Rosewood Studio, Week 5 – Drawer making

Week 5 of my 6 week study at Rosewood Studio was focused on drawer making.  A whole week to build a drawer?  Well when it’s made of solid wood and fitted to a shaker table, it takes a little longer than simply slapping some metal drawer slides onto an mdf box like ikea does…  Unlike ikea, the drawer front won’t fall off in a year, nor will the bottom sag, and the slightest bit of water won’t turn the entire thing into a pile of wet sawdust….

First part of this week involved fitting some runners for the drawer in my shaker table.  I used walnut simply because it matched the table and I had a bunch of scraps left over, however this part isn’t visible unless you are lying on the ground underneath the table.  Next it was onto the drawer building.

The drawer was made of walnut with a piece of birds eye maple for the front.  The sides are dovetailed (half blind on the front), and the drawer bottom is a few pieces of solid walnut laminated together to form a panel.  The front of the bottom panel is glued with the back edge being left unattached  for seasonal expansion and contraction.

Birds eye maple, while beautiful to look at, can be a bit of a pain to work with.  This particular piece had some cracks and of course very curly grain which made smoothing it very trying, however after many passes with a high angle plane and a card scraper (and some light sanding), it was eventually made smooth.  I spent almost an entire day perfecting this piece of wood, only to ruin it by cutting on the wrong side of the lines for my dovetails.  Thankfully the second attempt went much quicker.

Fitting the drawer was very finicky.  Not only does it need to slide in and out smoothly, but the reveal around the drawer opening has to be identical (9000ths of an inch).  While it was a huge pain to do, I was very pleased with the results and can honestly say I have never owned a piece of furniture that had such a smooth drawer!

The drawer was finished off with a simple walnut pull turned on the lathe.  I really enjoyed the lathe work (all 5 minutes of it… after-all it was only a pull), hopefully I can afford one in the future to add to my shop.  I put several layers of shellac on the drawer front and pull, but left the sides and bottom natural.

Next week is my last at Rosewood!  It’s gone so fast, wish I could stay for another 6!

52 Create – Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

52 Create – my weekly creative output for 2011.  Shortly before our move, I was trying to use up some of my scrap wood as it wasn’t worth moving it, but I couldn’t bear to throw it away.  I offered my brother a cutting board and he gave me the dimensions so it would fit in his kitchen.  In the end I had to make it a bit narrower in order to fit through my planer, and I ran out of wood so the length was a tad shorter than planned.

I used walnut and maple for this cutting board. The long narrow strips were a last minute addition as I found an extra piece of maple and was trying to extend the length of the board.  I put some rubber feet on the bottom so it wouldn’t slide around on the counter top.  The board is coated in food grade mineral oil.

My other 52 Create Projects.

 

52 Create – More Rifle Stocks…

52 Create – my weekly creative output for 2011.  Ahhh, commissions…. You love them cause you get paid, but you also don’t necessarily get to do what you really want to do.  I’ve done a ton of rifle stocks (biathlon) this spring and summer, and the customers are happy with the results, but after a while you get a bit tired of the same old thing.  This bunch of stocks was for a club that runs programs for youth.  They had many old stocks that had dried out and cracked beyond repair (some were more glue than wood).

I offered to make them a bunch that would be more suited to the smaller stature of some of their younger athletes.  All of the hardware from the old broken stocks were switched over which was a blessing and a curse all at the same time.  While it was easier to use the old parts than to manufacture new ones, matching up the holes on the new stocks to fit with the old parts was often quite challenging.  Anyways, enough whining.  The stocks are made of maple and painted with an exterior grade paint.  I colour coded the cheek pieces in order to differentiate them from each other.  For next week, I can promise you, no more biathlon stocks…

 

My other 52 Create Projects.

 

 

 

52 Create – Biathlon Stock #2

52 Create – my weekly creative output for 2011.  It’s been ridiculously busy, which might be evident in my post being a day late, forgot it was Tuesday, honest.  As I said before, I’ve got several orders for biathlon stocks due to my past career.  The latest bunch are for my old team that wants sturdier stocks to replace the old cracked and broken ones they currently use.  This design is a bit of a compromise between being the right size and shape, being simpler to make, and being indestructible.

So it’s a simpler design, made of maple, and a bit thicker than usual.  In the end it adds less than 100 grams onto a rifle/stock combination that weighs close to 4kg, so not much of a difference overall.  Stock is varnished and should last longer than the originals…  Stay tuned for next week, should be really awesome…

52 Create – Kids Canoe Paddle

52 Create, my weekly creative outlet for 2011.  While I’m super busy with biathlon stock building, it’s hard not to make a little something for my daughter once in awhile…  I had some left over maple and walnut from last week’s cutting board (which were made from left overs themselves…)  So using the same lamination procedure, I glued them up and ended up with a nice little paddle, custom sized for my daughter (hopefully she doesn’t grow too much by the summer…)  I’ll finish it with some left over polyuerethane, spar varnish would be better but I’m trying to use up old stuff, and she’s not going to be putting serious hours of canoeing with this thing. Can’t wait for her to try it out in a canoe, but for now I guess a chair will have to do…

52 Create – End Grain Cutting Board

52 Create – my weekly creative project for 2011. While I am extremely pleased with how this week’s project turned out, I’m quite surprised I made anything at all.  In the past week I had friends visiting, 2 dinner parties, 2 birthdays, and a wedding.  Sunday was of course mother’s day and I had nothing prepared, but having just bought a thickness planer (Rigid 4330) I felt that a cutting board might be in order.

It seems as though an end grain cutting board is a bit of a right of passage for a wood worker.  Not owning a planer, I had shied away from this project in the past.  I was pleasantly surprised how easy this project was and how well it turned out.  The board is made of maple and walnut left over from other projects.  Glued together with Titebond II (waterproof) and finished with mineral oil which is food safe.

As this was my first attempt I didn’t go too crazy with the pattern and I also wasn’t exactly sure on the final dimensions, so it’s a bit of an odd shape, but perfect it seems for a loaf of bread.

My other 52 Create projects.