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Roubo Cabinet #15: Hardware

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 1135 days ago 1691 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Gang of Four Drawers - Sides Part 15 of Roubo Cabinet series Part 16: Final Assembly - Drawer Backs, Bottoms and Fitting »

Q: What do you call a drawer that doesn’t open?
A: Rework.

Okay, lame joke but it’s a decent intro to the challenge of finding drawer pulls for this Roubo Cabinet of mine. Design constraints? Not many, but they’re important ones.

1. Stout enough to work on drawers full of tools (potentially heavy)
2. Aesthetically in sync with the cabinet (I’ll know it when I see it)
3. Hardware can’t stick out / interfere with the sliding deadman

First thing I thought of were those wildly understated (but cool looking) round pulls; you know, the kind that seem to be inside tool chests these days. A close second was round porcelain knobs. Other choices included recessed bail pulls, regular handle pulls and plain old wooden knobs. I’m sure I have the names for all of these things wrong, but that’s part of the dilemma. I can’t get what I can’t describe.

I do have wooden pulls scavenged over the past several years, but they’re oak and I’d rather not introduce a new type of wood (FAIL, Point 2). I found brass pulls at a flea market and bought the pair, but then figured consistency was important (FAIL, Point 2). Then I bought (for $2) a pair of small porcelain pulls and matched them up with recessed pulls my dad had on hand. Ah, a possibility here!

A big dislike was the uber-shininess of the recessed pulls (FAIL, Point 2). Who wants chrome on their bench? Not me. So I tried to ‘stress’ them. First I heated them up with a torch. No go. Then soaked the lot of them in white vinegar for a week. Still shiny. Then I tried sandblasting them, just so they wouldn’t shine so darned much. Well, when I did that, the pull portion of the hardware came free from the backs way too easily. Damaged goods, not durable… (FAIL, Points 1 and 2). Urg.

On to the catalogs. Most diverse collection of pulls was in the Van Dyke’s on line store, and here’s what I settled on:

Seeing the range of prices for pulls and other assorted hardware was a real eye opener. What I got was modest compared to what was out there, let me tell you. Of course, for those who may read this that are ‘in the business’ of building custom cabinetry, I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know.

To mount the pulls on the Gang of Four only meant to keep them vertically aligned. Found the center of the Small Pair to set the positions there for each pull, then lined up the ones for the Big Pair and all was good.

Measurements were set and repeated with combination square and large-ish divider…

and squares only on the Big Drawer:

From that point, used a center punch tool to mark screw locations on each drawer face. Wood screws (Slotted! Yay!) sent with the pulls were stressed to match, but were too long. The bench grinder fixed that, though. Punch, Drill and Drive, I say!!

So where are we now with the cabinet?
I owe you an entry on drawer assembly that will recap what’s been done AND include what will be done to finish the Small Pair, but with hardware installed on 60% of the project, this is the cabinet today:

Three more posts and this epic project will be complete and I’ll (finally!) be able to load it up with tools. Oh, how nice that will be! As always, thanks for reading.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



9 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9815 posts in 1251 days


#1 posted 1135 days ago

Regrets for the strange camera angles that are in the pics above; Photobucket misbehaving again OR it’s another user training issue. Hope to correct the final couple of pictures, anyway; they’re most important.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4800 posts in 1256 days


#2 posted 1135 days ago

Those appear robust and sturdy. Also, they go very well with the style and color of the bench. Certainly goes along with your taste in vintage tools.
Great post.

So, you have the drawer bottoms done?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

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lysdexic

4800 posts in 1256 days


#3 posted 1135 days ago

The other knobs/pulls are simply a No-Go IMO.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9815 posts in 1251 days


#4 posted 1135 days ago

Ahhh, pictures have self corrected!

Thanks, Scott, for the comments. I had a hard time finding something right and it meant something now that I’ve put all the time into the build. Call it age, wear or patina, but I really connect with quality, old tools that work wood and pulls that appeared that way was pure Bonus!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9815 posts in 1251 days


#5 posted 1135 days ago

Small Pair are as you see them in the last pic- not done. We’re real time.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2282 days


#6 posted 1135 days ago

those pulls look so much better than shiny chrome – nice choice

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1288 days


#7 posted 1135 days ago

Great choice.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4800 posts in 1256 days


#8 posted 1135 days ago

every time I come to this post and begin to quickly scroll down those two porcelain knobs look like 2 eyeballs looking at me. I have scroll back real just to remember what they are.

Just thought that I would add something meaningful to the blog.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9815 posts in 1251 days


#9 posted 1135 days ago

Thanks, everyone for the feedback!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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