Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Slow and steady...

It's been a month since the last post and things are moving at a tortoise pace.  I've just about finished the lower cabinet of the bookcase, the section of the piece that I think will take the most time.  This past month I worked on the feet, played with some finish, made some trim molding, and installed the backing.  Here's where we are now:

The finish is Watco Danish Oil in "Cherry" which I'm regretting using a little bit: I should have just gone with "Natural" color instead...the cherry-colored cherry is a little much.  The feet are bracketed feet.  The six visible sides are semi-ogees and the two back sides are blanks.  The front feet are joined with half-blind dovetails, the rear feet have through dovetails.  Here's an "in progress" shot:

I first joined the two pieces of each foot, then pulled them apart and traced the pattern on them.  The front faces are longer than the side pieces, so the side pattern is a little more "compressed."  I just eyeballed it.  A rabbet was then planed into the top interior of each piece; this is what the carcass sits in.  I then used a forstner bit to get the tight radius near the corner and then the bandsaw to cut the rest of the pattern.  The picture above show a big mistake I made by tracing the pattern the wrong way on the near piece and drilling the hole.  I had pretty much resigned to starting over on the foot, but then I realized that the  hole actually wouldn't interfere with the correctly installed pattern, so it was no big deal.  This was a double-d'oh moment: first for the initial screw up, then for not immediately realizing that it was no big deal.  I can usually save a small flub, but I suppose boring a 1.25" hole in the wrong place just initially struck me as unsaveable.  A woodworking buddy then allowed me to use his oscillating spindle sander...one of the coolest and most effective power tools I've ever used.  Things worked out:

The molding was made with a router.  I routed the ogee on the edge of a quartersawn board, and then ripped it off at the correct width with the bandsaw.  Trimming was done on the shooting board.

The back is simply a couple ship-lapped boards nailed in place:

I used a uniform gap between boards to disguise any irregularities.

That's all for now; next will be the top shelves.


  1. Wow, this is really coming together nicely! It's definitely going to be an heirloom piece.

  2. I really like reading through your old blog entries and seeing all the projects you've finished. And this most recent project looks to be the most impressive so far.

    I have an off topic question: how do you like your vice? I'm considering a similar vice, but I'm having trouble finding any first hand reviews on this type. Care to share your thoughts? I noticed you beefed up the jaws substantially, has that solved your issues? Would you say its preferable or at least a good substitute for an all iron vice?

    Sorry for the bunch of questions, but any thoughts you can share would be appreciated. And keep up the good work!