Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Drawer build (3)...

The drawer pulls are now complete and installed. I decided on blackwood as per the original design. The pulls are rectangular, 2 inches long , .75 inches deep (visible part) and approximately .25 inches thick. The width and length of the pulls was a matter of experimentation and as a mock-up I hot glued two to three different sizes to a drawer front blank I had as a spare.

Preparing the drawer pulls took a little time as I needed to create a shoulder on either side of the blanks and two other shoulders also. I use a rabbet block plane to create the long shoulders. The four shoulders form a tenon and enable the pulls to fit into a smaller mortise where none of the mortise walls are exposed. Due to the sheer number of drawers I decided on creating the mortise groove using the router table with stops. This took some time as I could only remove a very small amount per drawer for eight drawers. The cycle was repeated until the depth of the mortise for each drawer was approx. 5/16 inch, afterwards which I squared the ends of the groove by lightly paring using a small 3/16 inch chisel. Following this, I hand sawed and filed the sides of the pulls in the area of the tenon to create an accurate four-sided tenon to fit into the groove.

In the photo , the drawer pulls are installed and one remaining blackwood blank is also visible. I will use this to create the pulls for the front doors. The blank has already been rabbeted on either side to form a tenon. At this point , I simply need to decide on the length and depth of the pulls for each of the front doors. Part of my decision to create the drawer pulls the size I mentioned above, or 2 inches long and .75 inches deep, is also to have the pull act as a small fulcrum with a large bearing surface for a person to remove and hold the drawer with ease, thus the drawer can easily be removed with a single hand. If I instead made the pulls small, the pull itself could only really be used to pull the drawer open or closed but not help to lift it.

In the past day or so I've spent some time arranging the components of the stand for the jewelry armoire. The stand is comprised of four legs and four aprons, two side and a front and back apron. I want to make sure the grain orientation of the legs and the aprons is straight-grained, this involves some clever ripping of the legs to maintain straight grain on all four faces of each leg. I used a small template of the dimensions of the leg to overlay over each 8/4 inch thick, 36 inch long blank of cherry I have, which allows me to best orient the leg within the blank. The orientation of the grain for each of the aprons was very much the same, although not quite as straight-grained, but very much acceptable. I'm letting the rough sawn leg blanks acclimatize now to let the wood reach a "calm" state before proceeding.


amish said...

wow! looking sharp! so the mortises are made on the router table and the tenons by shoulder plane/handsaw method, love it!

Norman Pirollo said...

Hi Amish,

I decided on this due to the sheer number of mortises needed on the drawer fronts. It works well, as I can tune the tenon shoulders to fit snugly into the drawer front mortises which are all identical in width. I used a rabbet block plane, but a shoulder plane should work just as well. The side shoulders wee formed using a small detail saw, bench stop and patience to not overcut. I left the tenon slightly proud and filed it down afterwards to the same height as the side shoulders.

For the front doors, I will however be mortising the recesses for the pulls using chisels.

Thx for the compliment,