Saturday, October 15, 2011

Progress on the chest over drawers and a few new old tools

I've been busily working on my pine chest over drawers.  I've made quite a bit of progress since deciding to build this project. I've decided to go with a red-brown milk paint finish. I also found time to visit one of my favorite antique stores and bought a couple of things.

The case, before adding the face beading, base and lid

Case back, showing shiplap backboards
Case beading molding stock, being jointed with my Mathieson try plane
Pile of shavings, plus beaded molding, ready to be ripped off

 I managed to score a few nice, fairly uncommon saws. I bought a Harvey Peace Perfection  26"crosscut saw, and a Wheeler Madden and Clemson 22" panel saw.  Both need some cleanup, but are in very good overall condition.  Check out that wheat carving on the Peace applewood handle. Also scored a very nice pair of Davidson dividers, which will be put to good use here in the shop.

Harvey Peace Perfection saw and a Wheeler Madden and Clemson panel saw
A very nice pair of Davidson dividers

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Of course your chest is over your drawers"

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was struggling to identify my next shop project. I finally finished the woodworking on the Nutting tavern table for my wife April, it only lacks its milk paint. April will be painting that soon, after which I will post the photos. I'm quite happy with the way it turned out, especially the clamp joints on the top.

So, looking for my next project, I once again cracked open Denis Hambucken's book on country furniture, Early American Country Furniture: 22 Woodworking Projects Inspired by 18th- and 19th-Century New England

In the book, there is a rather nice chest over drawers that I immediately knew I wanted to build, which is extremely simliar to this 18th century English piece:

18th Century secretary, but one with similar lines to my storage piece

It features a slanted lid to the top chest portion, with two nine inch deep drawers underneath. Mine is a storage piece, not a desk, so it will not have a writing surface or chest gallery divisions. As I mentioned before, one of the great things about Hambucken's book is the lack of measurements. Choose the composition (overall size / footprint) of the piece, then make the parts to fit proportionally. A great way to work. Mine is being constructed from quartersawn eastern white pine (cut from home center 1x 12s, but I've left a few knots in it) and will be painted with milk paint. I'm undecided if it will be painted a red-brown color or a blue-green color, but blue-green is winning right now.  Anyone have any thoughts?

I'll shoot some pics of my progress tonight. This weekend I got through panel glue-ups, some dado work (my router plane got a workout!), a few rabbets, a some dry test-fitting.  Eventually some dovetailed and cockbeaded drawers will be built, along with square bracket feet.  This project is going extremely quickly, but I won't be making any predictions on how long it will take.  If I do that, something will come up and it will take me 6 months to finish, just like that darn Nutting table.