the cut. Let the saw do the work. You will be rewarded with a straight line ...

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I saw away the ends about 1mm above the line ...

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In years past, I used to saw to the line. I now see more value in paring to the line. What you will notice is the chisel wall around the section. I am reminded of David Charlesworth's method of removing end waste. He calls his process "tenting". In this he pares upward, reducing the waste all the time. In my method, this is unnecessary since the chisel wall protects the sides and you can see when you are getting close to level ...

19a.jpg

Of all the aspects in through dovetailing, I think that removing the waste between the pins is the hardest. This is again where I was reminded of David's tenting method (but which he does not use in this section, only at the ends).

Again the chisel wall aides in enabling the chisel to register against the line without any danger of going over it. The chisel here is PM HSS, and very tough (and sharp!). The blade is driven at an angle away from the sides ...

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Turning the board over, and repeating the manoeuvre, the result is a tent ...

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I have two methods for removing the remaining waste. The first is to pare the tent, slowly reducing the angle. Since you are paring upwards, there is now danger to spelching the opposite side of the board ...

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The second is a side-to-side sweep, which slices away the waste ...

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Finished ...

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The parts are now assembled. From the top ....

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... and the bottom ...

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Fitting the drawer ...

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My plan is to set the drawers back a mm or two ...

30a.jpg

Any thoughts about this?

Regards from Perth

Derek

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1 hour ago, derekcohen said:

Any thoughts about this?

I have some thoughts, you need some serious help, probably from a whole team of head doctors:D Really Derek this piece makes my head spin, in a good way, seeing what you can do is an inspiration to all of us here on the forum. the attention to detail, the way you explain every step is inspiring and the work is at a level that i think is at the top of the woodworking community. thanks for this great ride.

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I think I like it, it creates a small shadow line.  What was your other thought, to have them flush?

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47 minutes ago, Chet said:

I think I like it, it creates a small shadow line.  What was your other thought, to have them flush?

I respectfully disagree. I think the uneven shadow line caused by a combination of the curved front and the changing angle to the light the curved front causes makes it look more like  a construction mistake. This is 100% opinion.

I think if you wanted the shadow line i'd do it with a slight bevel and keep the fronts flush so the shadow line doesn't get thicker across the drawer front.

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I think @Chestnut has a good point. In the photo above, the curve of the drawer front does give an uneven appearance to the shadow. While I think a slight setback is good, perhaps a slight chamfer on the dividers around the drawer could help provide a more even shadow.

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The chest will end up in the entrance hall, which has a glass-fronted door. There is lots of raking light, and this will show up the shadow lines.

Here is another piece I built, some year ago. A pair of campaign/military chests. Again, the reveals add a modern touch (not a great photo, sorry) ...

Campaign_Chests.jpg

Trying for a close up ...

Drawer-close-up.jpg


I am also aware that it is Winter in Perth and it is wet. The wood is now at its most swollen, and will likely shrink in the dry heat of summer. Trying to keep the drawer ends flush with the face of the chest is a fools errand. A set back will aid in avoiding this issue as well. I did consider chamfering the fronts, but that has the likelihood of making it all look like a raised panel, which I do not want.

Regards from Perth

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I have learned so much from this already. Every time @derekcohen posts it’s an educational experience. Thanks so much! 

As far as shadow lines go.

I have found that having a shadow line, no matter how it’s made, helps define a piece. 

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I'm not qualified to comment on much about this incredible project. But I do know that trying to make those drawer fronts all perfectly flush will work exactly once. It will look great right after it's done & then will never be perfect again. Humidity changes & wear will take care of that. Been down the road of chasing perfection that cannot possibly be maintained.

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Shadow lines really enhance woodwork. Clean simple pieces without a lot of moldings and raised panels really benefit from shadow lines. It's like each drawer front is picture framed with the grain being the artwork. 

Is your fretsaw one of those titanium ones ? I've been lusting for one since they came out.

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Is your fretsaw one of those titanium ones ? I've been lusting for one since they came out.

Steve, I think I have at least 5 of them. Really. Some are prototypes. I was partly responsible for the Knew Concepts fretsaws being made for woodworkers. The story is here:  http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/KnewConceptsFretsaw.html

There is another review, here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/KnewConceptsBirdcageFretsaw.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

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2 hours ago, wdwerker said:

Shadow lines really enhance woodwork. Clean simple pieces without a lot of moldings and raised panels really benefit from shadow lines. It's like each drawer front is picture framed with the grain being the artwork. 

I agree completely Steve, you nailed it.

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