Day 5, By Hammer and Hand, DT cleanup and top and bottoms

The last day of our week-long class, and we all knew we had a lot of work ahead of us.  But first one of our classmates, Rick, had an excellent idea to give Chris a gift on this last day–a copy of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker”, which is the source of this particular dovetailed box project.  But with a twist, we all signed the front with “Thomas” and our last names.  For those who don’t have the book (it’s a good book, check it out), Thomas is the name of the young apprentice that is learning his craft.  CS’s reaction is posted on his blog.

So the dovetail box came out of the clamps and we had to true up the pins and/or tails.  In my case I had to true both up.  Chris showed us the best way to do this on the bench, but by using a wide enough board over the bench.  To avoid spelching, we cut a small chamfer on the far side and plane away.

I had to do a little bit of gap hiding in a few of my joints before cleaning them up. They cleaned up pretty good.

The wood was beautiful for all our projects, and they will look quite nice with a finish on it.

We also had a discussion about fore planes and setting up the fore plane blades for taking off lots of material quickly.  Our tops and bottoms arrived in the rough, so we had to true up one face and one edge, then used some tailed apprentices to get them to final thickness:  1/2″ for the bottom and 3/4″ for the top.  I decided to camber my #6 iron to use as my fore plane and that went ok, but dang it took a long time, even on the grinding wheel.

Here is my top before shot (I was thinking it would be the bottom at this point).  I think someone used this for paint practice or something.

After some sweaty fore plane work, then the jointer and smoothing plane, it sure looked like a nice board.  So I decided it would be the top.  Since they were oversized, I knew the sap wood would be ripped away.

We then got a lecture on using cut nails and the various kinds of cut nails available today, and their uses in furniture construction.  As in the book, the bottoms of our boxes would glued and nailed on, but to control wood movement, we only glued the front edge and half way towards the back, though we did nail all the way around.  First we had to rip and crosscut our now thicknessed bottoms to relative size.  I decided not to be a hero and left a lot of meat on the board.  We put down the bead of glue, aligned the true edge with the front, and then drilled our holes for the cut nails.  It went easier with some help (thanks Gordon).  I had recently bought a nice Miller’s Falls eggbeater, so most of my corner of the workshop used that.

Here Fred and Al are working on Fred’s box.  That eggbeater sure works pretty good even with an original bit.

Here’s mine getting the Hammer-time treatment (“can’t touch this!”).  Getting these set below the wood was a little tough as I think my pilot holes were just a hair too short.

I got a big thumbs-down for my hammer.

I think the quote was “Blech, wth is that thing?”  Like Denis Lemiuex in Slapshot, I felt shame.

And Maestro Schwarz’ box with the bottom molding in place.  I wasn’t able to get my molding together, though I did have it cut to size.

Most of us got to the point of getting the bottoms on our boxes, and a few others had their moldings on as well, but most of us still need to trim and fit the tops to size and attach the moldings on that.  Hardware is also a bit of an unknown at this point.

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