When building my wife’s new chest on chest cabinet, I decided to add a little something a little different than the plans that I had on hand, which would be new to me & adds a new challenge for me overcome. The basic plan for this storage cabinet came from Glenn Huey’s book “fine Furniture for a lifetime”, the Chippendale Entertainment Center. This same piece of furniture is featured in another of his book by Popular Woodworking, “Design & Build Your Ideal Entertainment Center”, and is featured on the right side of the cover. (see photo below)
The design calls for rectangular raised paneled doors, which I’ve attempted and been successful with in the past, so now time for new lessons, therefore tombstone raised panel doors. I’m happy to report that these came out pretty good, and was a little easier than I anticipated. So, if you would be interested in attempting these, read on …...
To start, I reviewed two resources for instructions on tombstone doors via hand tools methods: Bob Rozaieski’s website The Logan Cabinet Shoppe at: http://logancabinetshoppe.com/blog/?s=tombstone&x=24&y=8, and of course but who else Roy Underhill at The Woodwright’s Shop on PBS: http://watch.wqed.org/video/1427712879
These two resources are extremely valuable, as I’m sure most of you already know, and I wouldn’t start a new aspect of hand tool woodworking without researching these sources first.
In tackling these doors, I gained new carving skills, and had the opportunity to use quite a few hand tools including: mortise and paring chisels, scrapers, scratch stocks, hand planes of course, a panel raising plane, and a Stanley No. 71 router plane. The procedure was slow at first, but went faster as knowledge was gained. I would recommend to any interested fellow Lumberjocks out there to try this on a future project, and keep in mind the following:
First and foremost, proper layout is absolutely necessary. I made a full scale drawing of a door, to ensure I had the correct dimensions before I put a blade to wood. This was especially helpful when it came to dimensioning and carving the arch in the rail & cutting the panel. Use a marking gauge to mark both depth of cut along all sides, and a pencil on the panel face to show locations of facets. See the second photo included here for examples of this.
I took it slow to start, carving only one facet and one depth at a time. Then I moved on to the next facet, or depth, whichever seemed the most appropriate for the process. I’ve tried to indicate this in the photographs that follow. Once the carving was finished, I scraped all carved surfaces to remove marks and facets from carving, and provide as smooth an arch or panel raising section as possible.
I should mention here that I made extra sections of raised panels, rails, etc. on scrap wood, and practiced before moving onto the keeper. This also provided me with important details, like the raised panel depth of cut received from my panel raising plane, so as to be able to mark carving depth for the arch, at both facet depths.
If interested, review the photographs that follow with description, and feel free to comment, criticize, and ask any questions pertaining to this procedure.
Thanks for viewing;
This shows the basic idea behind the build, on the right of the cover:
The first cut was to remove the waste at the edge of the raised panel steep slope, to the first level down:
The second cut, the steep slope on the raised panel right side:
Third, the slight slope above the right side, from the first level down to the second level:
Next, the waste above the arch above the slight slope, back to the foot of the steep slope:
Then, the steep slope on the arch:
The finished panel, with alcohol applied to see how it might look finished:
Last, the finished doors:
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