Monday, December 30, 2013

Nails and Cracks



When Schwarz post his nail cabinet to the LAP blog a few months ago, I knew immediately I would build one. Why? I can't explain. It just struck me. It's a ridiculously easy project, so no challenge aspect there, but it seems lately I'm drawn to shop furniture that makes the place more pleasant to be in. So the back wall of my personal shop is undergoing a change. And this nail cabinet is the first part of the process. Later I'll cover the drywall with oak flooring and hang my new chest upon it.


I'm using Sapele from some 12/4 planks from Midwest Woodworking that Andy Brownell picked up for me a couple years ago. I had to do a bit of resawing, but the stuff stayed put as I sliced of 3/8" thick pieces. Very stable. I'm not a big fan of Sapele, so I thought shop furniture would be a good resting place for this material. I don't yet know if I have enough stock for the drawers, so in the spirit of the original, I may use something else. I do have a long beam of Douglas Fir that came out of an old library in Eugene, OR. It has ridiculously tight grain and would make fine drawer boxes.

If you end up building this project, make sure you err on the side of a tad loose on the egg crate dividers, especially if you use softwood. I have a hard time dropping my luthier's tolerances sometimes. I had a couple of the short grain section pop free when banging it together. Glued them back on in a jiffy though.

I'm also opting for card frame pulls instead of the bin pulls and knobs from the original. I need the labels. I picked up 21 of them from Van Dyke's, on sale for less than $3 ea. in an oil rubbed bronze finish. You can get nice, heavy cast pulls, but I didn't want to spend over $100 just on the pulls. Here's the link. http://www.vandykes.com/product.aspx?p=207415&green=5321A530-741F-5ECE-AFBC-B78CB130B044


Here's some pics of my French Oak bench in the dead of the coldest winter I can remember. The top is crowned (as expected) and the leg tenons are poking through about 1/32". The bench still works, although it does need flattening to perform better. In case you're interested, my top has opened up quite a bit on the worst end. The red arrows point to pencil lines that I drew across the ends of the checks when I finished the bench this summer. The lower check has just about doubled in size. In a month or two I'll wedge the gaps in the leg tenons, then flatten the top. I only ended up wedging one leg when I built the bench, and its the only leg that hasn't poked through the top. It will be interesting to see what the other three do next winter.




10 comments:

  1. Is there a story that goes with the leg vise hand wheel in pic #1?

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    1. Aye, indeed there is. The year was 1834. We were rounding Cape Horn during a most fierce squall, the old creaky schooner lurching with every wave. The smell of oakum thick in the air. The sea that day was angry, and the band of greedy expatriates gave no heed to the water's wrath as they hoisted the mainsail above their greasy manes. For their lust for gold, and ambergris, and all the jewels of Araby could not be dispelled by blast of wind nor roil of the deep, nor by a...

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    2. Patrick,

      Sorry about the tongue-in-cheek reply. I couldn't resist! That's a little prototype I've been testing out over the past couple months. Not sure if it will make it to production or not.

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    3. No worries. I love those kind of replies. I'd been trying to think of a worthy response, which is why nothing was posted. (I seem to be suffering from a major, and long lasting, brain fart in the witty response department.)

      My first thought was either you were trying to get in touch with your inner pirate, or it involved beers, possibly a Schwarz, a bunch of left over handles and a boatload of superglue.

      Happy New Year!

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    4. Also, speaking of prototypes, have you ever prototyped the current Glide wheel design without the knob; and, is the double lead screw traditional handle still a possibility? Thanks. Patrick

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    5. Yes, we've played around with a knobless Glide, and if you work with thin stock mostly, the knob doesn't get used much. But having the knob for gross adjustments really is necessary.

      We're working on the new leg vise right now. Hoping to have it ready sometime in February.

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    6. That makes sense. Thanks.

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  2. *shakes head*

    More and more woodworkers showing us pictures of their cracks these days... what is this hobby/industry coming to??

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  3. Curious about the passing comment, "I'm not a big fan of Sapele". By all means to each is own but I'm curious what you don't like about it. It is easily one of the most popular species we sell these days. I find it dustier than the other red woods but other than that pleasant to work with. Consider this market research on my part.

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    1. This batch is different from what I've used in the past. It's much more agreeable.

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