Saturday, April 24, 2010


Finally finished off the piece on Thursday, save for a little refinement on the fit of the doors. Here are a few quick shots, will be getting professional photography done in May.

On the same day of finishing, Fine Woodworking finally came to the Coast, featuring Jason's letter from the students to JK and a photo of me working on the cabinet.

The photo wasn't at all staged.

Thanks for the great letter Jason.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Silver Pulls

Talking to Robert about what to do for the pulls led to using drop pulls to keep with the 'elegant' look of the cabinet. Usually we make drop pulls in the shop out of brass but while flipping through a book on craftsman-style furniture I saw a cabinet where silver wire pulls were used. I thought silver would go well with the silvery shimmer of the Curly Sycamore and liked the light, airy look of being able to see through them.

Some sketches:

After meeting with Erin Dolman about the silver, she advised me that the gauge of the wire we would have to use to keep with the scale of the cabinet would be too thin for practical use. So we came up with another design, keeping lightness of it and the shape of the Sycamore keys that I wanted.

Unfortunately using silver for the posts that attach to the cabinet was impractical as well, financially. So I decided to use brass and shape it to be mostly hidden by the seed part of the pull.

Using a jig made of maple, the mortise was cut into the brass on the shaper with a slot-cutter. The hole to receive needed to be ever so slightly proud of the top of the jig so that screwing the top piece of wood in place would hold the brass securely. This was done by drilling the hole close to the top of the jig then hand-planing the surface just until the hole is visible. (note: the other two holes are mistakes)

A tenon had to be cut on the back of the round post to prevent from rotating in the door. That was done on the table saw using a square piece of wood the same dimension of the post with a tenon that fit tightly in the brass piece. This gave me a reference to cut a square into the end of a cylinder.

A hole was carefully drilled from the back of the post and tapped, which allowed it to be screwed into the door from the inside. The screw head will be inset and the hole plugged with a small piece of Olive, the same wood used for the consoles, flipper-floppers and levelers. The hole was centred by drilling a hole in a piece of wood the same size as the post, then with the pit in place on the drill-press, clamping the piece of wood down. The post was then inserted into the wood and the drill bit changed to the appropriate size. A kerf was cut from the end of the jig to the hole to allow for enough clamping pressure to hold the brass down while drilling.

With the silver and brass pieces glued together with hot glue, a hole is drilled for the pin that the silver pull will pivot on.

To secure the pull while drilling, I used the same jig as used on the shaper. This held it in place, gave me a place to easily mark the hole location, and kept the bit from walking off the side of the post as it had to be drilled a bit off centre.

The pieces were then separated by soaking in acetone.

Drilled into the front of the door to sink the post about 1/16 in, and a hole to accept the screw from the back. Then chiseled out a mortise to accept the tenon.

Some detail shots:

 It was a lengthy, finicky process (as you can see by the wordy post) but I am really happy with how they turned out and I think they really suit the piece.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Year End Show

Open House

Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking
Saturday May 8th 1pm-5pm
1055 Roberts Creek Rd
Sunshine Coast, BC
877 943 9663

Furniture Exhibition
Kozai Designs
Reception: Saturday May 15th 1pm-5pm
Exhibition closes  May 29th
1515 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
604 667 8166

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Home Streach

This week I worked on the finishing touches for the stand which is now glued up. Here are the details:

 These are the side stretchers which are about 1" down from the bottom of the cabinet leaving the top surface visible. The thickness looked too heavy but needed to be there for structural integrity so I made an angled cut to reduce the visual weight.

These are the inner stretchers that the cabinet will be attached to. The cabinet will be "floating" 1/8" above the stand, the curves were cut in the inner stretchers so they wont be visible from the front or back. Even though they won't be seen I decided to surface the cuts with beaver marks as it was a faster and more enjoyable process than scraping or spokeshaving.

The edges were softened with the little tulipwood plane I made at the beginning of the year. Works great for one-handed operations.

Shop-made brass brackets to attach the cabinet to the stand. I know they are simple to make but I was super happy to able to make them in a couple hours the other morning, and get great results.

Glue-up #1 & 2, front and back assembled.

Glue-up #3.

Glue-up #4.

I wasn't able to get a really tight joint between the inner stretchers and the front and back aprons in glue-up #3, but went ahead anyway. Then during glue-up #4 a light bulb went off to switch the clamps to the underside where I wasn't getting the fit I wanted. Duh.

Next week I will be finishing up the pulls and doing some final clean-up on the doors. I'm not going to say that I will be done, don't want to jinx it.