Hand Tools Archive

Re: Planning the lingerie chest II

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Derek: The lid is planned to be a breadboard construction to minimise movement. Any comments?

Ellis: 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.

I was thinking of a solid top, and therefore breadboard ends to ensure that there is no cupping (what I meant by "movement"). In my mind a breadboard lid looks less busy than a frame-and-panel.

Derek: 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.

Ells: 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.

Again, my thoughts run to "clean" lines. I'd prefer to keep the drawers coplanar at the top.

Derek: 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.

Ellis: 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?

Ellis, I agree with you. It has always been my intention to add curved fronts. The only reason I hesitate is that Lynndy questioned it. I do believe that a very gentle curve will balance the view from the side.

I plan to bandsaw the drawer fronts. The curve is to shallow to go to the effort of laminating. The plan is to dovetail flat tapered sides, which will be coped to fit the curved inside of the carcass, and then plane the outside of the drawer face to a curve. I am thinking of leaving the inside straight rather than bandsawing and scraping this to a complementary curve - comment?

Here is a rough side elevation I made to show how the dovetailing might proceed ..

Derek: 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.

Ellis: 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.

Earlier I had suggested 3/8" as well. I would prefer that as it would accommodate a wider tongue for a groove. My concern is that the panel needs to flex enough to slide down the curved frame's groove. I will test this out before it is built.

The alternate method is to laminate thinner panels into a curved thicker panel. That is also doable. Your thoughts?

Derek: 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?

Ellis: 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.

My thoughts here were that Jarrah might be used with the drawer fronts, where I could use something with a little figure. Alternately, it could be used with the frames, and then I would use a darker wood than the Makore for contrast. What I meant by similar tonal colour was that they share a brown-red. The Makore is lighter than the Jarrah I have.

Many thanks for your thoughts.

Regards from Perth


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