Author Topic: Apothecary chest  (Read 9379 times)

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Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2018, 09:43 AM »
I was in two minds whether to post this, but since the method is a practice, it would be great to get feedback, since the strategy I have come up with is complex. Can you do this another way?

Each row has 4 drawers, and these will be shaped to match the bow across the chest.



At the start, the drawer fronts are to be left straight. This maintains the reference sides. The ends of each drawer front have been bevelled to match fit the bow of each drawer blade.

This is a fitted (practice) drawer front (posted last time) ..



The drawer side has been dovetailed to the obtuse angled side (again, details in my previous post:  http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/ApothecaryChestWeekend8.html)  ...



The need now is to dovetail the acute angle ...



This is where it gets interesting. It you look at the lines drawn on the drawer side, if made coplanar with the drawer front, the dovetails will need to me cut at an angle. That is much too complicated, and likely to be a poor fit.

Then, if the baseline is cut square (as usual), the dovetail will end up in the centre of the side (and not extending up from edge of the board).

The only way I could come up with for a fit that simplified the tail board was to rebate the pin board, so ....



The rebate needs to be as deep as the drawer side (for a flush fit), and square to the side (so the baseline of the tail board fits flush).

The first step is to mark the baseline ...





On the piece above, you can also see the rebate markings.

The rebate is now cut parallel to the side ...



Remove some of the waste with a chisel ...



Now that rebate needed to be both straight and flat. It needs to be an equal depth along its length.

It could have been chiselled, but that is less efficient. A shoulder plane as this would not ensure a square shoulder without extra work to create an absolutely square edge for a tight fit. In the end I came up with this idea to plane it using a LN Edge Plane.

A spacer was attached to plane to the 1/4" depth ...





The finish was spot on ...




Transferring

The rear of the tail board, with blue tape used to create a fence ...



Tails on pins ...





The socket shoulders are deepened to create a socket that undercuts the baseline ..



Because the angle was so difficult to chisel, a trimmer router was used to remove most of the waste ...



... before the remainder was removed ...




Coming together

The fit ...



The angle ...



This is a rough idea of what it will look like once the drawer front is shaped ...



The two sides that must be made for all drawers ...



Regards from Perth

Derek

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Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2018, 03:51 PM »
Fantastic update, Derek!

I think what you have outlined will work.  It's tedious, but I can't think of another way to easily deal with the complexity of the curve and dovetails.

Are you thinking you'll bandsaw or plane the curve into the front?  You might consider a 'carrier' to let you place the drawer fronts in an arc cutting jig if you are going to use the bandsaw.  This might get you 'close' to the final curve with minimal planing needed.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2018, 01:55 AM »
Thanks Neil.

I will use the drawer blade as a template to mark out the front curve, then bandsaw the waste and finish either/both with rasps and a smoother. The inside curve can then be marked from the outside, and waste removed in a similar way.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2018, 12:24 PM »
I like the approach.  I might be tempted to clamp on a little more bearing surface for the trim router.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2018, 10:02 AM »
Nice stuff... [big grin] ...I like the rebate idea. The curves on the drawer fronts will be really interesting. [tongue]

Offline derekcohen

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Beginning the drawers
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2018, 11:20 AM »
This is just a taste of what I will be doing for a few more weekends.

A bench shot for those that like to see how others work ...



Below I have a few shots of the dovetailing (again). These are more to show specific strategies used, rather than dovetailing as a procedure.

The drawer fronts are moved a couple of mm past the front of the drawer blades, and marked all round ...





In an early post I showed how a bevel was formed on the drawer front to create a square junction with the drawer side. The bevel is seen below the blue tape ...



The ends of the drawer front angle, and it is not possible to use a jig to align it with a side. I never do this anyway, and simply use a wide chisel ...



It's a bit of a balancing act, but the blue tape acts like a non slip, and the knife only has to make one cutting stroke to sever the layer of tape. This reduces the chance of movement and error ...



The kerfs are sawn, and then deepened with a kerfing chisel. Note that the ends of the board are supported by a clamp to prevent splitting ...



Rather than chop out the waste, I used a trim router to remove move of it. This saved a lot of time ...





When removing the remaining waste, I found that the thinner blades of the Blue Spruce "dovetail" chisels worked best to pare away thin slices to the line..



The Blue Spruce fishtail chisel is my favourite for clearing the corners of sockets ...



The completed socket ..



I counted on the parts going together off the saw, that is, no fine tuning for a fit. There is just not enough time for correcting the fit. This was the last drawer for the weekend. Much the same as the others. Just pushed together - no clean up ...



This was the first row, shown here to get a better view of the design ...



This is two rows - of drawers dovetailed on one corner only. And these twelve required an average of 1 hour each to complete ...



The next weekend should see the remaining drawers complete this dovetailed end. I am hoping that I shall find a way to speed the time taken for dovetailing, but I am estimating that it will require a further 3 weekends to complete the drawers.

Regards from Perth

Derek
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 11:30 AM by derekcohen »

Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2018, 01:14 PM »
This is an heirloom quality piece, Derek.  No need to rush it.  I hope you are sharing the progress with your wife, since it's a gift for her!

Did you make the kerfing chisel?  I've never seen one before, but wow, what a great idea.

Thanks for sharing the progress with us!

neil

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2018, 01:21 PM »
Hi Neil

Thanks. The kerfing chisel was something I came up with several years ago. The details are here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/KerfChisel.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2018, 01:36 PM »

All the drawer fronts have been dovetailed. I spent some time preparing the drawer bottoms and drawer backs for next weekend.

Here is a very short video to illustrate the angles involved in the dovetailing ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh4_iCVjyhU&feature=youtu.be

And a few more videos to illustrate some of the strategies that were used. These precede the video presented above:

Rebating the pin board ...



Preparing the sockets ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WnCX08eTX0&feature=youtu.be

Clearing the sockets ...




Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2018, 11:53 AM »
Having completed the dovetailing of the drawer sides into the drawer fronts, the next step is to shape the outside bow to match the chest.

This is the drawer to be demonstrated ...



The drawer blade has been removed, and receives a final tweaking to match a template. Every drawer blade receives the same treatment, and there is a template for each vertical row ...



The drawer blade is returned to the chest, the drawer is fitted, and the profile of the drawer front is traced ...



Below, the markings may be seen on the drawer front ...



The drawer is pulled apart. The grooves for the drawer bottom have been completed. The drawer sides received a 3mm deep groove, while the groove for the drawer front is about 8-9mm deep. The extra depth here is to allow for the inner curve to be later shaped, and that this will remove approximately 3-4mm at the centre.



Now the end of the drawer front is marked ...



Blue tape is added, and the excess removed ...



The tape is added to the upper and lower faces, and the template (from the drawer blade) is now used to mark the curve ...



Once removed, the cut lines stand out clearly ...





The rasping may begin. A start is made with a Shinto, which has roughly 10 grain on the coarse side (this is a Japanese rasp made from hacksaw blades. The other side is about 14 grain).



In turn, after the 10 grain comes the fine side of the Shinto, and then a 13 grain Auriou followed by a second cut file.

The surface is refined with a scraper ...



... and 120/22/320 Abranet mesh. You will ask why sand after scraping? The reason is that the sanding removes any scratches left by the rasps and scraper, creating a uniform surface. The final result is fairly polished. It is possible that I may go over this with a cabinet scraper prior to finish ...



This completes the drawer at this stage. The rear of the drawer front will next receive a complimentary curve. I hope to get to this during the week ...





The run out from cutting away the ends of the boards is noticeable (to me at any rate) ...



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2018, 03:39 PM »
Awesome creativity, awesome result.

The way that the grain matches from curving the drawer fronts is a pretty unique look.  I was wondering what it would look like when you got it done, with the mix of grain match and curved fronts from solid wood.

I have to say, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before.  Since you were taking away the same depth of wood on both sides of all the drawers, I expected the grain to match across a row (as it does), but the scalloped effect on the grain is very interesting.  The matching between the rows is also cool - I did not realize that was part of the plan.  I particularly like the bottom two rows.  Every woodworker who sees the cabinet is going to spend way too much time trying to figure out how you got that look!

You've inspired me - now that I see it, I want to build something that uses the basic technique, but with a solid panel look instead of the multiple drawers.  Perhaps a curved style panel.  Should be easy to glue up with dominoes, and with a panel I would avoid all of the dovetails :).

Thanks for sharing the process and the result.

Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2018, 09:37 PM »
Great job, Derek.  Agree with Harvey that the grain is almost mesmerizing the way it flows.

A finish will really pop it I'm sure.


Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2018, 12:32 PM »
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 ...



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



The inside curve is scribed ...





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



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



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



The surface is refined and finished with a scraper ..



Final shots of the completed drawer front ...





Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Cheese

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2018, 10:29 AM »
Adding that inside radius to the drawer front really makes a difference.  [jawdrop]   I initially thought it would be a lot of work for little payback but I'm way wrong on that assumption. That inside radius is a finishing touch.

I also rather like the way the grain has an almost continuous flow across the front. With the drawer blades being relatively wide, if the drawer fronts were flat and the grain was continuous, I think the drawer blades would become more noticeable because they'd chop up the horizontal grain flow. This way the front just looks smoother.  [big grin]

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2018, 10:33 AM »
Agree with Cheese and really appreciate you posting your project here.

I have a follow up question about the keying chisel. I’m puzzled even after following your link. With it’s blunt square edge how does it function as a chisel? Seems like it’s rather an extremely narrow scraper. How do you actually use it?

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2018, 12:33 PM »
Hi Michael

I gather than you are referring to the kerfing chisel. It is only called a "chisel" as it looks like one and is held like one. It is essentially a scraper blade with a handle. The square edge is necessary to prevent splitting/cleaving the wood, which is would do if the end was a bevel. Instead, it compresses and cuts, extending the saw kerf deeper, without the cleaving action.

Article here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/KerfChisel.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2018, 01:04 PM »
Yes, kerfing chisel. Need to keep a closer eye on the spellchecker.

Since it is a scraper, working like a narrow hoe in a trench, would it be better to grind a tiny hook in the corner? Or do you roll a burr on that tiny edge like on a regular scraper?

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2018, 01:32 PM »
Michael, it does not act or work like a scraper. Some use a scraper blade, but also not to scrape. It is just a thin, parallel sided, square ended blade. Just for chopping.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Koamolly

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2018, 09:30 PM »
Such beautiful work and photos.  I was curious as to what sort of drawer pulls you’re thinking of using?

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2018, 10:00 AM »
The smallest one here. These are 22mm across. (The drawers are 100 x 100mm).



Regards from Perth

Derek


Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2018, 12:31 PM »
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 ...



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



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



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 ...



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



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



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



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



Saw both drawer sides ...



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



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



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 ...



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).



Transfer the tails to the pin board ...



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!



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 ...



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



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 ...



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 ...



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



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 ...



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





Finished ...



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



... and the bottom ...



Fitting the drawer ...





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



Any thoughts about this?

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2018, 10:57 AM »
We are getting close. The drawers are done. There is still the base to be built, but the I feel that the hard yards are won. The following was completed this weekend ...

One of the joys with hand tools is simply planing. Nothing special, just planing wood and creating wonderful shavings. This was the final dimensioning of the drawer sides prior to glue up ...



More planing - this time the panels for the drawer bottoms. These are 6mm thick. With drawers this small and narrow (100mm wide and 100mm high), one probably could run a drawer bottom along the length. I decided to plan for expansion along the length, so the grain runs side-to-side. The panels are Tasmanian Oak ...



The panels are ripped on the table saw, and one endt is shaped to the drawer front using the template for that row ...



Here is a glued up drawer ready for the drawer bottom ...



Extra long at this stage ...



... and trimmed to size (the extra "tongue" is to aid in removal, if needed) ...



There is some expansion that can take place into the drawer front, as the groove there is deep enough (5mm at the front and 3mm at the sides). Some expansion can also take place to the rear. What I have done is drill an over size screw hole ...



The screw needs to sit flush with the underside, as will become apparent in a while ...



I am very happy with the drawers. They are tight and crisp, and all slide in-and-out their recess smoothly.

I am also very pleased with an idea I came up with for the drawer stops. Drawer stops are very important in this chest as the drawers are inset by 3mm, and a stop at the front, behind the drawer front, will enable this gap to be maintained through the year.

These stops are a little different. I searched the Internet to see if anything like these have been made, sold or used before. Nada, zip. I am amazed. The concept is so simple, and so easy to install. Please make and use them. I think that you will like the idea. Adjustable drawer stops ...

I planed down some scrap Black Walnut. These strips ended up 20mm wide ...



40mm lengths were marked off, and the piece attached to my router-morticing jig ...



Here's the complete set up. It was used to rout out 10mm long mortices ...



Sawing away two strips, you are left with this. It was planed to a thickness of 3mm ...



These were cut up and the fronts rounded. The reason for the round section is that it will butt up against the rear of the drawer front, which is curved ...



These are screwed into the drawer recess. They can be fine-adjusted with the screw. All pretty obvious, really. The low profile allows the drawer to slide in without obstruction.



With the drawers done, the knobs were attached. These are cast iron and small (just 22mm across). Yet they seen ginormous after looking at bare drawer fronts for so long.

I was thinking of blacking the cast iron, but I now quite like the grey. I think that it adds to the modern feel of this chest. Your thoughts?



The boards have been cut for the back board and the base. Next time.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2018, 12:15 PM »
Cool drawer stop technique.  I'll borrow that idea for sure!

What finish are you doing?  I like the grey personally unless you go really dark with the finish.  Then possibly black.


Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2018, 12:41 PM »
Hi Neil

I will use Livos oil on the outside, whixh is like a Danish oil. This will not darken the wood much. Inside I use Renaissance wax.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2018, 01:23 PM »
Excellent documentation of the process and your commentary contains so much useful information it’s hard to imagine anyone typing outdoing this series of posts. Should be an internet treasure for many decades.


I’ve got to pay more attention to the spellcheck.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 05:38 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2018, 04:36 PM »
Very cool - nice details.

Have you considered trying to photoshop the pulls to black to compare?  I think either would look good.


Offline Tim Raleigh

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    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2018, 05:33 PM »
These are screwed into the drawer recess. They can be fine-adjusted with the screw. All pretty obvious, really. The low profile allows the drawer to slide in without obstruction.

Nice idea on those stops. I think those drawer fronts look great!

I was thinking of blacking the cast iron, but I now quite like the grey. I think that it adds to the modern feel of this chest. Your thoughts?

Black is trendy but can be distracting, I like the grey cast iron and should look even better when you get the finish on. Thanks for posting.
Tim

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2018, 12:52 AM »
I am not 100% sold on the knobs. I know that they look larger than they really are because they are a new introduction. In reality, they are small. Originally, I searched all over for small, ebony knobs. Every one I found was physically larger than these. I searched every nook and cranny of the Internet, in Oz and overseas. I will make some if I have time, but everything must be completed by the end of the coming weekend. I have a couple of hours after work to work on the base. I will be going all out this week, and hope there is time. Let me know if you can source similar knobs with a cross section under 20mm (as mentioned, these are 22mm), preferably around 15mm.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline jbair

  • Posts: 43
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #58 on: July 23, 2018, 02:03 PM »
What, you're not "smithing your own iron knobs? Great feed, some great new ideas and insights for all to consider. She's gonna love it, I'm sure.

Offline CirclDigital

  • Posts: 62
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #59 on: July 23, 2018, 04:37 PM »
What a beautifull project.... but I agree with you that the knobs don’t do it justice.
Those small details are always the biggest worry. I guess I would prefer a pull made of wood that would also have some curve. Or even rout a pull in the front itself.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 04:40 PM by CirclDigital »