The design is taken almost exactly from Making Authentic Shaker Furniture. The only changes I’ve made are to the layout of the drawers, the addition of a chamfer on the underside of the top and an open top to the carcase, which may or may not be a change. The “measured drawings” don’t go into much detail. It’s a new construction technique for me and I just didn’t like the idea of screwing two solid pieces of wood together; it seems like a bit of a waste even if the open construction takes longer. When it comes time to finish I’ll say more about my paint plans. As with all my projects since starting at North Bennet Street School I’ve used only Old Brown Glue.
So far there are 50 hand cut dovetails plus 12 more in the horizontal and vertical dividers. At least 75 more to come in the drawers. If you trimmed all the fat it’s been about 85-90 hours.
Here are some shots of the build so far.
115+ board feet of poplar:
horizontal dividers installed:
open, unglued mortises allow the open top to move with the seasons:
early morning light:
rabbeting with a router allows the case to sit perfectly in the plinth, even if the case sides aren’t square to the front:
establishing pilot holes with one of my favorite tools, the gimlet:
laying out for one of the vertical dividers:
To those whose eyebrows go up when they see the picture of laying out the vertical dividers: I’m doing things out of order. I got a bit ahead of myself on the day I fit the horizontal dividers and just glued them in at the end of the day. Walking the dog that night I realized that I definitely should have fit and glued the vertical dividers in first. As it turns out I think I prefer doing in the way that I did, but only because the drawers are wide enough that I was still able to use my router plane.
-- Charles - www.hammcrafted.com