It’s been a while so let’s recap what happened in the last segment. I shaped up the ogee feet and scribed them to the base molding that was already applied. I then glued them to the molding and proceeded with blocking the feet. Once all the feet and blocks have dried, it’s time to move on to the drawer fronts and the case top. That’s where we pick things up today.
The first thing I did was to take the cherry boards I had glued up for the top and cut them to size. you need to remember to take into consideration the overhang on the sides, front and back of the chest. Lay the top on case and align it properly. Using a spacer, I trace off the curve of the top front drawer blade to the underside of the top to give me an exact concentric line to the curve of my top blade. Take the top to the bandsaw and cut it out.
Once it’s cut out, it’s time to shape the molding profile on the two ands and the front edge. The back remains square so it will fit nicely against the wall.
Using the jig as pictured, I set up a a stock router bit that cuts an ogee. You’ll have to do a little looking around to see which company sells a bit similar to this one. I believe I got mine from MLCS and removed the bearing. Similar to shaping the base molding, I run my top in several lighter passes. This is better on the wood, the router and the bit, not to mention the operators nerves.
Once the top is shaped, it is attached to the case using cabinet makers buttons. I’m not showing a photo of this because I am planning a brief post on the use of buttons in the next few weeks. So, stick around and keep checking the blog if you aren’t sure what they are.
The next step is to cut the drawer front blanks to size. I already milled the drawer front material in an earlier installment so, I just need to rip them to width and cut them to length so that they fit in their appropriate openings. Once inside the openings, I merely trace off the drawer blade profile on the top edge of the drawer front and head to the bandsaw. It’s difficult to see in the small photograph but you can see the layout line on the top edge when you enlarge it.
Time to start cutting. I line up my bandsaw blade with the face of the drawer front to insure that I’m cutting uniformly through the wood. Since there is really no way to use a fence, it’s just freehand.
Once the drawer fronts are all shaped up, making sure they actually follow the curves of the drawer blades by putting them in their respective openings, I lay out my dovetails. You’ll notice the backs of my drawer fronts on this chest are straight. On the original chest which this reproduction is based, the drawer fronts were left flat like this. On many others, the drawer fronts are curved both inside and out.
Since I already posted how to saw and waste out dovetails, I won’t bore everyone with it again. I’ll just throw out a few pictures of the front and back dovetails and one where I’m paring the pins off after the drawer is glued up. Fit up the drawer bottoms and we’re nearing the end of this project. Here’s those photos.
Next time, I’ll talk a little about the finish and how to color up cherry. We also need to talk about drawer stops and a few other minor details but the oxbow is finally coming to a close.