We have been working on fabricating the door fronts, but wanted to post a quick update and pictures of the 2 "end pillars" with their drawers in place.
Here is a short video stream showing the drawer stop/release mechanism at work.
Just a couple of quick images to show the completed installation of both the hand-fitted drawer runners underneath each drawer, as well the upper guides and horizontal anchor rails as above each drawer, making traditional drawer ‘down-pitch’ a distant memory.
Also shown are both drawer retention systems being installed using mortise and floating tenons and secured with high-performance wood glue.
Our shop took some time to design a custom, hand-fabricated permanent drawer retention/release system for this customer’s sideboard drawers.
At the owner’s whim, it simultaneously affords the secure retention OR quick release of either drawer.
Many commercially available cheap plastic drawer stops either severely limit drawer extension, hampering the complete visibility of their contents, or else the drawer begins to severely pitch downward as it is extended out, placing the contents in jeopardy of spilling.
Our company’s mechanism keeps drawer contents safe from ever spilling through the accidental removal of the drawer from its tracks, yet also allows its quick removal for cleaning or maintenance, etc.
Our device also supports the drawers’ full travel along their tracks, while maintaining nearly a completely horizontal attitude along its full travel length.
Just a quick image of the Maple and Tulipwood stock marked with a felt-tip pen to allow immediate assessment of how flat the jointed face is with each pass.
Once the ‘wave’ pattern has been machined away, the board is dead-flat on that face. It will then be run through the carbide helix-headed planer, which both planes the opposite face parallel (and dead-flat) and shaves each board to the plan’s final thickness dimension with a glass-smooth finish (a nice dividend of the equipment).
When this process is complete, the boards are then cut to final width and length, a drawer bottom channel is cut into the two sides and front and the precisely cut pieces are then assembled into the two drawers (one left side, one right side) shown in the plans and photograph.
The components pieces have been now been cut to final dimensions for each of the two cabinet “end-pillars”.
Between the two pillars, the display shelf stretcher and its bottom tray/shelf area ‘bridge’ will soon be built.
We have acquired a single sheet of high quality furniture-grade Mahogany plywood, with which we construct the backs of the sideboard.
This is the sole application of plywood we tolerate in our furniture construction. As such it’s an ideal use of the material in that, unlike solid wood, it can be captured on all four sides without accommodation or allowance for wood expansion/contraction with seasonal changes in humidity and moisture.
It allows the back of the furniture piece to become far more than simply a screwed-in back panel;
tenoned in, the hardwood-ply back now completely locks the rear portion of the pillar assemblies into an incredibly strong and solid monolithic unit which will last for generations.
Once all construction is complete, we will proceed to tone the wood to the customer’s specifications.
We’ve been busy completing tenoning and mortising the 4 panels (2 inside and 2 outside) which will form the left and right “pillars” of this beautiful custom sideboard.
The clients want custom skirts added to the two outside cabinet halves as well as the front of each cabinet pillar. It makes sense to omit them from the inside and back, since the front and outsides are the only locations from which they could be seen in the finished piece.
To stay true to the original’s skirt as it appears in the three-quarter angle view of the magazine photo from which we are working, (along with the more dynamic 360-degree SketchUp plan), we have recreated the gentle curving pattern and printed out a template sheet in poly-vinyl acetate plastic.
Using that, we then rendered a more durable and rigid template (the only thing for which MDF is really suited) for repeated use in the shop to recreate the skirts in solid mahogany.
I then hand fitted mirrored tapering filler blocks to complete the downward swoop of the skirt(s).
We decided to take the extra time to design strong, supporting mortise and tenons to both the left and right side skirt panels, thus making them not just decorative (as they appear in the photo) but structural as well.
This process will be repeated all over again for the two front skirts (same exact pattern but different dimensions, so different pattern).
In case you couldn’t tell…….having a blast doing this!
Here we are marking and indexing the soon-to-be-buried locations of numerous Baltic Birch wood tenons.
These tenons (roughly the shape and size of a standard domino game piece, but with the strength of steel) will then be inserted into their mating hole-sockets (mortises) with professional adhesive.
The numbered, grain-sequential boards are then joined together under clamping pressure of roughly 1700 lbs for 24 hours minimum, rendering beautiful, incredibly strong, solid panels ready for further assembly into the carcase members of this furniture piece.
The completed cabinet will eventually be tinted/toned to the customer’s photograph specifications, then protected with 15 coats of hand-laid water-bourne polyurethane. It will be truly stunning.
In the days and weeks to come, complete step-by-step photos will be posted.
The medical delay has been addressed, and we are back at work on this beautiful sideboard piece.
The outside-facing cabinet side members have now just been mortised, and they are ready to receive their matching tenons.
The clients asked that very slight differences in thicknesses be engineered into a few of the cabinet side members in order to more accurately recreate that design detail, as it appears in the photograph.
We are happy to comply, and did so using our carbide-bladed, helix-cutter planer. That tool guarantees NO snipe or tear-out, both enemies of fine furniture.
The finished product will be truly beautiful. (It also doesn’t hurt that the clients have very good taste in furniture.)
We’ve had a personal emergency that has delayed progress and updates. We hope to be back up and running in a couple of weeks. So sorry for the delay.