Going from the still incomplete planning stage into the building stage, here’s the first week’s progress.
I shaped a 40” board with router/planes,scrapers before scroll-cutting and gluing the 6 pieces for the feet. Then I made the box part of the carcass. I was able to use the old chest to lay out the spacing for the dadoes for the dividers. That box (four sides and the bar across the front top) is the only thing glued together in the pic – everything else is just sitting there or is taped in place. (that’s why the feet look crooked in the bottom pic)) I had some dings in the sides and wanted to make sure they’d clean up so I scraped them and applied a coat of the oil/varnish mixture – that’s why it looks darker in that picture.
The molding took a days worth of playing with bits before I came up with a design I could live with – four bits, three pieces of wood glued together – but I’m very happy with the results and I’ve put a thin slice aside in case I need ideas for a future project.
Then it was easy to make the top, with a round-over profile on the side to blend in with the cornice molding, and then the back and the dividers (I need to redo three of the dividers – the grain runs the wrong way.) The base is two pieces and I’m going to thicken the bottom piece another 1/4” because it looks too thin right now.
This weeks plan is to scrape/sand/finish what you see, and assemble it, and to resaw enough maple for all the drawer sides. I also hope to come to a decision on at least one of my two sticking points:
1. Door – the last one was a glued up flat-panel. It was prone to warping and when it got cooked it curled up like a chimichanga. Walnut is more stable than cherry, so flat is still in play but I’d have to add some inlay. Or I could go with raised panel, but my rail/stile bits are for 3/4 and the only ones I’ve seen for 1/2” don’t have much profile depth. Maybe find a bit that works and go with a cathedral door?
2. Drawers – I’m dreading 11 drawers worth of half-blind dovetails but I don’t like the look the leigh jig makes for the small/thin drawers. If I have to do them by hand I might rip the fronts down, do full dovetails, and then glue the front back on (half-blind without as much work) I’m also not 100% stuck on walnut. I’m thinking maybe some cherry if I cut it all and leave it out in the sun for a few days to darken. That would look nice with an oil finish with the walnut dividers standing out in contrast.
Oh yea: I took a break yesterday morning to resaw a couple of short fat scraps and make two boxes for router bits – about 6×11. I’ve got enough shorts set aside to do four more which should help get them out of the tupperware tubs. I didn’t bother to put any finish on them, maybe later when I’m done with the spice chest.
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