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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mahogany jewelry box - Part 6

With the case and drawers assembled, my thoughts return (as if they ever left) to the "feet" or base. The "experiment" was not a success in my opinion and I even thought about going with no base at all. But my good friend Tim gave a suggestion that I decided to try and I believe I have a winner. Thanks, Tim!

If you don't recall, here is my idea with the feet. They are basically pieces of crown molding mitered and glued and inverted. After some shaping, I couldn't shake the image of duck feet.


Tim suggested a "plinth" base and sent me some pictures to illustrate the idea. Now, some of you may be saying "DUH!" right about now. But I am not a box builder and it really didn't occur to me to go this route. So, I had plenty of scrap walnut, so I dimensioned some pieces and did a simple dovetailed frame or box.

Yada yada, been there done that.

I got some scrap plywood and sketched out some curvy designs on it and cut and shaped it. I did this a few times until I found something I liked. Then I took the template and traced it on each corner of the base.

Next I took the pieces over to the drill press to help remove some material. I tried to get as close to my layout lines as possible. I did this part in preparation for the next part which I am not very good at.

I finished up the roughing out on my old scroll saw. Since I am terrible using this tool, I stayed away from my lines so that I can sand to my lines.

Using some dowels and scrap sanding blocks, I finished up the base assembly and threw the box on top to have a look.

I think we have a winner! Looks nice.  Thanks again, Tim! Now to glue it up, add a bevel to ease the transition to the box, some final sanding and shaping and it attach to the box.

Next I work on the back and also the pulls. The back will be a simple ship lapped back nailed on with cut nails. The pulls will be simple bar pulls from walnut, shaped on the drum sander on my drill press.

Out of the Mahogany scrap I had left, I planed it down to about 3/8" thick and cut it to size.  Next comes the ship-lapping   I use my rabbeting bit for this task.

Then fit the panels together.

I just want to nail the back on, no glue.  I am using 4d cut brads for this.  I think the pilot holes may not be necessary here, but it sure makes it easier to drive the nails in!

My fancy schmancy Kobalt ball peen.

So, I intentionally built each drawer to be about 1/32" too long for the case.  This is so I could do a quick final trim once I had the back nailed on.  It is easiest to do this at the table saw.

Next are pulls.  I grabbed some scrap ply just so I could make a quick and dirty template of the pulls I had in mind.  I wanted to work out the length, width and thickness before I cut any walnut stock.

Once I determine the size of the pulls, I sketch out a rough profile on the template.

Some quick shaping with my sanding drum in the drill press.

And I have a rough idea of what the pulls look like.

I want a little depression in the top and bottom of each pull to help give a little grip and a good feel when you touch them.  I think this is called a "core-box" bit, but I am not sure.  It is basically just a half circle.

I do this on both sides and this is what it looks like.  I cut the horizontal drawers at 2" long and the vertical drawers at 2 1/2" long.

Back the the "shaper."

Using some double sided tape, I have a quick look.  With a little more shaping, that will work out great!

All of the pulls shaped and taped to the fronts.  Nice!

Since this is a long grain to long grain joint, I just apply some hide glue and hold in place for a few seconds.  This gives it enough grab so I can stretch some rubber bands to hold as "clamps."

After some sanding, sanding and more sanding, we are ready for finish!  Here is everything wiped down with some mineral spirits to remove all the dust.  Wow!  I really like this combination of colors.  I can't wait to see what it looks like finished!

Next time we will be full swing into the finishing phase.  I plan to wipe on a coat or two of diluted BLO to pop that grain, especially on the birds eye maple.  Once that is completely dry, I will put on a coat or two of garnet shellac and then sand again with 320.  I will finish with a few more coats of shellac and will use a furniture paste wax for the final coat and buff it all out.  So far, I am very pleased with this project.  I hope my niece likes it!
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