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Offline derekcohen

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Apothecary chest
« on: April 24, 2018, 11:06 AM »
Lynndy and I were in Auckland, New Zealand recently for the wedding of her niece. We stayed with her brother and his wife. They have a wonderful home with some nice examples of arts and crafts furniture, one of which was an apothecary chest. I really love these pieces, and Lynndy especially has wanted one forever. So the order was placed and a spot lined up in the entrance hall.

The design was mostly worked out in idle musing, and then I drew it up on sheets of 6mm MDF (I like this since the sheets end up as a story board and may be stored away more easily if needed at a later date).

The orientation is vertical, rather than typically horizontal, more along the lines of a Krenov-styled cabinet. I’ve never built a Krenov-styled cabinet and, as far as I am aware, he never built an apothecary chest! :) In other words, this is a chest on a stand. As an aside, I am not enamoured with the spindly legs of Krenov designs, and something with substance is needed. More on this at a later date.

The chest will contain 24 drawers, in 6 rows (so 4 drawers across and 6 rows down) …



What has changed in the drawing above is the rows will be made to accentuate the vertical rather than the horizontal (by running the blades/dividers down first). This is more work, but is should create a different perspective.

I have never seen a curved apothecary chest before, so this may be the first one …





The wood is another first for me – black walnut from the USA. My local timber guy had a stack of 1” and 2” thick boards, all about 11-12” wide.

(For those who see metric measurements on the plans and here is mentioned imperial sizing, be aware that this is my common practice. The jointer-planer/thicknesser I have is European, and metric. The hand tools, such as a plough plane, are imperial).



The boards are thicknessed a little oversize, glued up, and then taken to final dimension with hand planes.



The walnut is so easy to plane. I get why so many rave about working with it.

Don’t you love it when the carcase parts are done. These are all 20mm thick …




Starting to put it together

Starting from the bottom up, the side panels are left a little long as they will need to be given a curved bevel to meld with the bottom panel …



The dovetails are in the ratio of 6:1 – I felt the slightly extra wider base would add a little more authority.



Here’s the first completed corner. It is important that the joints are tight (obviously) but also that they moved apart readily, since the cabinet carcase will be pulled apart, put together, and pulled apart many times as the drawer blades are measured and fitted ...



Note, also, the area that will need to be bevelled away. This is marked.



Now the dimension of the bevel is taken the length of the panel …



I made up a template of the curve by grinding a piece of scrap steel (chosen because it was lying around) …



… and the curve is transferred to the other end of the panel.

The waste is planed away with, firstly, a jack plane (shop made) …



... and then a modified HNT Gordon trying plane …



The reason for the trying plane is to keep the sides straight. A jointer plane could have substituted.

The final step here is to smooth and fair the surface with a HNT Gordon mini smoother …



Finally, we get to complete the basic carcase (the flash makes the walnut look light, but it is dark in tone). the dimensions are 700mm high and 300mm deep (at the centre) …




Starting the vertical drawer blades/dividers


These are made with merbau as a secondary wood, with walnut facing …



Merbau is from northern Queensland (some is imported from Papua New Guinea). It is hard and heavy, and typically used in Oz for flooring or outdoor furniture. I am using it because it is cheap and hard. As cheap as pine and as dense and wear-resistant as jarrah.

The boards are glued together and bound with blue tape ..



Three vertical dividers for now …



As before, they are also slightly oversize and will be planed to dimension to fit into 12mm wide dados.



More later.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 567
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 11:10 AM »
Wow!  Beautiful work and such fine craftsmanship!  I'm looking forward to seeing the completed piece.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Offline Dogberryjr

  • Posts: 112
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 11:55 AM »
Very nice work. I look forward to seeing it finished.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2498
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 12:52 PM »
Derek -

Great to see another project underway by you.  Looking forward to how you cut the drawers with that curved front!

Excellent walk-through, as usual!

neil

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

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    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 01:20 PM »
 Derek,   I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.   Looking great so far and I love that you include your thought process during design.   Well done!

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


Offline duc996

  • Posts: 149
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 07:49 PM »
wow, great craftsmanship!

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 12:47 AM »
Great workmanship, and I love seeing the process.  I'm looking forward to seeing future progress.

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 141
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 11:21 AM »
Nice!!!

Matt

Offline Rob Z

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 11:33 AM »
Hello Derek,

The Arts and Crafts style is my favorite, and I look forward to following along as you build this.  BTW, I have been reading your posts for years at Sawmill Creek and say thanks for all your efforts to post and photograph what you are doing in the shop.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 12:01 PM »
Many thanks all for the very kind words. Here is ..

Part Two

Wednesday was Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia and New Zealand, and I had a few hours in the workshop to move along with the vertical partitions or dividers.



The panels had been thicknessed a little oversize. They need to be brought down to their final thickness of 12mm.

The panels need to be flat. The high spots are marked ...



... and planed away ....



The base and the top of the cabinet is marked out for the stopped dados.



The dados end 10mm from the lower edge. The upper section has a 12mm overhang to take into account. The ends are marked ..



... and then drilled to a depth of 6mm, which is the depth of each dado.

The sides of the dado are scored deeply with a knife, and a chisel wall is made along the length. This is to guide a saw cut.

The kerf is created with an azebiki saw. This is the traditional Japanese saw for cutting sliding dovetail joints, trenches and slots for sliding Shoji screens.



The panel is flipped around, and the kerf is deepened so that it runs the full length ...



Now zip out the upper layers of waste with a slick or paring chisel ...



Remove the remainder to depth with a router plane ...



And we are done ...



More after the weekend.

Regards from Perth

Derek


Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3656
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2018, 03:39 PM »
WOW!
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1950
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2018, 06:15 PM »
Great stuff!  Dereck, you are definitely the HAND MAN.   Seeing your and others handwork has led me reevaluate my mechanized work and cost me a bunch of money on Lie Nielson, Veritas, and Japanese saws.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 06:18 PM by rst »

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 11:30 AM »
We left off with a dovetailed carcase, which had been given stopped dados made with a saw, chisel and router plane. The vertical dividers were made, but yet to be installed. Chest on its side ...



The dividers will be fitted, so ...



The dividers are slid in, and the section ahead of the stopped dado is marked with a knife ...



.. or a cutting gauge ...



.. and then cut away (I prefer a Japanese dozuki for this cut and it is cleaner than off a Western saw) ...



They need to be flush with the curved lower end of the chest (the sides dividers are yet to be shaped to the curve. That will be done later to avoid damage) ...



... while the upper section of the chest has a 12mm overhang ...



Note that all measurements and marking is done from the lower end of the carcase/dividers. This is the reference end.

It is now time to add stopped dados to the dividers. The first step is to begin marking their positions. As before, this is completed with dividers ...



Each drawer is 100x100mm and the drawer blade/divider is 12mm ...



The dado lines are scored across the divider ...



The ruler has a non-slip underside made of 400 grit wet-and-dry sandpaper, a tip I got from Andrew Crawford ...



The insides of the carcase are marked similarly ...



Finally all the stopped dados are marked. There are 40 in all - 10 in walnut and 30 in merbau. The merbau is an extremely hard and brittle wood. It was chosen as a secondary wood as it was cheap and will stand up to any wear from sliding drawers, unlike a soft wood like pine.

The dados are 3mm deep (as 12mm wide). With a 12mm thick panel, and 3mm from each side, there will be 6mm remaining. That is sufficient for structural integrity.

With 40 dados, I decided to use a power router, and built a simple guide ...



The guide is a one-shot job for a 12mm dado. Just place the slot against the lines made earlier, and run the router until it hits the stop ...



This is too easy ...



... and I become complacent, and cut against the wrong line! Fortunatley, this is a simple fix and will not be seen ..



So, at the end of the day the chest is dado-ed to death. The horizontal drawer blades will be fitted next time. This is going to be an interesting time since they will curve to fit at the front.



Regards from Perth

Derek




Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3591
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 12:21 PM »
Coming beautifully.  Looking forward to seeing the process pics for rounding over the dividers to match the curve.
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Offline Rob Z

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 03:17 PM »
Ahhhh, so someone else besides me has run the router on the wrong side of the line !  [wink] [big grin]

Thanks for the update, Derek.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2018, 10:38 AM »
This is the work completed this weekend. It includes rebating the rear of the carcase in preparation for the back (at the end of the build), tuning up the dados for the horizontal drawer blades, and building the drawer blades.



Rebating the side panels of the carcase is pretty straight forward. The rebate is 6mm x 6mm. Planing the full width is unobstructed.



However, where the upper and lower panels need a rebate, planing through will lead to gaps in the panels as these end in dovetail pins. There would have not been an issue here had I used mitred dovetails, but this was an oversight at the time. Now I have a couple of choices, one being that I add a bead around the read panel, however I do not want additional adornments on the chest.

The decision is made to use a stopped rebate at each end. If completed at this stage it would lead to a weak set of pins. This is where the rebates would end ...



Instead, they will stop short of the end at this stage, and the remainder chiselled out after the carcase is glued up (glueing up will support the weakened pins) ..



The ends of the panel are excavated to start and end a saw cut, and then the shoulders are sawn with a azebiki ...





You do not need to create a chisel wall for the saw teeth if you knife the line with a Japanese cutting gauge or a thickish knife. This opens a wide enough kerf ...



No guide, just muscle memory...



A cutting gauge from each side will clean out the rebates ...






Cleaning up the dados

The strategy for the dados was to make them 20mm with a power router, which was done, and then fit panels to these. The panels were completed with the assistance of a jointer-planer/thicknesser, and this made it easier to dial them close to 20mm. Final surfacing was with handplanes.

Although the dados were made with a brand new 20mm straight bit, they were not as precise as I would have expected. A little tuning was necessary to bring them to width.

The tool of choice here is a side rebate (rabbet) plane. This one is by Veritas. It is in stopped mode to cut to the end of the stopped dado ...



This was the fit ...



A total of 40 dados needed to be tuned (that took a few hours!). The drawer blades below are, in fact, for the 24 drawers, and will be cut to fit the compartments.





The drawer blades

The design of the chest called for vertical dividers. This would create an emphasis on the vertical. Every apothecary chest I have seen used horizontal dividers/drawer blades as the primary construction. It would have been a lot easier to have done so as well since the bow front could be shaped in, and then the curved drawer blades attached to the carcase. This would have been followed with the individual vertical dividers which, while needing to be aligned, would be straight and uncomplicated to align. Starting with the vertical dividers meant that the bowed horizontal drawer blades presented a complication with alignment.

I built another template ...



This was similar to the plan drawn up at the start. It differed in that it represented the drawer blades plus the area seated into the 3mm deep dados.

Cut to size ...



The curved ends were removed ...



... and a second template made to form the bow front of the drawer blades (above and below) ...



In the meantime the (horizontal) drawer blades were sawn to size. Not that the grain for all runs across the width of the chest. Expansion takes place front-to-back.



The sections will still require shaping to a bow ...



I had a chance to use the mitre gauge I built for the Hammer slider ...



The shaped merbau drawer blades now need to be given their walnut end faces ...



These are glued with the aid again of blue tape ..





The templates from before are now used to shape the ends ...



And the result is a drawer blade ready to fit into the dados ...



Fitting next ....

Regards from Perth

Derek



Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2018, 09:57 AM »
Another nice tutorial :).  I'm looking forward to seeing what you've done this weekend.

Offline derekcohen

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    • In The Woodshop
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2018, 11:37 AM »
The previous weekend had seen the completion of the drawer blades. There were 24 to make - 6 rows with curved faces.



The walnut was flushed ...



... and then were slid along the dados in the carcase ...



At this point the build came to a grinding halt. The drawer blades ... dados ... were not coplanar ... level ... darn! We are talking a millimetre here-and-there, but the combination looked terrible.

What went wrong?

It was the marking out. I ignored a very simple rule - I failed to use a common reference point. This should have been done with the dividers installed - with the inside base of the carcase as the reference - and not marked outside the carcase.

I could have repaired the dividers, but I decided to scrap the lot and make new ones, and cut new dados.

The carcase was repaired. The dados were filled in ...



Flushed ...



None of this would be visible when the new dados were made.

Then I did what I should have done when marking the positions of the dados - made a series of MDF templates, which could be used as left- and right hands ...









These were used for all dividers, with a line scored by a sharp knife ...



The power router and guide were used again. Tempting fate, perhaps, but I was convinced that the fault lay with the marking out, and not the cutting of the dados. I was tempted to just do the dados by hand - I do feel more in control with hand tools - but 40 needed to be done in all, and in hard merbau, before the weekend was over.

I am not going to bore you with pictures of the dados being made. It was the exact same as before ... except this time I did not cut on the wrong side of the line with one! :)

Here is the rear of the chest with the drawer blades inserted ...



And a couple of the front ...



The dividers and the drawer blades have yet to rebated to fit the stopped dados, nevertheless the shape of the chest is becoming more defined.



Regards from Perth

Derek


Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 781
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2018, 10:17 PM »
Very nice fix, and a great looking cabinet.  I'm particularly interested because I did a similar lyptus cabinet without the curved front for my wife a few years ago, when I used a lot fewer hand tools than I do now.

A couple of questions
*  How did you trim the edges of the walnut flush with the Merbau on the drawer - router with the templates that you made?
*  Interesting pic of the bevel up smoothing plane flushing the walnut.  Did you have any issues with different grain direction or wood hardness when planing on the joint between the walnut and merbau?  How steep was the planing angle?

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2018, 11:57 AM »
Very nice fix, and a great looking cabinet.  I'm particularly interested because I did a similar lyptus cabinet without the curved front for my wife a few years ago, when I used a lot fewer hand tools than I do now.

A couple of questions
*  How did you trim the edges of the walnut flush with the Merbau on the drawer - router with the templates that you made?
*  Interesting pic of the bevel up smoothing plane flushing the walnut.  Did you have any issues with different grain direction or wood hardness when planing on the joint between the walnut and merbau?  How steep was the planing angle?

Harvey, I trim with hand planes.

The walnut and merbau were glued with grain orientated in the same direction. This was deliberate to ensure planing would be easier.

The BU Smoother always has a 62 degree cutting angle. I only use this plane to take fine shavings.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2018, 11:58 AM »
Well the carcase was finally glued up, everything square as can be ... and I forgot to take a photo of this! :)

However, while planing the outside, I discovered that the black walnut required nothing more advanced than a simple single-blade common angle plane. Many years ago I received a smoother from Steve Knight. This was the first occasion I got to use it.



Just wonderful to work this wood!

The next step was to complete the vertical dividers. These were inserted and, with some relief, these were square as well. A reward for attention to detail?

The photo below shows the next steps: the stopped dados need to be extended, and the faces of the dividers need to be shaped to match the angles of the carcase.

The dados are marked to 12mm from the edge ...



... and chiselled and pared away ...



These were then glued in place (yes, I got that one! :) ) ...



During the dry fit I had been careful to fit them flush with the rear rebates, and then saw them parallel. This made it easier to ensure that they were glued square (since the fronts could be flush with the lower edge of the carcase, but not the upper edge, which has an overhang) ...





Time now to install the drawer blades. These were positioned loose, as before ...



To fit them to the stopped dados, the front was marked out ...



Below the rebates are marked and knife walls cut ..



The first saw cut is across the top to establish the face ...



Then saw diagonally along the vertical line ...



.. before finishing on the horizontal ...



This will maximise obtaining a straight saw cut.



This is the fit once all is done ...





The drawer blades will remain loose until the drawers are completed, since they still need to be used as a template for each drawer.



At the rear of the cabinet, the drawer blades are marked for length and sawn flush (in the photo below, half are flush, with half to go) ...



All done. Each is marked for repositioning ...



So that is it for this past weekend. The drawers are next. Curved fronts and compound dovetails. How much fun is that! :)



Regards from Perth

Derek



« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 12:21 PM by derekcohen »

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2018, 12:56 PM »
This weekend I spent time preparing to build the drawers for the apothecary chest. There are 24 drawers, which makes 48 drawer sides, plus 24 drawer fronts and 24 drawer backs. And then there are 24 drawer bottoms. And slips for the drawers.

All this before building the drawers can begin. I wonder how long this would take if I did it all with hand tools?

I've been reading the posts by Chris Schwarz about the forthcoming publication of John Brown's “Welsh Stick Chairs”. This was a seminal book in the same manner as James Krenov's "A Cabinetmaker's Notebook". I've not read John Brown's book, and I am looking forward to doing so. I have read Jim Krenov many times. It seems to me that they are similar in the way that they value the craft that is woodworking, and the importance of hand tools. However, they differ in the way they view machines. Krenov used his to prepare the way for hand tools. Brown would have nothing to do with them. It seemed he feared that craft would be lost if machines were used ...

"The hand too maker needs the best bench he can make – or afford!  You must know your tools, what they are made of, fine adjustments and sharpening angles.  Everything must be clean and sharp.  Tools talk to the craftsman, and will let you know when they are right.  What the machine does by noisy, brute force, you will be able to do with quiet cunning"

"I would not go so far as to say that there are no skills necessary to working machines.  It is important to be able to read and interpret complicated instructions.  What you end up with is engineering skills – precision engineering in wood".

Link:  http://tonykonovaloff.com/?page_id=54

What has this to do with the work I did this weekend? Well, I could relate to the role of engineer. Preparing the wood for the drawers with my machines was the work of a machinist. Would I have rather spent the time doing this by hand? Well, I have done this in the past - I worked almost exclusively with handtools and a few hand power tools for over 25 years before purchasing a tablesaw, jointer, thicknesser/planer, and bandsaw. I began upgrading these over the past 7 years. I would not go back. Machines do not replace handwork.

The question is whether this compromises the work I do?

The drawers have Tasmanian Oak sides and back. The drawer front will be Black Walnut to match the carcase. The oak has become harder to come by in Perth. I prize it because it is all quarter sawn, which is ideal for drawer sides as it is stable. It is light in colour and a good contrast to dark timbers. But I have so little now. Much of it is narrow boards - I grabbed everything that my local Bunnings store had a few years ago when I heard they were no longer going to sell it.



These boards would be resawn and book-matched to become the drawer sides ...





Where my jointer-thicknesser/planer excels is that I can cut the boards to short lengths, and still process them. Shorter boards will not lose much waste when flattening ...







This was at the end of Saturday. Drawer sides taken to 1/4" and stickered. I have had good fortune with this method in the past. The wood is stable and cleaned up with a cabinet scraper. If there is any slight movement, it will be taken out when dovetailed.



The black walnut is rough sawn. This board is 1" thick and will make all the drawer fronts.



The tablesaw is new. The slider is magic to rip as well as crosscut. Here is a Frans and Fritz jig used to quickly rip the short lengths into two sections (= two rows of drawer fronts) ...







This is just raw material. It does not replace the handwork in building the drawers.

I have begun fitting the drawer sides to the drawer blades ...



There is so much more still to do ... and I have not even made the drawer bottoms or slips.



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 781
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2018, 05:57 AM »
I continue to enjoy this post.

I agree with you on power vs hand tools, but I would add that you learn things about reading wood when using hand tools that you can't learn any other way.  The same is true of power tools, but perhaps I take what I've learned using power tools too much for granted :).

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1185
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2018, 08:31 AM »
Derek, thank you for sharing this build!  I love the insights into your build process and techniques!  I’ve been following along from the first post.  I hope to get more comfortable with hand tools, but as it stands, entrenched in the power tool world, so your posts further inspire me to just try.  My fear is the end product looks like a 6th grader did it (Im sure there is a 6th grader or two out there that is better with hand tools than I am).
-Raj

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 216
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2018, 08:26 AM »
Yes..thank you for taking the time sharing the build, your recovery with details missed....and your narrated thoughts...very enjoyable.
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4836
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2018, 11:26 AM »
Very nice stuff...thanks for taking the time to go through it a step at a time. Thanks also for the clear, in-focus photos to highlight the process. While I'll never use hand tools as the primary mainstay of my projects, it's the basic creation/build/assembly process that remains the same whether using hand tools or power tools that needs to be followed.

Looking forward to further updates...🙏🙏

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2018, 06:39 AM »
Cheese, I would never suggest that one use power- or hand tools as the "primary" set of tools. Mainly because I do not believe that their should be a primary set of tools. I believe that one uses the best tool for the occasion. This could be power to rough out and hand for delicate joinery.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2018, 01:19 PM »
Part eight - I think that this is the 7th weekend of the build. The plan is to start building the drawers, or at least have a plan for the drawers. There is not as much time available this weekend as I would have liked.

First, I needed to complete the drawer sides. About one half of the sides prepared were glued from two sections. The joins needed to be smoothed to leave each side appearing seamless.

I started out using a scraper ..



.. and ended using a smoother, which was quicker. The smoother was set to take extremely fine shavings - which came off like fine hair - as I did not want to remove any more of the 1/4" thickness than absolutely necessary (the boards began a smidgeon over 1/4", and so ended up close to dammit) ..



The sides were jointed square on two sides ...





... and then fitted to the cabinet ...



It took most of Saturday, but finally ...



Sunday afternoon arrived and I was back in the workshop. The goal here was to see if my devilish plan for dovetailing curved drawer fronts would work. The following is a test, so let me know what you think and whether you can come up with an easier strategy.

Each row of drawers with be made from a single black walnut board, and so the figure will flow without interruption. Actually, the boards used made two rows each, and all the drawer fronts will come from the same original board.

For now I am using a scrap to test the method. Briefly, the drawer front will remain flat until the sides are dovetailed on, and the curve will be added later.

The first task is to fit the drawer front into the drawer opening, and this requires that the sides are mitred. This was done on the table saw ...



This is the fit into the drawer opening ...



The curve can be added by sliding out the drawer front and tracing along the drawer blade ...





That will be shaped later. For now the challenge is two-fold: firstly, the mitres complicate how the dovetails will join the two parts. In the photo below, what will happen if the walnut receives sockets (as in half-blind dovetails), the tails will extend over the drawer front and into the drawer.



The solution I came up with was to mitre one side of the drawer front, and rebate the other side ...



I concentrated on the mitred side today as this is the more difficult of the two.

The first step was to mark the width of the drawer side ...



The second was to use edge planes (these are by LN) to add a mitre that was square with the angled side ...



The second challenge would be to secure and transfer the tails to the pin board,  then to saw and chisel the sockets. Here is the first challenge ...



Trying to hold the tail board at an angle, and steady so that it did not move while the tails could be traced to the pin board ... well, I needed another set of hands!

I finally came up with a solution, recalling Alan Peters/Rob Cosman's rabbet trick. In this case, I added two layers of blue tape to create a fence ...



This made it possible to stabilise the parts ...



Using blue tape to transfer the markings ...



Sawn ...



Kerfs deepened at the baseline end with a kerfing chisel ...



Clearly my chisels were not sharp enough as the walnut was crumbling ...



It cleaned up enough to pound the drawer side on ..



What was reassuring was the tight corners.

The "drawer" was slid into the drawer opening ...



A bit more practicing, and I will be ready for the real thing.

Any thoughts how else this could be done?

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 225
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Re: Apothecary chest - part eight-and a bit more
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2018, 10:01 AM »
Today was a public holiday in Western Australia (WA Day), and so I managed a few hours in the workshop this afternoon ("arvo", which is afternoon in Australian). The morning was filled with writing bloody reports. Aren't I the lucky one! It was great to escape back to the build.

I wanted to show some of the other preliminary tasks that are needed before one can begin dovetailing the drawers.

Here are the collective drawer fronts. They have been sized for height ...



The original rough sawn board of black walnut was cut into three sections, and each section is enough for two rows. The rows were separated, and will be used sequentially. This is shown above.

The original test drawer front served as a template for width ..



The plan is to work with one vertical row at a time, since each will have the same width. This will reduce set up time fitting each drawer blank.

Here is the template drawer front fitted to the lower most drawer ...



All the drawers in this row have the same width.

Fitting the drawer front involves (1) sizing the height ... this was done (above), then (2) mitering the sides to fit the drawer opening.

Begin by obtaining the angle across the opening ...



That was for the first row.



This is for the second row.

Transfer the angle to a second sliding bevel (to set the blade angle on my table saw) ...





Cut the angle on one end, and then set up the table saw for a repeat saw cut ...



The first row is done ...



A close up of some figure ...



I was looking at the effect of the straight drawers fronts against the curved drawer blades. It was interesting ... no, I'm sticking to curved drawers.

More next week.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Dogberryjr

  • Posts: 112
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2018, 10:15 AM »
All this geometry is making my head hurt. Amazing piece of work.

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 225
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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

  • Posts: 2498
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

  • Posts: 781
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

  • Posts: 4836
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

  • Posts: 2498
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

  • Posts: 781
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

  • Posts: 2498
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

  • Posts: 225
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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

  • Posts: 4836
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

  • Posts: 3475
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

  • Posts: 3475
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

  • Posts: 225
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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

  • Posts: 44
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

  • Posts: 225
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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

  • Posts: 225
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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

  • Posts: 225
    • In The Woodshop
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

  • Posts: 2498
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

  • Posts: 225
    • In The Woodshop
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

  • Posts: 3475
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

  • Posts: 781
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

  • Posts: 3522
    • 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

  • Posts: 225
    • In The Woodshop
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 »

Offline VW MICK

  • Posts: 881
Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #60 on: July 23, 2018, 05:48 PM »
@derekcohen

That is so cool. Inspirational


Thanks mick

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Offline ilovesunshine

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2018, 08:03 PM »
Hey,

This is seriously awesome!! Super impressed!! Well done! Can't wait to see the finished result :-) Best wishes from the UK! :-)

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2018, 08:30 PM »
Well, I spent late afternoon turning knobs for the chest. I should have done this at the start, but thought it would take too long. In all, it required about 2 hours. They are not quite finished, but enough is done so you get an idea. And your thoughts, as always, are welcomed.

All along, Lynndy has said, "make the knobs in the same colour as the drawers". She wants them to blend in, and after staring at the chest knob-less for so long, I see her point. So they will be finished in oil and wax, as per the carcase and drawer fronts.

The iron knobs are 22mm wide and 21mm high. The new knobs are 18mm wide and 20mm high.



The tenon is 3/8" and long enough to extent through the drawer front and be attached with a wedge from inside.



Some have a little wax to obtain an idea of the final colour.

There are enough here for all the drawers ...



The idea is for the knobs not to dominate ...



Thoughts?

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2018, 08:54 PM »
I like the wooden ones better.  Less obvious.  And I think with the base and finish, they will be a better compliment to the hand made nature of the chest.  It's a lot of drawers which means a lot of knobs to compete with the rest of the details.

If you could find smaller black or even an oil rubbed finish in maybe 1/2" to 5/8" diameter those could be nice too. 

Good evolution.  Thanks for sharing the decision process.

Offline CirclDigital

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2018, 01:53 AM »
Great solution..... such an awesome cabinet deserved better :-)

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2018, 12:54 PM »
The knobs were completed this evening, and a finish coat of Shellawax applied ...



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Shiplapping the back
« Reply #66 on: July 25, 2018, 10:54 AM »
When you see shavings like this ...



... you know a skew rebate plane is at work.



Shiplapping is the joining of boards using an overlapped rebate. The advantage of this is to allow for movement while presenting an outward solid and sealed surface.



The rebate is on each, but opposite sides of the board. In this case, I have made the rebate 10mm wide. This will allow for an overlap of about 7-8mm.

Here I have made use of sections of Black Walnut that would otherwise be considered offcuts ...



The boards are 6mm thick, and each rebate is just 3mm high ...



Planing take a few minutes with the Veritas Skew Rabbet plane ...



When the carcass was dovetailed together, allowance was made for a rebate all around the rear of the chest. This required that the area close to the pins was left uncut ...



... which can be seen at the corners ..



The waste was now chiselled out ...



The boards could now be cut to length and fitted. The rebate gap between boards was set with a spacer ...



No glue is used as the boards are free to expand into the gap. A single screw holds them close to the overlap ...



Done ...



And no one will see any of this  :)

Regards from Perth

Derek
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 10:56 AM by derekcohen »

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #67 on: July 25, 2018, 11:17 AM »
Striking details...including those no one will see. And that's what sets a fine woodworker apart from an average woodworker.

Offline Rob Lee

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #68 on: July 25, 2018, 11:42 AM »
Umm.....

Derek.... shouldn't the screws be clocked with the slots vertical, so the dust falls out??

:)

Ok - only kidding, but truth is - I do this....

Sad.


Cheers -

Rob

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2018, 12:05 PM »
Umm.....

Derek.... shouldn't the screws be clocked with the slots vertical
Snipe


Cheers -

Rob

Eagle eye!

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2018, 12:13 PM »
Umm.....

Derek.... shouldn't the screws be clocked with the slots vertical, so the dust falls out??

:)

Ok - only kidding, but truth is - I do this....

Sad.


Cheers -

Rob


Oh my ....

Heading back to the workshop ... now!

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2018, 12:15 PM »
Derek.... shouldn't the screws be clocked with the slots vertical, so the dust falls out??

That is hard to do with brass screws. You risk breaking them when overtightening. A possible solution is using a steel screw with the same dimensions first to establish a uniform hole, remove it and substitute with a brass one.
(For the real obsessive’s…)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline atogrf1

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2018, 03:55 PM »
WOW!!!!  This is one of the best step-by-step threads I've seen.  Incredible work, and a pleasure to follow along.  I've even learned a couple of things along the way.  Keep 'em coming!!!!

Offline Corey P.

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2018, 05:41 PM »
Very cool project!  The amount of hand work is amazing.  Awesome job with the project and the thread!

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #74 on: July 29, 2018, 10:50 PM »
As requested by a number of people, I have clocked the screws at the rear of cabinet. Gad, some are so OCD!  :D





One coat of oil so far ..



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Koamolly

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #75 on: July 30, 2018, 01:38 AM »
As requested by a number of people, I have clocked the screws at the rear of cabinet. Gad, some are so OCD!  :D





Much better! But FYI we prefer CDO so it’s in alphabetical order.  ;)

One coat of oil so far ..



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline CirclDigital

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #76 on: July 30, 2018, 04:36 AM »
As requested by a number of people, I have clocked the screws at the rear of cabinet. Gad, some are so OCD!  :D

Then those must be really obsessing over the different sized boards? I know I am a little even if it’s not my work and the back won’t be seen :-).

With finish it looks even better.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2018, 08:58 AM »
Nah ... it's all good. Just a bit of fun :)

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2018, 01:13 PM »
When I attached the metal knobs (too large and not right ... ugh!), I was swayed by Lynndy, who said to place the knobs square to the drawer front, since she liked the idea of them fanning from the front of the chest and accentuating the curve. In practice, this was not a good idea. Opening the drawers felt wierd - one is used to a drawer opening in the directing of the pull. These drawers did not do so. The opened at an angle to the pull. It felt wierd. Lynndy thought it charming. She is wierd.

Having turned new Black Walnut knobs to match the drawer fronts, against the advice of some who argued for dark, perhaps Ebony knobs, I know had to decide how I would fit them. As before? No, I did not want that. I wanted to set the square to the drawer recess.

There were two issues here: how to drill them the same as each other.? It would look a mess if some varied out of line. And then there was the fact that the drawer fronts curves and angled, which meant that the knobs would go in at an angle. One side would sit in- and the other side proud of the surface.

I designed a couple of jigs to drill accurately. Fortunately I did not waste time making them ( I have no time in the kitty to get this piece ready for the upcoming West Australian Woodshow. It is days away). The simplest solution occurred to me last night. Use the drill press. Duh!

All that was needed was to ensure the drawer was held vertically, and then use progressively larger bits until the size I needed (3/8"), the tenon of the knob.



That went smoothly.

The holes were then widened slightly on one side with a step drill bit to allow to seat the knobs evenly.

I have begun installing the knobs with wedges. The cabinet and drawer fronts have had a coat of Livos oil, and you can now get an idea of how the knobs blend in (the drawers are proud of the cabinet as the oil is drying)



I completed the base for the chest this afternoon, but I am not thrilled with the design. I'll make a decision tomorrow whether to use it or not.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2018, 01:36 PM »
I think putting the knobs straight on was a good design choice.  Looks great with the finish.  Good luck in the show - you have a formidable contender.


Maybe you could bring us a pictorial of the show?

Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #80 on: July 30, 2018, 02:32 PM »
Looks fantastic.  The knobs and the connected pattern of the grain play well together. 

I think you notice the grain with the more muted knobs.   An ebony or metal knob would take the eye away from the brain pattern I think.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #81 on: August 01, 2018, 11:46 AM »
FINAL

Talk about down to the wire. It's 11 p.m. and I've just completed a coat of Howard's wax after the last coat of Livos Universal Wood Oil. The drawers were all finished inside and out with Ubeaut Hard Shellac (dewaxed blond shellac). The inside of the chest (drawer recesses) was given a coat of paste wax. Tomorrow morning I take the chest to the Perth Showground for the annual West Australian Wood Show, where it will take its place among others in the furniture competition. I started this piece 3 months ago.

I could tell you how the base gave me fits. It was a difficult task to design a stand for a curved cabinet. Probably why Krenov never built an apothecary chest! :)  Last night I completed the base, and Lynndy loved it. Compound curves forever. darn sexy. The base, that is.



But when I placed the chest on it, the combination looked awful ... top heavy ... ugh! I was out of wood, out of time, and it looked like I was out of the competition.

This morning I woke up and had an inspiration. Cut the legs shorter. This evening, after work, I did just that. And I like the finished piece. I think the balance is right. So does Lynndy, which matters. The dimensions are 1000 high (39") x 460mm (18") across.

Here is the chest, and where it will be positioned in the entrance hall ...



A few pics of the base ...







Much time was spent designing and building the drawers, which curve across the fronts ...





Yes, I changed the steel for brass screws (no slotted ones the correct size, however) ...



And made knobs in the same Black Walnut, and fitted coplanar to the drawer recess (that was a headache before finally coming up with the simplest solution, to use the drill press!) ..



I was very pleased with the drawer stops ...



... and you can see the shiplapped back if you peak ...



It has been a long, but exhilarating build. I hope that you got something from it too.

Regards from Perth

Derek

 

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #82 on: August 01, 2018, 06:33 PM »
@derekcohen - Best of luck in the competition!  I am glad that it will also have a great home and will be an heirloom piece.  And thank you for taking the enormous of time to document your build here.  Although many of us may not ever consider building such a project nor tackle a project with mainly hand tools, projects such as yours do serve as idea generators and inspirators in many different ways.

Peter

Offline CirclDigital

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #83 on: August 02, 2018, 04:39 AM »
Indeed best of luck..... but with such a great project and result that shouldn’t be difficult.

Offline neilc

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #84 on: August 02, 2018, 09:45 AM »
Thanks for taking us along this amazing path!  Good luck in the competition.  The finished piece is excellent.  Love the floating cabinet.  Brings a very subtle element of lightness to the design.

This is a piece you want to touch and explore!  Just fantastic and one for your legacy!

Neil

Offline eddomak

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2018, 11:16 PM »
Indeed, although I will probably never attempt something so difficult and with all those "master's touches" I have been reading this thread regularly and have learnt quite a lot through all the detail and coming along for the journey.

I thought I better post about this rather than just be a silent viewer, to thank you for all the extra time and effort in the write up. All the best for the competition.

Offline lunchman

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #86 on: August 05, 2018, 07:46 AM »
I've enjoyed reading this thread and have to say the finished product is amazing! Your attention to the smallest details, the challenges and solutions, the highly skilled craftsmanship - all worthy of many accolades.

Thanks for posting your build.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #87 on: August 06, 2018, 11:04 AM »
Thanks for all the kind words. I hope it has been as helpful for some of you as it has been fun for me.

Kind regards from Perth Australia

Derek

Offline ilovesunshine

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #88 on: August 12, 2018, 06:07 PM »
Hey Derek
This is excellent! Super inspiring! So many things to think about! Thank you so much for sharing so many photos! So how did you do in the competition? How many other excellent woodworkers are you up against? 🙂 good luck!

Offline derekcohen

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Offline Dick Mahany

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #90 on: August 13, 2018, 08:23 PM »
Your apothecary chest has been an incredible work to follow as it progressed.  It is in a league that I can only aspire to at this time.  Thank you for sharing all along the way and for your excellent photos.  This piece stands above and beyond on its own merit.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #91 on: August 14, 2018, 08:52 AM »
Thanks Dick. You are very kind.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #92 on: August 14, 2018, 10:37 AM »
Your apothecary chest has been an incredible work to follow as it progressed.  It is in a league that I can only aspire to at this time.  Thank you for sharing all along the way and for your excellent photos.  This piece stands above and beyond on its own merit.

Agreed - it was a pleasure to follow this post.

Offline derekcohen

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Re: Apothecary chest
« Reply #93 on: August 14, 2018, 01:34 PM »
Thanks to you, too, Harvey for your support along the way.

Regards from Perth

Derek