As my Hope Chest nears completion I become increasingly conscious that the colour and composition is being conformed by my decisions, hence my last post. Life is very much about composition and from my very limited sphere of creativity I am indeed composing in my work. When I was young I never realised this because much of my work was to do with space alone. My work blocked out negative space and filled it with whole. Most of my work in wood was painted in the form of frames and doors, stairways and cupboards built into the whole of a building such as a house or an office. Making furniture is so different.
Yesterday I worked on the drawer again. I want perfection in the dovetails and also the housing dado at the rear of the drawer. Gaps become less acceptable the more I perfect the overall work because the more the overall is perfected the more the most minor of flaws becomes evident. As a young apprentice I was always reluctant to take my work out into the daylight because the sunlight highlighted each and every imperfection. Now that I am older I make certain to check my work in the sunlight where I can see the flaws and correct them before I begin to build up the finish coats. otherwise the finish itself will find the flaws and exaggerate them far more than I could ever live with. Remember that character is formed in the anvil of adversity. I am happy with my joints now.
On the physical chest, all of the joinery is now complete. I will be adding a sliding tray inside later, but that’s not really pertinent to the chest at this point. Today I will make the drawer bottom and also the tongue and groove boarding for the bottom of the inside of the chest itself using hand planes. I am expecting a retrofit T&G set for my plough plane from Veritas that they are prototyping ready for production, so I hope that they will arrive for me to test out on this.
As you can see, my drawer fits into the opening straight from construction at the bench without further fitting. remember that all of my wood is finally sized after rough cutting on the bandsaw using only hand plane techniques. This fit is the result of working accurately with hand planes. It is a truly wonderful experience to master hand planes and have so determined an outcome.
My chest is not yet glued together but held completely by the joints. I work with the whole this way until everything is completed because there may be a change that needs to take place because of my flawed decision making in terms of colour or grain configuration as the parts become fitted and assembled.