Friday, May 4, 2012

Smaller work...cont'd

I had the opportunity to snap more photos of the ongoing jewelry chest build. Test fitting is a large component in the process of creating these jewelry chests. There are numerous components that come together either in a mitered corner or a rabbeted corner. With this in mind, I make extensive use of shooting boards to trim these small components. The components consist mainly of drawer, compartment and tray dividers as well as the actual trays and drawers. Each of the pieces needs to be individually fitted after preliminary trimming. The interior of these chests is solid cherry and I make sure to use straight-grained rift sawn wood for the most part. I have been most successful with this cut of wood and find anything else tears and splinters easily. Since the tolerances are low in fitting these components... I like to have very clean cuts.

In the first photo I am test fitting the chest sides, front, back and top together. The sides have mitered and reinforced corners so absolute accuracy is a must. I also have the solid mahogany top inserted and trim this to allow for a consistent reveal between the chest and lid. Also, since the lid floats I pin it at the center allowing for equivalent movement. The band clamp I use is great for this purpose since it can be adjusted with one hand while I align the parts together. At this time the edges of the chest are square and will be next shaped and rounded over as part of the design. I have also designed and built chests similar to this with square edges and contrasting banding installed. So we can say this juncture is where this jewelry chest morphs into a rounded edge chest. Also important is to ensure that the chest remains square, that is opposing diagonals are exactly the same length. This is incredibly important since the interior component joinery accuracy hinges on the chest being absolutely square.

One of the next steps is to create and install the carved wenge handles. I have one handle for the lid and another for the lower drawer. Again, accuracy is kind of important in this step in that the handles need to be matched in shape and size as well as their position aligned along the front of the chest. Creating these wenge handles involves a considerable amount of hand shaping. I've been fairly successful with this jewelry chest design and I am glad to say it now spans three decades. I'll post a photo or two of the completed chests soon.


Tico Vogt said...

Hi Norman,

The chest looks really good.

I'm curious about that band clamp. Is it made by Bessey?

Tico Vogt

Anonymous said...

The brand is Wolcraft. Yuuo find this brand in woodworking retailers here in Canada. Not sure where to find this in the US, although it originates from there.
Maybe a Google lookup for "Wolcraft".