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Little Tansu Inspired Case #1: Carcase and Dividers

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Blog entry by Dorje posted 2343 days ago 5211 reads 5 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Little Tansu Inspired Case series Part 2: Keyed Miters and Drawer Parts »

I’ve had the urge to just make something small for some time now…I’ve been working on a bed with what little shop time I have, and haven’t had much time for other stuff. I wanted one of those projects that you could just take the materials at hand and go for it.

Also, something that wouldn’t take forever to build and would give some (relatively) instant gratification.

I had some scrap cedar, fir, poplar, and walnut that’ll be used in this little box/case. Milled the assorted woods to 5/8” for the main carcase and drawer fronts, 1/2” for dividers and drawer sides, and 1/4” for the drawer bottoms and back.

Here are the carcase sides made up. After cutting to length, I rabbeted the back edge 1/4”x1/4”, plowed stopped dadoes for the drawer dividers, and mitered the ends.

This next photo is simply the dry fit to see how the miters came together. I’ll tell you, they’re not perfect, I don’t have a jig to perfect miters on stock this wide. I suppose I could’ve built one, but didn’t want to spend my time doing that at this point. I used the tip that Karson picked up from Franz Klausz – that is: to use the inside of the board as the outside (show) surface. I like the idea in this case especially because, if the boards were to cup, they’d want to push on the outside corners, rather than split the corners open. With the keys that’ll come, I have no fear that this case will want to come apart down the line.

All the corners/sides were nice and square at glue up time:

A couple shots from the front, after cutting and fitting divider stock to the case:

- and in color too!:

Here’s a shot from the back – the dividers are sticking out in the back because they are not assembled yet. Still need to run tongue and grooves for those, as well as put in a guide block for the upper divider in the center. It will have a central muntin.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA



24 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2676 days


#1 posted 2343 days ago

Looking good. You are taking the mitered box up a notch. Good tip on using the inside of the board. Hmmm….Busting out “wonder boy” I see (shoulder plane).

Why don’t you run the miters on the table saw or did you? Time for a miter sled?
Are you going to put the tanzu stlye hardware on it?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2583 days


#2 posted 2343 days ago

Wonder boy was used to clean up the rabbets is all. I cut the miters on the miter saw, just cause it was quick and dirty. Table saw next time.

It won’t have any hardware; finger pulls will be 3/4 (or so) of a circle cut outs…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2578 days


#3 posted 2343 days ago

Looking really nice so far Dorje. After the bed I made I had the same urge, the result being my last two projects. Have you considered mitering the front too, so the front is recessed, might look neat…

(Love the b+w shots, looks just like a feature from Woodworking magazine :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2583 days


#4 posted 2343 days ago

Thanks Damien – Tell me more about what you mean about the recessed front. My minds eye is seeing a couple different things.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

496 posts in 2700 days


#5 posted 2343 days ago

Hey Dorje,

Nice looking cabinet. I need to build something “small” too. I haven’t completed something that wasn’t for the shop for a while now. Now I just have to find the time to get out there.

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2402 days


#6 posted 2343 days ago

That’s coming along great. I’ll be following this one. I really have fun with joinery and from the looks of it, so do you. Figuring it out is 50% of the fun the other half is executing it.

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

View Grumpy's profile (online now)

Grumpy

19284 posts in 2437 days


#7 posted 2343 days ago

Great job Dorje. Aren’t those black & white photos good !.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2608 days


#8 posted 2343 days ago

Neat little project. I like the tip about flipping the boards inside out to help prevent the corners from opening.
So much to learn.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2680 days


#9 posted 2343 days ago

Great project to give one the all important feeling of accomplishment. And, a well written blog as usual. I’m loving the black and white as others have mentioned. I think it helps the viewer focus on the subject at hand and not be distracted by all the brightly colored tools and what have you that ends up on the bench. Thanks for the post.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Eric's profile

Eric

873 posts in 2370 days


#10 posted 2343 days ago

Wow. Very cool. Something like this would take me weeks to build (once I thought and planned for months)!

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2575 days


#11 posted 2343 days ago

Looks like a nice quick little project that’s coming along great!

I had to google “tansu” style. Very cool.

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

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2382 days


#12 posted 2343 days ago

Cool little project Dorje. Tansu chests are just plain neat to me. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it finished.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2408 days


#13 posted 2343 days ago

Nice project Dorje, as always. I will have to follow Gary’s trail and google Tansu. I am completely in the dark about the style but this gives me a chance to learn something new today- and that is what this site is about.

I like the tip on turning the boards inside out. I am not sure I can quite visualize this yet but it makes me want to run out to the shop and cut some miters to find out. This is definitely “thinking outside the box”.

Thanks for the post I’m anxious to see the finished product (but don’t be shy about posting some more construction pictures if you have an opportunity).

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

View SteveL's profile

SteveL

142 posts in 2355 days


#14 posted 2343 days ago

I don’t know what you would consider to be “perfect” miters but those look pretty darn tight to me. You are going to “key” these with sliding dovetail keys, or what? I’ll be looking forward to seeing the finished result, but it sure looks like it’s going to turn out very nice. I like the grain and figure you chose for the carcase sides.

-- SteveL

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2578 days


#15 posted 2343 days ago

How to explain.. I’m thinking you could chamfer, or even roundover ala Maloof, the inside edges of the case, and then recess the drawers. Currently at the corners you have a miter running in the x – y plane, the roundover /chamfer would be in the x – z plane (front to back). The dividers would then scooch back a little, and be flush with the newly chamfered/rounded over edges. Make any sense at all?

Something along the lines of this

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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