I thought I would post a few pictures of my shop. I have recently moved and have redone my shop. My new location is much more permanent than before so I finally was able to do more permanent things such as ducted dust collection with homebuilt cyclone separator and 220v power!
The last part was the installation of the dividers and the upholstery work. I used faux suede and covered over 1/4 ply to create bottoms. The dividers were constructed with soft maple and finished with a paste wax. The ring divider was constructed with 1/4 foam rolled to make tubes and then glued to a base of plywood. The fabric was then pushed and glued into the gaps. Here are the final pictures.
The final step in construction was to create the drawers. For this I utilized solid walnut faces veneered with quilted sapele and soft maple drawer sides. I machine cut the dovetails as I wanted to speed along the project and simply did not have the time to handcut all 6 drawers. I made sure to keep the veneer as close to matched as possible between drawer parts so that it appeared to be one continuous piece of wood.
I cut the drawer fronts to match the opening precisely and used veneers as shims to maintain exact spacing. I then cut the rest of the drawers and dovetailed them together. I routed grooves in the side of the drawers to accept a solid walnut piece. On the solid walnut piece I routed a groove that would accept a metal rod to act as a drawer stop. I had to manufacture these in the shop using metal rods and tapping it to fit a brass knurled knob I found at the hardware store. To fit the drawers in the cabinet, I used my favorite method of using double stick carpet tape on the outside of the slide. When the drawer is in the correct position, I simply apply pressure and the tape holds the drawer in place. Because the cabinet already was finished with danish oil and shellac, I used gorilla glue to glue the drawer slides and pinned with a pin nailer.
I then drilled the holes for the knob pulls. Because I didn’t want to see the screw on the inside, I used hanger bolts with loctite to secure the threads and then screwed in the pulls. The walnut should have no problem with pullout. I mounted the top with SOSS hinges so that they would be hidden when the box was closed. I used one door stop to hold the top open and prevent breaking the hinges. I then glued in the beveled edge mirror with mirror mastic.
The next thing I did was to veneer and glue up the opening cabinet sides. This required veneering up panels with birdseye maple and quilted maple solid wood edgings. I mitered the edges and fortified the joint with biscuits and walnut splines. I made my own spline jig from scraps, it was extremely easy to do in about 30 min of time. After everything was glued up, I finished the inside of the outside compartments and the doors with a french polish. I mortised in the knife hinges and assembled the doors to the sides. I then drilled in holes for a bullet catch. The catch came with a strike plate but the tolerances were very tight and I didn’t like the look. So I employed a simple trick to find out the exact point where the bullet stopped at close. I put a piece of masking tape on the receiving side of the cabinet and closed the door. The tape showed this point by being more firmly affixed to the receiving end versus the lightly applied rest of the tape. I drilled a very shallow hole with a large drill bit for a bullet stop rest. I finished it by adding dye to match the walnut veneer.
The next step is to create the top box portion. This was with solid curly maple with mitered and biscuited construction. It utilizes the top of the cabinet for the bottom. I fixed it to the top utilizing pocket screws. I created the top of the box with 1/2 plywood veneered with quilted sapele and backer curly maple. I then framed with solid curly maple.
At this point, the cabinet was basically complete.
Continuing from the first post, I went about constructing this design. the first step was to make the solid wood base. I did so with curly maple lumber. I glued up stock thick enough for the legs to curve and taper them. Before cutting the legs, I cut the mortises. Post mortising, the legs were rough cut on the bandsaw. I cleaned up the sawmarks with a simple drum sander. I applied a dye mixture to add some color to the base. The base was then finished with pad applied shellac and a wax topcoat.
The next step was to begin veneering the panels to be used for the cabinet pieces. I used a good quality 3/4 plywood and veneered both sides and with multiple different veneers. To make doing a profile on the edges possible, I framed each component on visible areas with solid wood walnut.
My latest project has been to design and build a jewelry armoire for a client. The idea was to create something very functional, elegant, and with sophistication while balancing the fine line between modern, craftsman, and art deco. For the critical design considerations, this box should be approximately chest height so as to meet face level with the mirror, hold 100 necklaces, and have room for about 150 individual pieces and have a ring roll.
I included in the design 6 drawers with solid wood separators. I wanted to highlight various natural woods and used curly maple for the legs and top. The sides of the box utilize knife hinges for strength with the bonus of them being more or less hidden.
I chose to use various veneers for the project – walnut burl and straight walnut, quilted sapele, curly maple, etimoe, and birdseye maple. part of the design was to use the contrast from these woods to make statements. Looking from the top down, you should basically seed the dark woods of the walnut burl and in the center the quilted sapele framed by the very light curly maple. From the front, you see the contrast of light on top, bottom, and sides with a dark center chest of drawers.
The table is now completely constructed and ready for finishing. I had done a pretty good job to this point keeping things finish sanded as I constructed them so my sanding work was quick and consisted of scraping off and residual glue that was visible. I applied a semi-gloss polyurethane to the base of the table. I wanted to put a varnish on top for increased durability but the rosewood oils reacted with the finsh and it never dried so i had to scrape off that finish. I gave up after a while and just decided to go for a high gloss finish with shellac and the french polish technique. After several days and hours of hand rubbing the result turned out extremely well. Here are the pre and post images.
The frame is assembled and glued up. The top is completed. The next step is to cut the drawers and create the slides. I saved the piece I removed from the apron as the drawer front. I want to have this fit in just about where it was so that the grain matches perfectly. It will also be inset. In terms of drawer planning, probably the best and most attractive solution to attach the drawer to the face is through half blind dovetails. These are dovetails that are hidden from the front and mate into the side of the front. I will use clear maple and fit them into the walnut creating a nice contracst and hopefully not highlighting any imperfections that will likely exist since they will be hand cut. I will rabbit in 1/4 in plywood for the base of the drawer to make things simple. The dovetails were all handcut with a lot of the rough work done on a band saw and coping saw and then finished clean with a chisel. The rabbets were then cut for the base and the area for the slide which will be 3/4″ x 1/4″ solid walnut. After the drawer was assembled and cleaned up the slides were fit to the grooves and planed down to flush.
After planing down, I attached a small piece of walnut in the back that would act as a drawer stop to prevent the drawer from pulling out. I screwed it in so I could effectively turn it on or off by rotating the piece around the central screw.
When the drawer is assembled and the slides fit, it is ready for integration into the table. First though is the completion of the table itself. For this task I used pocket screws to attach the top to the underside. I won’t go into the details. The next step is to get the blocks that will hold the rails in place attached to the underside of the table. For this, I used the drawer itself as the guide and placed it as it will be when finished. I marked the base of 2 support sides to the underside of the table and then attached with glue and pocketscrews. After this was steady, I could now use the sides to determine the plane of the drawer. I placed the drawer flush and correctly in the slot in the apron. After ensuring it was both flush with the front and centered, I marked the base of the drawer on the side support and the place where the rails were to be at from the rear and front. I removed the drawer and applied glue to the rails and placed them close to where they were going to be on the sides. After waxing the grooves in the drawer with furiture wax to both avoid glue from sticking and to help it slide in the future, I slid the drawer onto the rails that were tacked in the side with the glue. I moved them to their final position and then pulled out the drawer and clamped in place to hold until the glue dried. After this process was completed I finished up by also waxing the rails.
The next step is to take apart the temporarily assembled frame and finish the fine details of the legs. This was done by first rough cutting a 45 degree bevel from each of the edges of the legs on the bandsaw and then completing the rounding by hand using a rasp. The rule for all woodworking is always remove the biggest pieces possible using a tool as intended but never remove too much. Simple in theory, difficult in practice at least at the beginning. Here is a picture of the rounded legs rasped and sanded to finish level. A rectangular opening was cut in one side of the apron to accommodate the drawer.
The next step is to assemble the frame and glue up. Obviously, any problems in joining the pieces should have been addressed in the step before when doing the test fit. Glueing up can be stressful so proper preparation is necessary. Get your glue, brush, and protection set up first then pour the glue and work quickly. Make sure to get both sides of the joint to ensure glue is everywhere when you can’t see it anymore inside the joint. A badly glued joint might feel strong but fail catastrophically. After the glue is in and the joints assembled, compress the joints first with a rubber mallet and then with a bar clamp. Measure the diagonals to ensure squareness and place on level floor. Clamp at 90 degrees or cross clamp if perfectly square from the start. In this example, I utilized the inherent tension to provide the cross clamping pressure required.
The next step is to construct the tenons. I made sure to really practice a couple until I was satisfied with the technique so I wouldn’t bag the actual pieces. I went through 3 different attempts to figure out what works best with my shop and my hands. I attempted all hand cut, bandsaw cut, and tenon jig on table saw and stop on sliding miter saw. I chose the latter based on the results overall. I marked the tenon thickness using a knife gauge to ensure it was centered, then measured the distance and marked off using the same gauge. From there I drew the 45 angle along which the shoulders were to be cut. Having that accomplished, I set the sliding miter saw at 45 degree bevel and set the depth. I cut that to the level of the tenon, or just shy of it and then finished the cheek of the tenon on the tenoning jig on my table saw. There were two different heights, as you can imagine, intersecting the 45 angle. The finished result is below.
After getting all 8 tenons cut, I fitted them to the mortise to create the underlying support structure of the table. The tenons had to be persuaded a bit to fit into the mortises by a bit of racking of the frame but in the end it worked out fine.