I’m finally making progress on the Chai-boy again. Lately, I’ve felt a bit like Captain Queeg from the Caine Mutiny, but instead of rolling marbles around in my hand, I’ve been rolling ideas around in my head. (BTW, my muse my be on vacation, but I am not going mad) I have basic plans for the Chai-boy drawn out, but my plans don’t yet cover all the small details that need to be worked through. Yes, with this project, I am flying by the seat of my pants.
Making custom furniture is a trill for me. When I was a professional musician, I liked performing my own songs, and I like making my own furniture and own turning designs. It’s like a game of chess; move, counter move etc…. I have an idea of where I am going, but there are always variables; order of operations, limited supplies, grain patterns, last minute ideas, or just trying to figure out how you are going to do something you’ve never done before. I’ll work on a couple of moves/steps, then have to plan out my next moves. Granted, it is a slow game, and to be honest, I think I have lost a couple of times.
Non-woodworkers may stop here (but I suggest you read on) Now for you wood junkies……
So what does all this have to do with the Chai-boy? Drawers my friends. How to keep them pretty little drawers from fallin’ out and stayin’ straight. Which leads me to drawer runners, which leads me to what type to use, how to make them, how to install them perfectly, and back to order of operations in regard to sanding. So I finally decided to use walnut runners glued and pinned to the inside of carcass. Now all this leads me to making a new bench hook to help me make the runners.
What’s a bench hook you might ask? Well, ask away! The purpose of the bench hook is to provide a stop against which a piece of wood being worked can be placed to hold it steady whilst cutting, planing, or chiseling the piece of wood. My new bench idea was to incorporate various height stops for different thicknesses of stock. The drawer runners are a bit less than 1/4″ square. Making strips of wood this small on the table saw makes me nervous. (I seem to have an affection for all of my fingers) So I used my band saw to cut the strips larger than they needed to be, then I put each strip / drawer runner, on the bench hook using the lowest stop level. Now I could use my trusty Stanley block plane to safely shave down the individual strips to the desired size, and thus leaving the surfaces with little need for sanding.
Kudos to my new LN #4 plane. The carcass sides are made of two jointed boards, and my LN #4 made fast work of the wild grain patterns. I now have a new bff!
After installing the drawer runners, I was able to measure where the grooves should be on the draw sides. With the dado blades on my table saw set a bit larger than 1/4″, the grooves were cut on the drawers.
Now I can sand the drawer pieces, glue them up, seal them with shellac, and … drum roll please………… commence flocking! Yes folks, flocking finally flummoxed felting for the drawer insides. Thanks for the input fellow bloggers.
more to come……