Here is my very near finished chest. Structurally all the joinery work is done. No more tools to touch the outer surfaces of wood from here on. First the sanding coat brings the colour in its most natural state beyond growing from the earth.
Remember that planing the surface of a round tree to flatness reveals previously unseen layers of tropical or temperate growth depending on where in the world it grew in. A recorded history during the life of the tree if you will that tells of deforestation and rainfall, temperatures and even volcanoes and forest fires. This shouldn’t be considered lightly. It’s a brand new unseen sight and revealed firstly to you as the grain is unpeeled layer by layer with each stroking plane cut taken. No colouring and no coloured finish is added by man at this stage. I altered the straight grained drawer fronts because they were too uniform and contrasted too markedly in texture and colour. I chose a block of sapele to make quartered veneers that meet dead centre beneath the handles and sweep up, in and down and out
. This I chose to do because of the swirling dominance at the upper half of the box front. This brought a balance I couldn’t get with what I first had.
My drawer handles are made from four pieces of sapele. I make one in a few minutes using a dovetailed joint inside the pieces. Fitting them takes about the same time. I think I can make and fit a handle like this in about ten minutes.
To bring relief to the flatness and to accentuate the drawers, I added something we call cockbead. It’s a clever feature that was not, repeat not, merely decorative. So let’s talk about that some other time soon.
It’s these insights that make the difference at many levels of developing skills. I lined the inside of the cockbead with a black line 3mm wide made from some ebony. I like the crisp and stark delineation this brings on pieces made with certain woods. On the upper section of the box, where the lid separates from the base area of the box, I rebated a cockbead. Once firm and secure I used a Sellers’ technique to insert further ebony inlay between the lid box and cockbead.
On the raised panel lid I brought the same accentuation by lining the reveal that houses the raised panels. I built up the coats and these three images show the three levels of coat build up. In another blog I will show the chest in absolute completeness.
I have so enjoyed making these chests in woodworkingmasterclasses.com. I hope that you have too!