Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" #13: week

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Blog entry by a1Jim posted 06-21-2010 04:51 AM 5988 reads 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: week Part 13 of Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" series Part 14: week »

Charles Neil lowboy build-along, # 13

At our last episode, we were at the ranch and Skip and Marty were…….?! When I left you, I’d just completed gluing and pegging the lowboy together. Now, I measure and cut the material for the drawer shelves, in this case, made from poplar. After cutting all the material, I lay the sections of wood out and draw a line across the material where the biscuits are to be placed in the dust shelves material.
num 1

To make things easier, I take out my bench hook to hold the pieces while I use my biscuit joiner.

num 2

num 3
num 4

I glue them up, clamp them and check for square by using my trammel points.

num 7

num  8

This eliminates the need to have a measuring tape.

I write the time on each piece and I let all the shelves’ glue dry

num 5

. After un- clamping all the drawer shelves, I put them in place one by one

num 7

num 9

num 10

, making sure they are square with the case from all directions and this includes the frame that the top will be. Each frame is glued in the front of the case and screwed in the back, to make them adjustable when the drawers are installed.
num 13

num 12

num 14

Next up, I start the gathering of material for the drawers. My plan is to use maple for the drawer sides and back. But after finding the maple that I’ve stored for a couple years, and that was stored by my son as a favor, I take it down and do a skim on my planner. From this point, it’s good news/ bad news. The good news is, all of this maple is nicely figured.
num 15
Now I cut out the poplar to the exact width and height of the drawer openings for the backs and mahogany fronts and just a ½ “shorter for the sides. After some test fits, they’re put in the case to acclimate over night, but longer would be better.

The bad news… I don’t have any other appropriate material for the drawer. After e- mailing, Charles he said he wouldn’t use this figured maple, because it’s just too nice. After digging around, I find some poplar, some of it 16 quarter, and re-saw just enough for the drawer sides and backs.

I set up one of my dovetail fixtures and get ready to dovetail the drawers.


This is where I will continue next time.

Remember, the techniques used are from Charles Neil’s subscription online webisode.
Sign up for Charles, “Mastering Woodworking” webisodes

-- Custom furniture

25 comments so far

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13421 posts in 2427 days

#1 posted 06-21-2010 05:03 AM

moving right along here jim ,
looking good too .

can;t wait to see the final work ,

i have a watch ,
and a square too .
i might try this someday !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


113817 posts in 2663 days

#2 posted 06-21-2010 05:05 AM

I’m sure you would be alot quicker David

-- Custom furniture

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13421 posts in 2427 days

#3 posted 06-21-2010 05:12 AM

not me , jim .

i’m still waiting to finish my starburts table !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Dave T

196 posts in 2706 days

#4 posted 06-21-2010 05:14 AM

Nice Jim. I look forward to see your progress on this every week.

View DAWG's profile


2850 posts in 2223 days

#5 posted 06-21-2010 05:43 AM

Looks great so far Jim, thanks for sharing.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

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16726 posts in 2762 days

#6 posted 06-21-2010 06:19 AM

Lookin Good Jim.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 2320 days

#7 posted 06-21-2010 06:27 AM

I second the trammel points, nice work.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View Dez's profile


1156 posts in 3164 days

#8 posted 06-21-2010 07:55 AM

Love this blog Jim!
I built an assembly table with 2 edges that I could raise above the top, providing a square corner I could use to square up the part, having gotten tired of moving the trammel/tape corner to corner. I just clamped the assembly to the raised edges.
I really appreciate the effort taken to include us in this project!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

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Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 2277 days

#9 posted 06-21-2010 08:16 AM

Looking good Jim, I never thought of using trammel arm for checking square, very cool idea!!!

The build is looking great. Skip & Marty….The Mickey Mouse show??? You were a mousekateer?

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View tdv's profile


1139 posts in 2156 days

#10 posted 06-21-2010 09:55 AM

Thanks Jim for all the hard work you put in on our behalf with all the detail I’m definitely going to use this as a reference guide when I make mine . I have 3 more projects on the go at the moment but I can’t wait to start this. Thanks again Jim, by the way that looks to be a fantastic shop you have there from what you see in the background
God bless

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

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2066 posts in 2151 days

#11 posted 06-21-2010 11:01 AM

Great progress Jim. Keep up the great work..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 3088 days

#12 posted 06-21-2010 01:28 PM

Hi all, Nice work as always Jim, the trammels are a great tip. I wonder about the wisdom of mounting those dust shelves rigid as you did, the difference in the wood species expanding and shrinking at different rates is not a concern? They looked pretty tight?

Have a great day.
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

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5185 posts in 2968 days

#13 posted 06-21-2010 02:11 PM

I also like the trammel points usage for square.
Why didn’t I think of that? It’s brilliant.

Thanks for the approval for Poplar drawer sides. I always wondered if that was OK.

Good build Sir,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3487 days

#14 posted 06-21-2010 02:12 PM

Jim: it’ coming along great. A nice series of photos.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 2162 days

#15 posted 06-21-2010 03:47 PM

I really like watching and reading this series. Good stuff Jim. Can’t wait to see the next installment!

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

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