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Peckovich-designed Tansu Chest

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Project by Glen Peterson posted 52 days ago 923 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This case was designed by Mike Peckovich, art director of Fine Woodworking. I build it during a class he taught at the CT Valley School of Woodworking, where I’ve taken many classes over the years. I build this as a gift for my daughter who recently graduated from high school. The class met during a weekend in April and a weekend in May.

The outer case is made of QSWO and dovetailed. It is about 22” x 7” x 7”. The dovetails are interesting in that they are all slightly proud of the surface and are beveled so they are smooth to the touch. (Mike refered to this style as “wabi-sabi” a Japanese term that relates to acknowledging and using the imperfections inherent in woodworking into our work. He used the example of making making dovetails flush. Over time given the natural movement of wook, the tails may no longer be flush and the piece might seem flawwed. The wabi-sabi style takes the woodmovement into account and makes the pins and tails proud, i.e. not flush, from the start. Very interesting concept.)

The case has 10 drawers that are about 4 1/8” by 4 5/8” and either 1 3/4” or 2 3/4” tall. Half of the drawers are white oak, and half are walnut. The tails on the drawer fronts are also proud. Mike’s orignal prototype had turned ebony knobs. We were given black metal knobs as part of the class, but since both my daughter and I are turners, she wanted me to make ebony knows as well. The knobs were turned from 3/8” x 3/8” cylinders with a little 3/16” tenon. I used a Jacobs chuck in the headstock to turn them. It was quite a challenge turning such small delicate knobs, especially since the ebony was very brittle. (I turned 13 or 14 blanks to get 10 good knobs.) My tools were also dangerously close to the tip of the Jacobs chuck, so I designed what I think was a simple and clever safety device. The drawers are lined with suede. The inner partitions are walnut, about 3/16” thick. There is a sliding oak door that can reveal either side of drawers.

I’m particularly proud of the dovetails. We used the blue tape method Mike described in FW. The tails were cut on the table saw using a blade that the top of the blade ground at a 10 degree angle. The pins were then cut by hand. If you take a look at the 3rd and fourth photos that focus on the dovetails, you’ll see that there are no gaps. I’ve cut dovetails dozens of times, but never this well. I was skeptical about the blue tape method, but it really helped me to see where I needed to cut the pins, a great help at my age when my eyesight isn’t as acute as it once was.

It is finished with a spit coat of shellac, 3 coats of Waterlox original, and finally with a coat of my homemade beeswax & walnut oil finish.

Any comments or critique appreciated.

Cheers,

-- Glen





9 comments so far

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

507 posts in 251 days


#1 posted 52 days ago

Beautiful work Glen. and a very unique design. I’m unfamiliar with the blue tape method, so I’m going to look it up right now.

-- I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1732 days


#2 posted 52 days ago

Beautiful project! And well done!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View BigDumbAnimal's profile

BigDumbAnimal

56 posts in 409 days


#3 posted 52 days ago

That turned out great, I’m sure your daughter loves it.

-- Semper Fi BDA

View isotope's profile

isotope

18 posts in 227 days


#4 posted 52 days ago

That is a beautiful chest. Very well done!

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5257 posts in 1201 days


#5 posted 52 days ago

Beautiful.

View Rick's profile

Rick

6455 posts in 1635 days


#6 posted 51 days ago

Very Nice Work Glen. Well Done! Thanks For Sharing.

Rick

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Dave Dufour's profile

Dave Dufour

243 posts in 581 days


#7 posted 51 days ago

Very Nice Work

-- Dave, from Canada, http://simplywoodproducts.ca

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1692 days


#8 posted 50 days ago

So beautiful work Glen.
I always feel like a have ten thumbs when I see your work.
Love the proud doves and the little knobs-
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

468 posts in 716 days


#9 posted 50 days ago

Great dovetails – really goes well with this piece

-- Greg Simon

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