Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (23)

This time up, I’m milling up the sides for the drawers, made of rift~quarter sawn H. Mahogany:

I had roughed out the underside, as you can see, to produce a large dado, using the table saw (wish I had a dado head!).

These are the four drawer sides after rough milling has been completed:

There is a change also to the design of the sides, now one piece units with an i-beam form, instead of the two-piece approaches seen earlier. More on this in a later post. You can see by the 1/4″ (6mm) dado in the above photo where the floor panel will run. The cross section of these sides is at an intermediate stage at this point.

While that was going on, I moved the latticed side panels along by doing sub-assembly glue-ups. Here’s the very first side panel sub-assembly glue-up:

While that unit was sitting in clamps, I got to work on preparing the stock for the drawer fronts. I opted to make these two pieces from a pair of quartersawn boards of curly shedua I had left over from the previous cabinet project. A pass through the jointer and planer, both fitted just recently with new knives, reminded me immediately of the challenge of working this material: it tears out so easily, regardless of how sharp the knives are or whether one takes a deep cut or a shallow one. You can’t get to much closer than 1.5 mm from a face with conventional planing before you risk a bit of tear out going too deep into the material.

Again, the pattern mill was the answer to this problem, as it allows me to process the drawer front to a very flat and dimensionally accurate block, with no tear out problems (so long as one chooses cutters carefully, a insert-knife single fly cutter in this case):

Here are the two dimensioned drawer front blanks side by side as they will be positioned in the cabinet:

A while later I had the surfaces planed clean and the mortises for the drawer side’s multiple tenons roughed out:

And the fronts have been milled in a manner similar to the sides, and with much the same front profile as the drawers for the previous cabinet I made for the client:

In this drawer, which I am calling the ‘Mark III’ version, two of the four tenons will be carried through from the sides.

Curly shedua is a beautiful material but not easy to work with as far as I am concerned. Getting the fronts to this stage reminded me that I will have to order some hardware from Japan in the near future, for the drawer and door pulls.

My main goal the past week though has been to get the latticed panels into glue up. This was looking like it might have to be put off for a few days, due to some indecision about finishing the pieces that surround the panels. The German oil/wax no VOC finish I chose to use, which is an ‘apply one coat’ sort of affair, made the mahogany panels darker than I was expecting. I eventually decided I did not want to apply the same finish to the cuban mahogany frame pieces as they are already quite dark enough. So, I have decided that the frame members are only going to be planed and receive a coat of wax. Wax offers only limited protection for the wood, but the piece is in a situation where it will not receive high wear and tear so I think this seems the best direction.

After waxing the frame pieces surrounding the panel, I got to the glue up at long last:

One of the benefits to a table saw with 72″ (1.83m) of rip capacity on the table.

Another view:

Here’s how the first side looked after it came out of the nest of clamps:

It seemed to be laying nice and flat, which was the outcome to which I had been aiming. The lining for the pentagonal opening has yet to be done, but it will happen pretty soon..

With the first side out of the way, then the second side could also be glued up:

Lotsa clamps, but managing to avoid having to squeeze anything too tight. Finishing the lattice with wax is certainly going to try my patience in the near future….

I hope, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you are seeming some signs of spring by now. We’ve got a few bulbs up in our front yard, and have had a couple of pretty decent days in the past couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to spending some time outdoors and in the garden soon.

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.