Working today

The castle was the quietest ever today. No staff to be seen anywhere and not one visitor the whole day. No castle can compete with planning for and gathering family and friends together for sharing Christmas day.

It was nice to be in the peace of the workshop. The tool chest went well but the drawers are not started even so. Too much to do. Perhaps tomorrow.

My frames top and bottom are complete with the raised panel, bottom and all the edges rounded over. The box itself is thoroughly finished now so all I have left is the four drawers. About another day and it’s done. All in all this is a three-day project; one day for the box and preparing wood, a day for mortise and tenoning the frames and fitting them to the box and a day for the drawers and fitting them.

Planing bent boards

I mentioned that pine tends to curve as it absorbs and releases moisture locally. This exchange is often very rapid so in a matter of minutes what was flat curves quite predictably. Here is my panel and that’s before I planed the surfaces of the two boards smooth and level.





I clamp the board to the bench top but double up the cushion pad of shelf liner under the center portion. This cushions and causes the panel to ‘belly’ up so I can plane the joint line and the surface in general. This panel also has a small chamfer so I also run the bevel at the same time so it comes out straight, otherwise the bevel will be curved. Not what I want.


Finishing takes an hour per coat, three coats for shellac. Done.








Inserting the panels curved makes no difference as they straighten as they enter the grooves. Once confined, they will stay flat forever.



Now that the panel is complete I glue up, clamp, allow to dry and then round over the edges with nothing more than a #4 smoothing plane and a little 240-grit sandpaper.

This is how my lower tool chest looked tonight as I left for home.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Branam on 24 December 2011 at 12:19 am

    Quite lovely! My mother is an artist, and I’ll bet she could use a box like this. I’ll have to make one for her indefinitely-postponed Christmas present. I really like the combination of haunched mortise and tenon frames and dovetailed front guides. Practical and rugged.