Oxbow part 8

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.

Some commented and emailed about my overhead pin jig from an earlier segment so, I thought I’d add another picture of it for your reference.

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 cut out, it’s time to clean up all those bandsaw marks. I head to the oscillating spindle sander but this could also be done by hand just like shaping the front ogee feet.

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.

Once the dovetails are all laid out, it’s time to saw and remove the waste. Since I already posted how to saw and waste out dovetails, I won’t bore everyone again with the details.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Oxbow part 8

  1. Another educational post I enjoyed very much.

    I’m interested in your finishing methods. I always look for good tips to increase my ability.

    Charlie Mullins

  2. Hey Chuck,

    Good to see you posting again. The Oxbow is taking shape nicely.

    I was interested in the last couple of photos…you seem to be trimming the dovetail pins with a chisel. Do you usually use a chisel or a bock plane for this? I was wondering if there was a particular reason you were using a chisel for the operation.

    <a href=”http://thecraftsmanspath.com” The Craftsman’s Path

  3. Charlie,

    My finishing methods are pretty simple. The reality is, most period furnituremakers I know use a fairly singular approach to standard finishing. In fact, most everyone who makes a living building furniture tends to gravitate to a small group of repeatable finishes. It’s productive and consistent, two of the most common threads for making furniture for a profit.


    I’m glad to be posting again. I probably won’t be consistent on the twice a week thing but I’m sure I’ll make it at least once a week.

    Yep, you see me using a chisel. I’ve tried the block plane approach and decided I can do it faster by paring in the pins with a chisel. Personal preference. The other thing that I didn’t go into in the post is that the half blind dovetails in the drawer front are actually beveled (this is the reason I stayed away from it in the original post now that I remember). In other words, my drawer fronts fit rather snuggly from left to right in the case. I then dovetail in the sides setting them in deeper than I normally would. I then used a chisel, bevel side down, to pare the pins off flush where they meet the drawer side and sloping outwards until they meet the front scribe line. This way, as the drawer closes, there’s plenty of space for the drawer sides to moove freely but when the drawer is pushed in that final 3/16″ the gaps close up and the drawer front automatically centers itself in the opening. This was another detail from the original that I adapted. It’s not common on period furniture but it does occur. If this doesn’t make sense, I’ll try to describe it again differently. Just let me know.


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