Thursday, March 21, 2019

Workbench drawers - Rounded protruding tenons

I finally finished to cut all the joins and especially the facing protruding tenons.

Dry fit of the facing box joins.

It was then time to round the tenons edge so to make them smooth and soft. To do this the perfect tool was my mini Craftsman plane.

My mini Craftsman plane was perfect
to round the tenons.

I then used a piece of rolled sand paper to smooth out all edges.

Right side of the drawer...
...Looks good to me, what about you Matt?

After 30 minutes both side were rounded and the end result is satisfying.

The drawer front.

I am thinking to also round the edge of the drawer face and maybe to add a bead at the top and bottom of the face. Not sure for the bead though, I will try it on a scrap piece of wood to see how this would look.

I then started to cut the boards to make the drawer bottom. As discussed in my previous post I will make the bottom out of solid wood.
I used my Disston D8 to cut boards to length first. I cut the boards 1 inch longer so I can cut them again in case I am not cutting straight by hand.

Using the Disston D8 to cut the boards to length.

I must say that I am really amazed by this saw. Not only it is so sharp that sawing with it is like sawing butter, but also it is the first time I am able to saw straight to the line!

Sawing straight to the line.

And for those who may think I am cheating on this picture, here is the end result.

Perfect (almost) cut!

I bought this saw from Daryl Weir, it was not cheap but worth any penny I paid for it. I must say low hat mister Weir, you are a true master saw sharpener!

Now I have a bunch of board to resaw so to get two 1/2" board from each of them.

I need to resaw this.

And there is where is my problem now. I wanted to make this drawer only with hand tools so I tried to resaw one of these with another Disston D8 for rip cut, and I must confess it was a total disaster, true butchery, to the point where I doubt I could make it. 
My problem is that I started to resaw without making a initial kerf all around the board, I guess (or let say I sincerely hope) that doing this will make it easier. At this point I don't have anything to make this kerf except a chisel and this would be time consuming so I am thinking to sell my soul to the dark side and resaw this on the table saw, but this does not make me happy. I may give it another try tomorrow if I dare.

Workbench drawers - About drawers bottom

Now that the first drawer box is progressing well I started to think about the drawer bottom.
At first sight I was planning to use plywood or MDF to do the bottom as this is not a well visible part. Then I heard a little voice in my head (yes sometimes I can hear some voice in my head, I know this is not a good sign of sanity) saying "Hey man, are you a wood butcher or not?". The answer is obvious, of course I am a wood butcher and so I will not take the shortest path.
So now I am thinking to build the drawer bottom with solid wood.
I have some 2"x6" white pine boards (that are actually 1"1/2x5"1/2) that I will cut to size and re-saw so to get 1"x6" boards. After re-sawing and planning I should be able to end with 1/2"x5" boards (actual size).
I plan to make a french drawer bottom with an added middle rail where the bottom board would be ship lap assembled.
From the front it would look like this:

Front view of the drawer bottom

And from the side, like this:

Side view of the drawer bottom

Instead of using ship lap joinery for the bottom board I could also use tongue and grove assembly but I am not sure this is really useful in this case. As each board would be 14" long and 1/2" thick I don't see much wood movement that would require a tongue and grove join.
Any comment will be welcomed.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Woodworking legacy

In my profile, for those who took a look at it, I am talking about my great grand father who was a carpenter in the early 20th century. No doubt that he was  the trigger of my interest in woodworking in my early childhood.

I had the chance to inherit of some of his tools that I keep like a treasure, not because of the real value of these tools but more as a legacy that I care about.

Below is the bow saw he made by himself that I keep hanged on a wall in my house.

My great grand father bow saw.

The saw has been so much used that you can see the wood bending on the tenon assembly.

The frame deformed by the tension over the years.

I also got one of his wooden plane, a planer/jointer considering its length.

My great grand father jointer plane.
His name initials are stamped on the side of the plane. I need to restore it one day so to put it back to use. I checked and the sole is flat and in very good shape.

My great grand father initials stamped on the side of his plane.

I also have some tools like old screwdrivers, a draw knife, a saw file and a little hammer I love to use to set my planes blade etc...

... and some more (the pliers are also home made).
Some more tools

One of the tool I really like is his little level made of boxwood by J Rabone & Sons, it is in pristine condition.

A J. Rabone & Sons level "Warranted Correct"

The last two things I got from him are a compass saw and his hand brace (not sure about the brace maker).

A compass saw...
... and his hand brace.
I try to keep some of these tools in good usable condition as I want to keep them "alive".

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Workbench drawers - Drawer front

After having cut the box joins for the drawer back assembly, time to tackle the drawer front.

Drawer back and side completed waiting for the front.

Like for the back I started to mark and cut the drawer side and then used them to mark the front board.

The front board marked using the cut sides

I then made a kerf on both faces so to guide the saw while cutting.

Kerfs made, ready to cut with the saw.

Here I thought of a way to go faster when cutting the waste. Instead of only using the mortise chisel to chop it I did 2 cut at 90 degrees so only a small piece remains. This accelerated a lot the waste removal. Obvious but I did not think about it before, call it the experience.

Cutting the waste away while making one side.
I then cleaned the cut right on the line using my firmer chisel and with the help of my small combination square to check that the cut is straight and of the right size. I then did a dry fit to check.

Not bad for  first dry fit try.
Now to satisfy Matt (from Woodworking in a Tiny Shop) eagerness to see them, here is a first picture of what the protruding tenons will look like.

Protruding tenons first insight.

I will need to round them and plane them but I already like the way it looks.
Here is another picture of what it will look like when the drawer will be in place.

The raw drawer in place.
Next I will fit the other side and start to look at the drawer bottom.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Workbench drawers - Dry fitting back assembly

After having cut the drawer back and roughly cleaned the waste I started to adjust the cuts on the back as well as the sides.

Not yet good enough.

I have been pretty cautious not to go too fast as I am used to act like a bull and regret it afterward. I did many chop and dry fit so to ensure that I was not going to far.

Still not good enough...

Then I remembered that I have an old depth gauge as well as a small combination square that were a great help to cut more precisely to the required size (one more thing to remember next time).

Using my old depth gauge to check
the cut size.

At the end I find the result not too bad, not perfect yet for sure but not too bad. Usually this is when I feel the disappointment to see how bad the joint is looking but this time I am pretty satisfied. It has been a pleasant experience.

Left join.

Right join

Back and side assembly dry fit.

Now remain to cut the drawer sides for the drawer face assembly. The join will be the same cut but 1/4" deeper so the tenons will protrude on the drawer face. 1/4" will be too much but I will plane the tenons to the correct size afterward.

Front cuts will be 1/4 deeper.

Talking about protruding tenon, and based on the comment from I am a Ok Guy yesterday, here is a picture to illustrate the kind of look I want to get.

What kind of look I want to get.
(picture from

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Workbench drawers - Drawer back

After preparing the drawer sides it is now time to take care of the drawer back.
I started by using the sides to trace the lines on the back board so I avoid any surprise in my measurement (I am a kind of specialist in this type of surprise).

Using the cut on the sides as a template
to draw the cut on the back.

I then marked the waste on all faces, just to be sure I cut the right part as I know how much silly I can be sometimes (and don't ask how I know that...).

Mark the waste on all faces so the cut is obvious.

Then like for the side, I used a knife and a chisel to make a kerf all around the waste so to guide the saw and avoid tear out. I could have done this directly without marking the lines with a pencil but I find it more visual for me to do it that way.

A kerf done all around the waste.

For the back the waste at the two ends are cut with the saw and I only need to chop the center part.

Each end cut with the saw only remains
the center part.

When cutting and chopping I prefer to stay shy of the line on the waste side as it is easier to remove more waste than to deal with to wide cuts. Maybe one day with more experience I will cut right on the line but for now this is good enough for me.

Center part chopped away, need to clean the join now.

Next step will be to clean the joins and adjust them for a tight fit.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Workbench drawers

As mentioned in a previous post, one of my projects is to build two drawers for my workbench. I choose to go with box joints assembly with protruding tenon on the drawer front. Viewed from the side it should look like this:

Side view of the drawer.

First thing is to cut the boards to length. This time I choose to use poplar boards directly sourced from a local hardware store and already planned as I don't have time to go to the sawmill to get raw boards and plane them.
To cut the board I used my freshly restored Stanley 246 miter box. There are two things I really like with this miter box. First you can cut board up to 8"3/4 inches with the front upright in the forward hole position.

The upright in the forward position so to be able
to cut wider boards.

The second, even if not often used, is the ability to cut angle up to 60 degrees when usually boxes only allow 45 degrees. This is the reason why there are two notches in the sacrificial base board so the upright can get to this angle. 

The notch in the board allowing the upright to
go to max angle.

The drawers are 31" wide and 27" deep, I used a 1x8x6 board for the drawers face and 2 1x6x8 for the side and back.
It was really a pleasure to cut these on the miter box with the hand saw, the cut is perfect and no more dust in the air coming from the table saw.

Cutting using hand saw makes only a bit of sawdust.

Next is to trace the box joints to cut but just before that I got a surprise... the board I used for the drawer face is 1x8x6 raw size, so in theory should be 3/4"x7"1/2 after planing, in other words the real size you get from the shop should be 3/4"x7"1/2. 

Not even close to 7"1/2.

However in my case the board width was only 7"1/4. I am fortunate that this will not matter much but next time I will check before making my plans.

I started to mark the drawer side, each side end will have 3 tenons, the middle one being 1"1/2 while the side ones only 1". I first measured and made my mark using a pencil.

Waste marked on the board.

Then I used a chisel to make a kerf all around the cut I will do.

A kerf all around the mark.

I then used my 8" saw to cut just shy to the mark.

Cut the waste with a backsaw.

I just got this saw at auction and it is quite fun to use. I did not sharpened it at all and it is still cutting nicely for its age.

The 8" backsaw I used, small but nice to use.

As I do not have any coping saw yet, I made many cuts side by side on the waste part so to ease its removal using a chisel.

Many cut to ease waste removal with a chisel.

I used a mortising chisel to remove the waste and a regular firmer chisel finish the cut. Result is not bad for a first try.

Back side is done for this one, three to go before doing the front side.