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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mahogany jewelry box - Part 4

Hello again, folks.  I have been on vacation from work this week and spent some time up in northwestern Pennsylvania visiting my in-laws for the first half of the week.  It was a good visit, but I was itching to get home and get back to work on this project.  So for the second half of the week, I have been hard at it and made some progress.

It began with a bit of a conundrum.  I needed to start work on the drawers, but the vertical dimensions were not certain, because I had yet to glue in the drawer supports.  I am kinda fickle about my spacing and I really wanted the supports to be secure before I determined the final spacing.  I didn't want to glue in the supports until I had a chance to finish the interior prior to assembly.  And I couldn't finish the interior until I had figured out where the drawer runners were to be installed.  And I couldn't figure out where the drawer runners were going to be until I knew the final vertical dimensions of the drawers.  Maybe I made a mountain out of a molehill, but that's just how my OCD works, OK?!?!?

The only way around it was just to start cutting the drawer sides to approximate dimensions and fine tune later.

So here we go...

I milled up the soft maple stock for the drawer sides to 3/8" thickness.  Then I ripped them to width, the top 4 drawers are to be 2" tall and the bottom 2 drawers were to be around 3 1/2" tall, the final actual dimension to be determined.


I rough cut them to length using my combo bench hook/shooting board and cross cut carcass saw.


Cutting them  to length, but leaving a little long to square up the ends and trim to perfect length.  Sorry about my thumb or finger or whatever that blob is in the corner....a photographer, I am not.

Here I am shooting the ends square and cutting to final length.

So this was the idea, clamp up the dry assembly as if glued and lay out the drawers with washers as spacers to get the spacing I wanted.  Turns out I was very close with my original dimensions, I chose to trim the drawer second up from the bottom to get the perfect fit.  This leaves the biggest drawer on the very bottom.

Here is where I got in a zone and forgot to take pictures for awhile.  So, basically, I went ahead and routed dados in the outsides of all the drawer pieces and also cut the drawer slides.  Then I marked out and installed the drawer slides on the supports.  With that done, I did a quick pre-finish of the interior, and then glued in the supports.

For the interior, I didn't want to do anything fancy, as it will hardly ever be seen, but I did want to add a little protection.  So I decided to just use a oil/beeswax/carnuba wax blend for the interior finish.  Nothing else, just oil/wax.  It looks nice for the few times anyone would look inside and it is nice and slippery for the drawers.  I taped off the dados and the front edges of the box to keep wax from getting on it and creating problems with glue or the finishing later on.

Finally, gluing in the supports.

So now that I have my dimensions for my drawer sides and with the supports glued in, I can figure out the final width of the drawer fronts and backs.  So it is time to mill up more lumber.  I pick the section of the board that has the best grain pattern for the drawer fronts and mark out the rough lengths.  I cut this section out, jointed, planed....blah blah blah....to a final 1/2" thickness for the drawer fronts.


Tadaaaa....presto.  Drawer parts.

Now to figure out the final width and spacing using the same washers as before.  I cut them to rough length then went back to my shooting board to get them square and a perfect fit.

With all of the parts cut to size and square, it is time to cut some damn dovetails.

I usually like to do pins first for small parts, but for some reason I keep gravitating to tails first these days.  Maybe I am just getting lazier in my old age?  This seems easier to me, I guess.


Half Blind, baby!  Yea!  Woo hoo!  (sorry, I get a little excited sometimes)


I could really use a fishtail chisel right about now!


And there we have it!  One drawer down, 7 more to go!


Well, at the time of writing this, I have 5 drawers total cut and fit and the 6th is close.  I wish I was further along, but I am happy with the progress I have made thus far.  I was dreading telling my niece that her birthday present was not going to be ready in time.  But then I had a conversation with my Mother and she reminded me that they will be out of town that weekend anyway for spring break!  Woohoo!  Extra week, baby!  I hope I can get it done!

On another note, my hat is off to all the podcasters and bloggers that do this all the time. This is really kinda hard work.  I keep having to remind myself at each step of the way to stop and take pictures and think about how I want to describe my design and thought process.  Kudos to you guys!

One more thing, in Part 3 I talked a bit the feet as an "experiment."  I think that experiment is over.  I have been playing with the shape of the feet and I just can't shake the thought that they look like a duck's feet.  So, I will do something else if I have time.  I have some ideas, but it will just depend if I can hit my deadline.

As always, thanks for looking and coming along for the ride!  This has been a fun project so far!
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