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Thomas White Desk 2010 - 2011


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 PostPosted: Thu May 12, 11 8:55 am   
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I would hold off on the hidden drawers until later--and for good reason. When fitting the lock for the fallboard, more than once I couldn't get the lock to unlock and resorted to going in from the back of the case to remove the lock and make adjustments to my bolt mortise.

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 PostPosted: Thu May 12, 11 11:15 am   
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Good call. If I make them I won't glue in just yet.

Thanks, Cal

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 PostPosted: Tue May 24, 11 10:40 am   
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I've been slack on my updates, but I have been slowly working on the outer gallery drawers. I have 4 down, 2 to go, then they will need to be shaped, blocked, then the shells need to be carved.

Pics will be coming hopefully by the weekend. CH

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 11 9:47 am   
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All,

Had a major accomplishment last week, I got my building turned over to the Owner and received a substantial completion certificate. ON TIME.

Here's a quick pic of the project:

Attachment:
KU Hospital MOB.jpg
KU Hospital MOB.jpg [ 117.9 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]


And on more relevant news, I have some updates to the desk coming in subsequent posts. Cal

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 11 10:02 am   
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chobbs66 wrote:
All,

Had a major accomplishment last week, I got my building turned over to the Owner and received a substantial completion certificate. ON TIME.

Here's a quick pic of the project:

Attachment:
KU Hospital MOB.jpg


And on more relevant news, I have some updates to the desk coming in subsequent posts. Cal


OK, but does this one have secret drawers?

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 11 10:02 am   
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Ok, I have been able to sneak a little time here and there over the last couple of weeks. As I mentioned, I have been working on the left and right outer banks of gallery drawers. Not especially difficult, but time consuming. 4 out of the 6 are angled to help create the slight ampitheater effect, which makes the process a little tougher.
Attachment:
Gallery Drawers.jpg
Gallery Drawers.jpg [ 120.27 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]


The angles are a little easier to see when the drawers are placed in their location for reference.
Attachment:
Gallery Drawers in place.jpg
Gallery Drawers in place.jpg [ 115.5 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]


Since the outer edge of the drawers are sloped, but the inner partition is vertical, each front needs to be shaped to fit the opening. This is a little tricky because they need to twist, without really seeming to twist.

I started by positioning the high point and marking all the portions to be removed.
Attachment:
Marking angles.jpg
Marking angles.jpg [ 121.1 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]


At this point, I had slight deliberations on how to remove the material. I thought a plane would work, but the twist could not be captured and I also had trouble clamping. So keeping it simple, I settled on using a wide chisel.
Attachment:
Roughing with chisel.jpg
Roughing with chisel.jpg [ 122.86 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]


Here you can see the effect on the left bank of drawers. To be honest, I'm not really sure if the extra effort is worth the effect, but since Mr. White included it, I'm attempting it.
Attachment:
Angles roughed out left side.jpg
Angles roughed out left side.jpg [ 123.01 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]


So that's the latest and greatest. Hopefully for my next update I can block these drawers and carve the shells.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions. Cal

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 11 10:09 am   
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rwyoung wrote:
chobbs66 wrote:
All,

Had a major accomplishment last week, I got my building turned over to the Owner and received a substantial completion certificate. ON TIME.

Here's a quick pic of the project:

Attachment:
KU Hospital MOB.jpg


And on more relevant news, I have some updates to the desk coming in subsequent posts. Cal


OK, but does this one have secret drawers?


To my knowledge, there's nobody buried in the foundations, if that's what you're wondering......

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 11 10:26 am   
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chobbs66 wrote:
rwyoung wrote:
chobbs66 wrote:
All,

Had a major accomplishment last week, I got my building turned over to the Owner and received a substantial completion certificate. ON TIME.

Here's a quick pic of the project:

Attachment:
KU Hospital MOB.jpg


And on more relevant news, I have some updates to the desk coming in subsequent posts. Cal


OK, but does this one have secret drawers?


To my knowledge, there's nobody buried in the foundations, if that's what you're wondering......


Boss Pendergast has been out of the picture for a while now...

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 11 1:44 pm   
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Next, blocking of the drawers. I laid out the blocking profile on the the top and bottom, and cut out the bottom side with the bandsaw (remember the drawers are sloped from bottom to top). Then they were cleaned up with a gouge for the radii and a flat chisel for the centers. After the bottom drawer, I used it to reference the center drawer and repeated the process.

Before any fussy fitting, they looked like this:
Attachment:
Bottom 2 drawers blocked.jpg
Bottom 2 drawers blocked.jpg [ 120.63 KiB | Viewed 4756 times ]


Then, using the center drawer, I marked the upper drawer for reference. The upper drawer is different in that it has a carved shell. Initially the lower blocking was roughed out, and the outer perimeter was laid out with a compass and carved with a V-gouge. I tried to be as careful as I could to not only eliminate tear out (a v gouge is almost always against the grain on one side) and even tougher, to make a clean arc as the gouge passes around the radius. After hollowing out the shell, it looked like this:
Attachment:
Shell drawer started.jpg
Shell drawer started.jpg [ 123.49 KiB | Viewed 4756 times ]


So now, it was time to carve, which for me is always enjoyable. This is a relatively simple shell, with no incised lines, but everything still needed to have a good flow and symmetry. First, to establish the concave lobes, I used a progression of deep gouges, a #8 to start with, followed by two #9's of smaller diameter, and later a #11-3 to make the small hollows at the center.
Attachment:
chisels.jpg
chisels.jpg [ 117.63 KiB | Viewed 4756 times ]
Attachment:
Concave flutes roughed out.jpg
Concave flutes roughed out.jpg [ 116.59 KiB | Viewed 4756 times ]


After rounding the convex lubes and fine tuning, they were complete somewhat quickly (everything is relative when building this albatross).

Next the drawers were fine tuned to each other, and the dividers were profiled and rounded. This is a little fussy fit, to get everything looking even the way it should be. So now the left side is fairly well completed.

Here' s a quick pic:
Attachment:
Left side carved and blocked.jpg
Left side carved and blocked.jpg [ 123.33 KiB | Viewed 4756 times ]


Although I know it's coming together, the list of stuff remaining to do on this desk seems to be growing by the day......

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions about the project! Thanks, Cal

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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 11 2:22 pm   
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Looks awesome, Cal. There are a bunch of items left, but you are in the short rows now. A July finish looks like reality.

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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 11 8:12 am   
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Bet you guys thought I forgot about you and this project.....

I have made a little progress over the last few weeks.

After setting aside the interior for a while, I started on the cockbeading. The original cockbeading was only around a heavy 1/8".

I made these by ripping strips on the tablesaw, knocking off the corners with a handplane, and rounding using a scratch stock. After the initial sanding, I "prewet" the cockbeading and sanded off the raised fibers. This in the past has helped prevent future finishing problems.

After routing the drawerfronts to receive the cockbeading, it was simply mitered and glued on. The drawer sides were glued and nailed, the top and bottom simply glued. I used masking tape as a clamp.
Attachment:
Cockbeading.jpg
Cockbeading.jpg [ 120.27 KiB | Viewed 4336 times ]


Of course the drawer fronts needed to be scraped and sanded before the raised bead is installed. They were not super easy to get clean due to the crotch figure.
Attachment:
Drawer fronts with cockbeading.jpg
Drawer fronts with cockbeading.jpg [ 121.19 KiB | Viewed 4336 times ]


Next I moved to the feet. Back around a year ago I mostly carved the left and right feet. I had started on the center foot, but wasn't happy with how bulbous it was. So I took out the rasps and removed it all. Kind of stinks to redo work...but in not too much time it again looked like this:
Attachment:
Center foot.jpg
Center foot.jpg [ 120.91 KiB | Viewed 4336 times ]


I have attached the four feet on the corners. Not too difficult, but it always pays to review your clamping strategy beforehand. Especially with a slant-front, which takes a little planning.

The original had large chunks as the blocking behind the feet. I decided to depart from the original and go with the segmented horizontal blocks. The chunk was vertical and therefore has crossgrain issues, so this method should be better. And I didn't have any large blocks of cypress....
Attachment:
feet installed.jpg
feet installed.jpg [ 116.79 KiB | Viewed 4336 times ]


So, even though it is slow progress, it is still progress. It's looking more and more like a desk.

Please reply if you have any questions, comments, or opinions. Thanks guys. Cal

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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 11 3:46 pm   
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Looking Good Cal.. I can't wait to see how that crotch grain pops with finish on it.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 11 7:43 pm   
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Looks nice sir . Nice dovetail layout.

Nice building too.....

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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 11 11:15 am   
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Thanks Bruce and NYNY for commenting.

Next step almost done. Got the front center foot installed and blocked. As an added piece of extra work, the original desk had shaped foot blocking behind the carved walnut faces. This added a couple of hours. Looks nice, but nobody will ever see it, unfortunately. Looks like this:
Attachment:
Foot blocking.jpg
Foot blocking.jpg [ 50.75 KiB | Viewed 4278 times ]
Attachment:
Foot blocking 2.jpg
Foot blocking 2.jpg [ 51.37 KiB | Viewed 4278 times ]


So my next step, I plan to work on the bottom plinths of the quarter columns, install the base molding, and clean up the feet. Hopefully more to come soon. CH

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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 11 12:51 pm   
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Nice work, big bro.

Don't forget the pads under the feet while you've got her turned up. . . like a lot of the "small" extra steps on this desk, I found fitting those pads took a while (particularly on the center foot) for something that seemed like a simple little thing.

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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 6:49 pm   
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Since the last posts, I have completed the installation of the feet. Now the base molding is installed, including the center foot treatement at the base mold. I have carved all of the volutes on the feet returns. I have cleaned up all the feet and lightly sanded them. Really starting to look desk-y now.

Here are a couple of pictures of the results.
Attachment:
Feet complete and on case.jpg
Feet complete and on case.jpg [ 100.85 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]

Attachment:
Feet on - corner view.jpg
Feet on - corner view.jpg [ 103.28 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]


I also have been able to work on a couple of the case details, such as the little thumbnail moldings below the quarter columns. Getting closer. Next I will start trying to finalize the drawers and lopers. Cal

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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 6:51 pm   
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Cal,

Simply gorgeous..... I'm enjoying this thread a lot.

Bruce

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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 7:00 pm   
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nice, brother. you are in the short rows now. keep it up.

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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 7:07 pm   
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Did something new last night, never have made any spring locks before now, and I thought it would be slightly interesting to document here......

The lopers (those boards that you pull out to rest the fallboard on) are currently sitting loose in their openings. When the back is installed they will have a natural "stop" to keep them from going in too far. But how to prevent them from pulling out too far and falling to the floor? Thomas White's answer was to install spring locks. These were kind of fun to do.

The spring needs to made of a strong, flexible wood. Hickory is a good choice. It was Matt's idea, he advised me to buy a little piece of flooring sample at Home Depot. Worked great and I have HD within about 3 mins of my house.
Attachment:
Hickory flooring sample.jpg
Hickory flooring sample.jpg [ 100.17 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]


After planing down the material to a thin-enough to just bend thickness, I then routed out the inside of the loper, so the spring can fit down in the recess. Router and chisels brought me to this point:
Attachment:
Routed out.jpg
Routed out.jpg [ 99.33 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]


To get the spring to pop out, I created a ramp for the far end of the spring to sit (just kind of eye-balled it with a chisel).
Attachment:
Sloped excavation.jpg
Sloped excavation.jpg [ 101.15 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]


So now the next step is to nail in the spring. Despite pre-drilling, one of the four nails split, as you can see. Hopefull it will stay put. I used reproduction hand-forged nails, I think from Horton brasses. I have had a small bucket of them for a while now and they are pretty rusty from the muriatic acid bath I gave them.
Attachment:
Spring nailed in.jpg
Spring nailed in.jpg [ 101.47 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]


It was pretty satisfying to slide the loper in, feet the pressure and then the "pop" as it went in past the spring. And it serves the purpose. Kind of silly to get such pleasure from a relatively crude operation, but it was cool. Here you see the loper positioned in the desk.
Attachment:
Loper in desk.jpg
Loper in desk.jpg [ 97.91 KiB | Viewed 4202 times ]


So, hopefully the drawers will be cleaned up, runners installed, and locks fitted this week. Cal

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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 7:36 pm   
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Very interesting. Is the hickory all the same thickness? Or is the end that's nailed in a little thicker?

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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 11 4:38 am   
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Cal,

Sometimes it's the simplest of things that give us pleasure. It's especially true when we learn something from the experience. Thanks for sharing you little adventure. :lol:

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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 11 7:21 am   
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Mr. Mo-hog,

Most here know at least some of my background, I grew up helping my Dad in the shop, he is a period furnituremaker by trade. After little to no woodworking for many years, I picked it up again in 2004 when my daughter needed a chest of drawers. Have been fairly serious since then. Don't shortchange or underestimate what you can do, just get after it, give it a try. And watch and learn from those who know what they are doing, that's the only reason I can attempt some of the pieces I have tried.

The crotch slabs were bought at Irion, I really don't remember the price. I stopped by and walked through the barn with Myron and he found 5 slabs in a set and I bought all of them. 4 ended up as fallboards on desks like this one and the 5th was sawn into the veneers you see on my drawer fronts. Maybe $8-12 a foot???? It's been nearly 2 years.

I look forward to your step stool and the chest. Make sure to document the process. I find that the documenting is helpful to refer to later, and I have been able to learn a lot just from others commenting.

Thanks for posting, Cal

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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 11 7:22 am   
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efmrrt wrote:
Very interesting. Is the hickory all the same thickness? Or is the end that's nailed in a little thicker?


I just planed it uniformly thick. I think the pilot hole was a little on the small side though, thus the split.

Thanks for posting on the thread. Cal

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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 11 9:43 am   
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Cal, I think the crotch boards, the whole stack of 'em, were about $75 each, 'cause I bought the 2nd-best one from you for my fallboard (take a look at the photo of my desk to see the family resemblance: http://www.matthewhobbsfurniture.com/ca ... iture.html).

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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 11 9:54 am   
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Mr.Mahogany wrote:
Chobbs66, thanks for the thoughts, ideas and encouragement. I think it is ok to use hickory since it is cheap wood. If I mess it up, it wont be costly. Cutting that crotch into veneers was a great idea to really stretch it's use out. How thick is the veneer? Was your secondary wood poplar? It seems like most of the period furniture makers used this for secondary wood. Man, I can't wait to start my first project. I'm ordering my wood TODAY!

Jeff


Yeah, low cost is a good thing, especially if you are wanting to build confidence. However........hickory is a hard tough mess to try to work with. So another wood might be a LOT easier to use. Either way you will learn a bunch by just tackling it. Chop chop, right?

The secondary wood is cypress, which for this desk is appropriate for the region, as well as yellow pine. Poplar is an all around great choice for secondary wood, and for any painted piece. My shop made veneers were a 16th to an 8th, leaving some thickness to flush up the fronts. I had a local woodworker who has a really nice bandsaw setup and he was gracious enough to let me saw them at his shop. Cal

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