|Project by dakotawood||posted 03-18-2015 09:35 PM||2175 views||10 times favorited||29 comments|
Queen Ava that is! My wife wanted me to build a desk for our 9 year old daughter Ava. She wanted something girly, curvy, simple, yet elegant. So this is what I came up with on Sketchup:
I watched and read numerous things on the cabriole leg. Phil Lowe’s videos on FWW were top notch. I knew that I wanted cherry, so off to my local mill to pick some up. (I used soft maple for the interior drawer parts.) Picking out the best boards for the project:
Also had to buy a few more hand tools to work on the legs. I bought a couple Auriou rasps and a Veritas spokeshave. I loved all of these purchases – top notch tools.
I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time on the legs, so I sped things up with domino joinery for the aprons/legs. Here’s the square looking form to start with:
Made myself a template, then to the bandsaw to cut it. After that it was all hand tools to shape the legs. The hardest part was getting a good crisp shoulder line from the top of the leg to the flat apron part of the leg. A good chisel and shoulder plane worked well. I also actually learned how to use a card scraper correctly for the first time. What a joy to use!
Shaping after the bandsaw:
Right to left – square leg stock, off the bandsaw, after hand tool work:
Transition blocks are roughly cut. Much more work was needed after glueing them on. This was a very time consuming part. Lots of finessing with a chisel and scraper.
Hallelujah! Four legs that actually match! I took a caliper to them at a couple different spots and they were less than a 64th in difference from one another. Rather be lucky than good!
Fairly straightforward glue up using dominos and a couple pocket screws to further solidify things.
Sometimes I had some helpers out there:
This was where I was fine tuning the transition blocks flush with the legs. Took my time with it and it turned out just fine.
Hand planing the top. This was the first time I fully planed it flat. Was quite fun. Used my Veritas bevel up #5 – worked like butter! Finished it up with a #4. I still followed it up with some sandpaper.
I brushed on one coat of dewaxed shellac – first time brushing it on. I used my new Gramercy ox hair brush. What a joy to use. I still suck at it, but it is a sweet brush. I sanded that down, then sprayed 4 coats of water based lacquer satin (Target Coatings). Only had to sand after all the coats were on. I was happy with the build of the lacquer and sanded nice and smooth. All interior drawer parts received one coat of dewaxed shellac and then I waxed the drawer sides/bottoms and interior for a smooth slide.
For the drawers I used my new Leigh D4R Pro that I received for Xmas. This was the first time I used a jig. I actually struggled fine tuning things. I was still left feeling frustrated. I couldn’t get some of the gaps to close. Not a huge problem, but annoying none the less. I almost bagged it and started cutting by hand – actually would’ve been quicker this time! I need to set aside a day and get better acquainted with it I think.
My daughter absolutely loves it! She is one happy customer! I just received my glass topper for it today. I don’t want her messing things up. I’m actually pretty nervous having her use it!
Thanks for looking and reading! On to the next project…
-- Travis, South Dakota