What to Expect
This blog series will highlight some of the techniques I use in solid wood case construction. My previous blog, about building the New Gloucester rocker, covered nearly every step in photographs with an occasional video. This blog will not detail every step along the way, but will rather explore key details of case construction using primarily videos. The videos are “rough takes” since I’m not going to spend the extra time to edit them. In those situations where my wife wasn’t available to film, you’ll see me walking over to the camera to stop filming. This may be rough, but the information is hopefully good.
Watch this video that introduces my blog about building the Dr. White’s chest. I look forward to sharing this blog series with you!
I’m giving my daughter her late mother’s wardrobe, which I built in 1990, as a wedding gift. I’m building the Dr. White’s chest as a replacement for my wife. This put me on a time constraint and necessitated a less time-consuming video approach to this blog. The original plan was to build the Dr. White’s chest for my daughter. In fact, she picked out the design. As I was looking at the interior of the old wardrobe to refresh my memory about drawer frame construction, I realized that my daughter might want her mother’s wardrobe. I offered it to her and she made the switch to the heirloom. This was “win-win” as my wife is heavily engaged in the construction of Dr. White’s chest.
Thos. Moser designs wonderful furniture. Follow this link to view Moser’s design of the Dr. White’s chest on his web site. His 1985 book, Measured Shop Drawings of for American Furniture, provides many useful details for construction. His 2011 book, How to Build Shaker Furniture: The Complete Updated and Improved Classic , removes the instructions for the hidden compartment. How’s that for complete, updated, and improved? To be fair, it wouldn’t be a secret compartment if the construction plans were readily available in a book in this digital age…
I’m not slavishly following Moser’s design. Rather, I’m adapting it to my own tastes and needs. I’d rather have storage space than a hidden compartment, so I made the center stile narrower. I don’t care for bull-nose trim on such a large case piece, so I opted for a more proportional cove molding. I also modified the base by cutting feet into the side rather than just into the front. This gives the case a more dynamic look as it rests on the floor. Other design changes include things you can’t see such as using multiple mortise and tenon joints for the bottom of the cupboard section and the very bottom of the case.
In the next blog entry, we’ll explore multiple mortise and tenon joints.
-- Mark, Minnesota