Concave Chest of Drawers #1: Getting Started

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Blake posted 02-27-2009 08:34 PM 4315 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Concave Chest of Drawers series no next part

I started my next project based on an idea I got from a gorgeous piece of maple that I had laying around which I found when I cleaned out my shop recently. The board was an impulse buy several months ago. I didn’t have a use in mind for it when I bought it. It was 6’ long, almost 10” wide and a little over 1/2” thick.

This is the design I came up with for a Concave Chest of Drawers:

Some of the Features will change as I start building, especially on the structure of the legs. Also the ugly knobs are just placeholders. My Sketchup drawings are really just a “Sketch” to give me a visual idea of space, proportion, and design ideas.

I didn’t take a very good photo of the board before I started chopping it up, but it has a lot of figure.

Chopping it into the four sides:

The first “sneak peak” to get a sense of space and size:

I decided to keep the joinery simple. I cut the finger joints on my router table and Incra fence.

Here are the finger joints:

And the dry-fit:

I used a cutoff of the maple, piece of string, and a few clamps to draw the arcs (the depth of the arc was just determined by what looked good when I tightened the string):

I love carpet tape! And here I am using it to attach the top and bottom before cutting out the arc.

I cut the arc on the bandsaw:

And cleaned it up a bit with the spindle sander. (The other pencil line you see here was where I originally drew the arc but decided to put it on the other side because the wood had a better face)...

The last “sneak peak”... (in this photo you can start to see some of the figure in the maple)

I plan on making Bent-laminations for the five drawer fronts. The drawers will be about 2.5” tall with lots of dividers for jewelry. I have not decided on wood for the legs yet. They will probably not be as contrasting as the Sketchup design above. The drawer fronts will be maple as requested by my wife… (“its for me, right?”)

-- Happy woodworking!

17 comments so far

View scarpenter002's profile


606 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 02-27-2009 08:43 PM

Wow, looks like a good start. I look forward to pictures of the drawer construction.

-- Scott in Texas

View HAP HANSON's profile


45 posts in 3835 days

#2 posted 02-27-2009 08:49 PM

Blake as always nice project!

-- Doc Hanson

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3845 days

#3 posted 02-27-2009 09:25 PM

As usual I can see that you simply cannot resist a challenge. Your progress on this piece is looking pretty good. This is going to be another interesting series.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Martell's profile


11 posts in 3399 days

#4 posted 02-27-2009 10:28 PM

Great idea. I like finger joints, as much as dovetails.

-- Martell

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4123 days

#5 posted 02-27-2009 10:40 PM

I love your vision for this piece. The wood is “speaking” to you. That is your designs are inspired by the wood itself. You have got it Blake.

Was just talking about you with Thos. Angle this morning and showed him your piece.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3511 days

#6 posted 02-27-2009 10:43 PM

This is going to be a great project, looking forward to the next installment!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4116 days

#7 posted 02-27-2009 10:56 PM

Beautiful wood. I can see why it was an impulse buy.

-- Paul, Texas

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3696 days

#8 posted 02-27-2009 11:25 PM

Nice job, Blake!

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3550 days

#9 posted 02-27-2009 11:42 PM

Great step by step photos! Looks like your project will be an eye catcher!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4162 days

#10 posted 02-27-2009 11:55 PM

Blake -

As always, a very cool project underway! This will be a fun project blog to follow.



View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4424 days

#11 posted 02-28-2009 04:24 AM

Blake It’s got a great shape. Are you veneering the drawer fronts or laminating solid wood?

The wood is spectacular.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View cylis007's profile


56 posts in 3492 days

#12 posted 02-28-2009 06:21 AM

It looks like it is coming along great. It is already very impressive. Keep up the good work!

-- A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. ~Benjamin Franklin

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4012 days

#13 posted 02-28-2009 06:40 AM

Watch out for spring back when you laminate the drawer faces. The thicker the lamination’s the more spring back.

You might want to make the face layer thicker to allow you to “tune” it later.

Or do all the drawers exactly the same and then make the case match them.

It’s just about impossible to predict the exact amount of curve you will end up with.

Good luck

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View 's profile

593 posts in 3995 days

#14 posted 02-28-2009 05:42 PM

I’m glad you didn’t quit. The world doesn’t deserve to be deprived of your talent. Thank you Blake.

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3722 days

#15 posted 03-02-2009 01:48 PM

So far so good. Nnice series of photos, can’t wait for the finished product.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics