I have hard time lately getting things going on the blog. I’m still blaming it on the time-change…but there’s probably more to it.
Anyway, I started working full-time in the shop again. Just didn’t shoot much. I have a small version of Schwarz’ tool chest underway, for when I travel to workshops. I haven’t decided whether to paint it like the first one. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=paint
One idea is to nail moldings on it, to mimic a joined chest. I’ll shoot some of it next week.
Then I did some tool handles today, an old Karl Larsson hatchet, and a new knife blade. Mark Anderson at Winterthur told me of a great website where you can buy more knives than you can shake a stick at. http://www.ragweedforge.com/index.html#catalog I held back and only bought three blades…but I know I’ll be back there someday.
Meanwhile, I have until December to finish the chest of drawers I started as part of my Winterthur demonstration. I’ll need all that time for sure. I had framed the basic upper case, which will house two shallow side-by-side drawers above one very deep, full-width drawer. The top drawers are about 4 1/2” deep, with a rail above and below them.
nailing the bottom on the drawer
When I framed the side elevation, I forgot that the upper rail at the side corresponds to the top drawers in front, and the moldings that runs above & below them. So my first side upper rails were only 3 1/2” high, but once I started to look at it, I realized I had to go back & re-do these rails. 6 1/2” is more like it. I hate having to extend mortises, it’s a nuisance. But it’s worth taking the time this early on to make sure this piece is right in the end. (note that in the picture, you can see the pin holes bored for the initial, wrong-sized upper rails. I will put one more pin hole down near the bottom of these rails.) There will be applied moldings run in line with the top and bottom edges of these rails.)
corrected upper side rails
interior view, showing the beveled panels
Mine is not a copy of a particular example, but is based on the one at the MFA and one at Yale. The MFA one is made almost entirely of riven cedrela (Spanish cedar). Mine has an oak frame, but (sawn) cedrela panels. The moldings will be cedrela as well, both those applied to the framing, and the drawer fronts’ decorations. Working with a timber like this is a bit dicey compared to how you can treat riven oak. I beveled the panels without the hatchet, started with a plane, finished with a spokeshave. Easy does it, these can break if not handled carefully.
(here’s some of the previous mentions of the chests of drawers that I am studying for this work… http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=cedrela )
planing bevels on cedrela
finishing a bevel w spokeshave
Which brings me to the next part. Unfortunately, my classes at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking in April had be be cancelled due to under-enrollment. I appreciated Tim Lawson & Jim Tolpin taking a chance on me, and I’m sorry it didn’t work for us. Maybe my New-England-y 17th-century outlook doesn’t fly out in the newer West. BUT one door closes, another one opens. It means I get time to be a student in Matt Bickford’s class at Lie-Nielsen in April. I’m bringing some cedrela with me, and Matt says we can work on that on the 2nd day. That will give my moldings a jump start so I can keep the chest of drawers moving ahead.
UPDATE: I forgot to include this shot from taking the kids to school today. In the Home of Applied Paranoia, it’s good to have someone watch your back. Here, it’s a case of “you watch my back, I’ll watch yours.” – Red-shouldered hawks.