NBSS Week 17 – Windsor chair class Part 2, some more toolbox work, and a lecture on tambours

I began this week by fitting the drawer bottoms to my toolbox drawers. This involved first cutting them square then fitting them for the width of drawer grooves in the bottom of the drawer. The next step was to cut the bevels on the underside of the four 3/8” drawer bottoms so that they fit tightly and slid into the ¼” drawer grooves.

It was then back to the bench for the fine tuning of the fit. Here’s the result:



With the drawer bottoms fitted it was time to actually glue the drawers together. Afterwards I began the process of fitting each drawer to its individual toolbox opening. Just like the shaker night stand, this involved first planing the bottom surfaces to make sure they were even and that the drawer sat flat. Next I removed material on each side to achieve an opening gap on each side that was about the thickness of a business card. Then I planed all of the top surfaces so that the opening gap was the thickness of a credit card with the numbers. After they all fit I marked out the positions for the drawer pulls and went ahead and drilled the holes for them.

With the drawers now done, it was time to work on the frame for the front lid. This involved first using the dado set on the table saw to run a ¼” wide ¼” deep groove in both the rails and the stiles (this will house the front lid panel). I then had to cut the 1½” deep mortises in the rails using the mortise machine, and used the dado set on the table saw again to cut the tenons on the stiles. Back at the bench I refined the fit and here’s the rough frame (a little oversized to allow for custom fitting later).

I also glued up the curly maple for the lid panel, this will get sized and fitted next week.

Part 2 of the Windsor chairs class kept us pretty busy all throughout the week too. We started by gluing up the pine we will be using for the seat. After that we put our leg tenons in the kiln to dry them out in preparation for cutting the tenons and fitting them to the seat.

While they were drying we started to drill the holes in the seat that will accept the legs. This process involved drilling a 5/8” hole at 22 degrees for each of the rea legs and then two at 13.5 degrees for each of the front legs. Here’s the setup:


After the holes were drilled we then cut the tapered tenons on our now dry tenon sections of each leg using a device that looks much like a large handheld pencil sharpener. With the tenons cut we then reamed out each angled hole in the seat with a reamer and fit each leg to its hole, paying close attention to install the leg so that the grain moves the same in both the seat and the legs as the years go by.




















With the legs now fitted we moved on to carving the seat profile.



This involved using a bunch of new tools, including the scorp to take out the rough material and a travisher to clean up the rough cuts and make the seat surface smooth. We then profiled the curves in the bottom of the seat with the drawknife followed by the spoke shave.

Our Lance lecture this week was all about tambours. He talked about how to cut the pieces, how to glue them to heavyweight canvas, and the minimum radii to use to ensure they will function properly when opened. He also talked about the complications of decorating the tambour surface and how to best overcome some of those challenges. Next week we continue with Part 3 of the chair class and I will continue my work on the toolbox lid, knobs and ship lapped back panels….


Comments are closed.