Hand Tools Archive

Apothecary Chest - final

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Talk about down to the wire. It's 11 p.m. and I've just completed a coat of Howard's wax after the last coat of Livos Universal Wood Oil. The drawers were all finished inside and out with Ubeaut Hard Shellac (dewaxed blond shellac). The inside of the chest (drawer recesses) was given a coat of paste wax. Tomorrow morning I take the chest to the Perth Showground for the annual West Australian Wood Show, where it will take its place among others in the furniture competition. I started this piece 3 months ago.

I could tell you how the base gave me fits. It was a difficult task to design a stand for a curved cabinet. Probably why Krenov never built an apothecary chest! :) Last night I completed the base, and Lynndy loved it. Compound curves forever. Damn sexy. The base, that is.

But when I placed the chest on it, the combination looked awful ... top heavy ... ugh! I was out of wood, out of time, and it looked like I was out of the competition.

This morning I woke up and had an inspiration. Cut the legs shorter. This evening, after work, I did just that. And I like the finished piece. I think the balance is right. So does Lynndy, which matters. The dimensions are 1000 high (39") x 460mm (18") across.

Here is the chest, and where it will be positioned in the entrance hall ...

A few pics of the base ...

Much time was spent designing and building the drawers, which curve across the fronts ...

Yes, I changed the steel for brass screws (no slotted ones the correct size, however) ...

And made knobs in the same Black Walnut, and fitted coplanar to the drawer recess (that was a headache before finally coming up with the simplest solution, to use the drill press!) ..

I was very pleased with the drawer stops ...

... and you can see the shiplapped back if you peak ...

It has been a long, but exhilarating build. I hope that you got something from it too.

Regards from Perth


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