LumberJocks

Small Apothecary Chest

  • Advertise with us
Project by Bertha posted 11-28-2017 04:18 PM 1130 views 4 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ultimately, I want to make a massive map chest or apothecary chest. Something legendary like you see in early 1900s country stores. I usually start with a miniature version, so I made this 12-drawer using a lot of scrap from other projects. My friend said, “what, did you run low on wood?” pointing to the knots, etc. That was intentional, as I have plenty of clear, boring wood.

Like Bruce Jenner, I started with a carcass and cut a little here, add a little there. This is 3/4” cherry and the thru-DTs are pretty chunky.

I had a dovetail blowout and patched it with ebony for style points. I guess it’s G&G now.

Next, I dadoed with a machine.

Then I embarked upon the drawer divider dadoes by an approach entirely too complicated. I screwed up an entire run of horizontal dividers, but recycled them later in the build. I realize I should have batch-cut them but I thought I was up to the challenge.

All dividers are 1/2” cherry and don’t interlock. The frames for the drawer supports are machine rail/stile with no dust panels.

Then, lots and lots of drawers.

A lot of my scraps are scraps because they were punky. I found this weird rotten wood stabilizer and it really works. Handcuts like normal wood after hardened. It’s like a thin, dilute CA glue of some sort. But it’s not sticky. I don’t know what the hell it is.

Halves in 3/4” front, fulls in 1/2 inch backs/sides.

Plane picture

I made them one at a time so I could try different dovetail spacing, width, pitch, etc. I needed practice with the dividers.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

as you can see, all drawers are inset. I wasn’t terribly concerned about reveal and I prefer the look. Yes, the fronts are sequential from a single board lol. Back is 3/8” chestnut set into a machine cut rebate.

Going to do something different for the plinth/bracket feet. I don’t generally like curvy things but I wanted the contrast. I was going to make the side profile (front and back feet) look like a whale but it got a little weird. The front feet are oversized and sweeping on purpose. I know I should cut the dovetails before I shape the board, but again, the challenge. Which I failed. I had two feet disintegrate under the chisel (knots and spalt) and ended up having to do most of it with a fretsaw (which I am not terribly skilled at).

It is alleged that my feet are somewhat phallic in nature. So far, 3 logs, 2 twigs, and 5 branches have accused me of sexual harassment and I expect there will be more.

I did something a little weird with the plinth. Rather than apply molding and sacrifice drawer clearance, I molded 3 inch wide strips and used them as the base for the feet.

Oh yeah, everything is hide glue. I glued and 23Ga pinned everything in place.

I ordered a few different types of pulls. I got them from AliBaba, so I got like 100 of each lol, and settled on these. I made a jig to line them all up above center. NOTE: do not make drilling jigs out of scrap that’s riddled with worm holes.

OK, for finishing, I FLOOD coated everything with Natural Danish Oil and let it sit until the next step (why the earlier pieces look darker). I then wetsanded with 800grit and let the nasty slurry dry. I then scrubbed out the slurry, leaving a thin coat of oil to dry. No wax yet.

It’s much darker outside the shop LEDs but still much lighter than the sideboard I made from the same wood a (year?) ago. I don’t know where I’m going to put it yet but it’s friggin cool. I’ll let you know about one secret compartment out of many.

I’ve chopped so many dovetails that I had to patch my bench with something hard lol. That wagon is so convenient to grab parts and chisel in front of it. My bench could be 12 inches and I’d be OK.

Thanks for looking!

edit

forgot the finished indoor pics lol

I’ll throw some wax on it and block plane the feet to make it stable once it acclimates.

I don’t know if you can see it but on one side of the feet, I chiseled out some dovetail meat to make it look like old damage. I love the look of old, old, damaged furniture that’s still functioning perfectly, repairs or otherwise. Like the old Shaker drawers that are literally burnished by the knuckles when opening the drawers. Or an applied shim on a drawer where it’s simply worn away. Or homemade boxing on a worn molding plane. At the same time, I hate mission style and oak in general. Make what you want. The perk of the sport.

edit2

I was waiting to see if anyone noticed. If you look at it from a distance, you might see it. I made the middle column of drawers narrower, used the darkest endgrain I had for the vertical dividers, and made the feet wide in the front in an effort to trick your brain into thinking it’s mildly Bombay in the front. It didn’t really work but I bet if I stepped back the molding between the two front feet, it might.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog





41 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

27105 posts in 2177 days


#1 posted 11-28-2017 04:21 PM

Great looking

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

682 posts in 2930 days


#2 posted 11-28-2017 04:21 PM

I like it. Much more attractive than Bruce Jenner.

View terryR's profile

terryR

6987 posts in 2148 days


#3 posted 11-28-2017 04:25 PM

What an awesome build! Love all the dovetails. This will be worth a fortune after you are gone. :)

So much nicer than my attempt. Love the finish. And the pulls.

just cannot stop…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

9442 posts in 2280 days


#4 posted 11-28-2017 04:35 PM

Is that secret compartment where you hide your Chlorpromazine and lube?

Why no dust panels?

That plane iron.

Garret Wade dovetail marker? ‘Cause you’re fancy AF?

-- ~Tony

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5068 posts in 2105 days


#5 posted 11-28-2017 04:51 PM

That’s a wonderful chest. First rate build.

View Andre's profile

Andre

1496 posts in 1645 days


#6 posted 11-28-2017 04:52 PM

Purity Nice, I think the legs deserve a do over? They say practice makes perfect, I still need a lot of practice!
Cut 4 tight ones and 5th you can park a turd in? Oh well they also say we learn from our mistakes, hope to live long enough to prove that false.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13461 posts in 2532 days


#7 posted 11-28-2017 05:00 PM

Andre, that’s a great idea about the legs. How soon do you think you can have them ready? ;-)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

9442 posts in 2280 days


#8 posted 11-28-2017 05:04 PM

You like bottom freezers?

-- ~Tony

View Andre's profile

Andre

1496 posts in 1645 days


#9 posted 11-28-2017 05:07 PM



Andre, that s a great idea about the legs. How soon do you think you can have them ready? ;-)

- Bertha

Send me one of them legs as a pattern and I’ll see what’s in the scrap bin for wood, Q.S, white Oak work? :)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13461 posts in 2532 days


#10 posted 11-28-2017 05:11 PM

Tony, You should see what I hide in that tube within the false dovetails. Dust panels? Because, Tony, I didn’t want to waste a bunch of wood planing it down and it was hard enough to use plywood on the drawer bottoms. However, French bottoms on a 96-drawer apothecary would really put one over the mark. It’s like completing a massive secretary by hand, you can kind of put your tools away.

That’s a Hock iron/chip (chipping iron?) set is in A2. Big ole slabs on that BR, AF.

No, even fancier, I think that saddle is from LN. And it’s cocobolo, for your information, smarty. That’s an obscure, rare, expensive wood that that likes of you would know nothing about.

I really like those little bowtie markers. I don’t know where I got that one but I bought a brass one to fill the gaps in an Amazon order for cheap. I was surprised when it came as a big slug of brass. The perpendicular has got to be 3/4×5/8. I plan to order a bunch and just cut them up for something else.

I’ve bought some stuff from Garrett Wade and it’s either really nice, or pitiful. I bought an ash/stainless shovel there that’s the cat’s pajamas.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

9442 posts in 2280 days


#11 posted 11-28-2017 05:18 PM

Lube dude. Lube. You have tubes too? Are they brass?

Can you actually waste scrap wood? Now you’re making excuses. If you like dust you can just go ahead and embrace the fact.

-- ~Tony

View madts's profile

madts

1820 posts in 2179 days


#12 posted 11-28-2017 05:20 PM

Wow. Just plain old Wow.

==Madts.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

862 posts in 2281 days


#13 posted 11-28-2017 05:21 PM

GREAT project and post!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13461 posts in 2532 days


#14 posted 11-28-2017 05:30 PM

“merkin” Tony, that’s a good point and I will concede this one. The thought of gluing up a bunch of 3/4” scraps big enough to get through the planer did not appeal to me, but you are correct, a true craftsman would have either picked up a scrub or dovetailed them all together.

At the time I built some of my stuff, I planed perfectly good panels down to 1/4 for dust panels and drawer bottoms. It was an exercise in excess but justified though some homebrewed “purity” notion. Turning your own pulls, that sort of thing, I’m trying to get away from.

That being said, my sock drawers are 1/16 reveal inset with flush dust panels. Like your basement, it just forces them down there and they can’t escape until you’re ready to slide your foot in them.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8333 posts in 1325 days


#15 posted 11-28-2017 05:34 PM

Vedy nice.

Now I know where you keep the roofies.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

showing 1 through 15 of 41 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com