Tuesday, 23 December 2008

No polo neck jumpers

I have now broken up for a few days over Christmas, but will be back in the workshop next week.

For the last couple of days I have been putting coats of oil on the carcass. This involves sanding it down, hoover off the dust, apply the oil, lets it dry over night. Then repeat the process. It takes time to get a nice smooth finish, but it is worth doing it correctly as a poor finish can let down a finished piece.

Here is a picture of the tall boy with the drawers and top fitted.

I will be working on the handles next...but I need to get my head round how I am going to make them yet. That is something to do over the next few days in between a mince pie or two.

Have a good Christmas everybody!

Monday, 22 December 2008

21 days later

For the last few weeks I have been making the drawers for my cabinet.

When I was training, we were told to allow three days per drawer, so with the seven drawers I am making gives a total of 21 days. No wonder it seems like I have been making them forever!
Let me tell you why making a drawer takes so long, and I am sure you are thinking ‘it is only an open top box’.

Well, you are correct, as a drawer is basically and open top box. But it has to be a box that is square, stable, fit into a hole, and have dovetail joints to make life fun. Each drawer I am making has twelve separate components, giving an overall total of 84 components – and that excludes the frames the drawers run on (an extra 48 components if you are interested).

The sides of the drawer must be made from timber that is dry and stable. Ideally it should be made from wood that is quarter sawn as it is very stable and does not move significantly, but finding good quality wood sawn this way is very hard. I have made my drawer sides from American cherry as it come shipped very dry, and the way I have cut it gives me sides that are near enough quarter sawn.

The joints on drawers are traditionally done as dovetails as these are very strong and resist the forces put on a drawer each time it is open. A jig can be purchased to machine cut the joints, but on my drawers they are all hand cut – you get a much more elegant joint if they are hand cut.
For the drawer bottoms, I am using Cedar of Lebanon. This is a traditional wood for drawer bottoms as it has a wonderful smell that is supposed to keep at bay any insect attack. I do personally love the aroma you get when a cedar-bottomed drawer is opened.

But that still doesn’t really say why it will take about 21 days to make the drawers…just believe me, it does!