Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: Planning the lingerie chest II

Ellis Walentine

Looks like a serious process going on here.

The overall height has dropped to 51" since I plan to incorporate a hidden mirror into a swing-up lid. The lid will look like a moulding, and the hinges will be hidden at the rear. I would like to fit a secret catch that will also unlock the top drawer (this will replace the keyhole mentioned early on).

I'll be interested to see how you do the hinges, Derek. And the secret catch is sure to be of interest.

The lid is planned to be a breadboard construction to minimise movement. Any comments?

Depends on how the mirror will integrate with the lid. Mirrors are rigid, and breadboards are all about floating. Frame and panel might be better, but you can design your way through this one.

There are 8 drawers. These taper in depth, although the top two are the side, both 4 1/2". Then comes 5", 5 1/2", 6", 6 1/2", 7", and 7 1/2".

Seems like a plan. I wonder how this jibes with Bill Tindall's new article. I'll have to check that out.

The drawer rails are 1/2" high and will be hidden behind each drawer front. The top of each drawer front lies flush with the underside of the rail, and then drops to cover the rail below. The rail then doubles as a drawer stop.

I'd consider splitting the difference, so you don't end up with spaces at the tops of the drawers that are obviously straight through to the interior of the drawer/case. With the right tolerances, it really shouldn't be noticeable.

At this stage I am undecided whether to curve the drawers as this may cause it to be too busy (too many curves). If they are, they will have a very shallow convex (curve to the front). It is difficult to visualise this, and so I will leave that aspect to later.

The design comes first. If this will be a really important piece for you, don't hold back on the curved fronts. But, then, consider how the fronts how they will be built and how they will integrate with the drawer bodies. Will you laminate them or bandsaw them. If they will be directly joined, then how will that happen? If you plan to make separate drawer boxes, will the fronts be bandsawn in front to the curvature and flat in the back to engage the boxes?

The rear elevation will repeat the lower curved rail. Construction of the rear and sides will be frame-and-panel. The panels will be flush to the side rails, creating a flat surface.

No comments here.

The sides look a little bland in this elevation, but visualise that they curve outward. The depth of the chest is 16 1/2". The lid adds another 1" at each end. This dimension enables the chest to fit neatly into the alcove in the bedroom. Any comments on this depth? The last chests I made were 17" deep, which does not seem to me to be significantly different.

This is not too shallow for a chest with this intended function. The fact that you are designing for a particular alcove is reason enough to dimension it this way, with the understanding that the piece will have solid value irrespective of its surroundings.

The side panels are expected to be 1/4" thick and rebated into the curved side rails. The interior of the side panels will be reinforced by the side rails for the drawers.

Consider the flimsiness factor, and the tonal quality of knuckle on 1/4" panel. I personally would want the side panels to be at least 3/8" thick, or more. If you're trying to avoid another laminating step, I'd reconsider. The drawer rails won't keep the sides from sounding tinny.

These are also needed to determine how to use the wood I have. I would like to use the Makore. I fear it will not be sufficient. Either I will need to find more - which will be difficult, especially since the boards I have are from the same tree - or I need to change to a different wood. My thought is that I will mix the Makore with Jarrah. It should compliment each other really well as the tonal colours are the same brown-red. The drawers and panels could be Makore, with the frames and rails in Jarrah, or vice versa. Comments?

Not sure how the two will interact, but you can get into visual trouble using two woods of similar color but different texture. Sometimes it pays to go with a more dramatic contrast, on one dimension or another, either hue or value or texture.

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