|Lotsa glue and clamps|
|Weird dovetails, but they are strong. Especially with some nails.|
|Cleaned up a little. |
I joined the main carcass with glue and cut finishing nails. These nails seem to work well, but I've drilled pilot holes just to be safe.
The front pieces go on next. The carcass was just a bit out of square, but a clamp across the body straightened it out while I attached the front. For the front and back panels, I am using drywall screws to temporarily hold everything. After it's painted, I will (hopefully) back them out one at a time and replace them with Roman nails.
Once again, I thought that the front edge of the chest will get the most contact with my forearm, so I decided to use a strip of solid wood in order to make it smoother. I happened to have a strip of black American walnut about the right thickness.
|Before this project, I actually thought I had too many clamps.|
Once the front is attached, the back can go on. My idea here is to screw the entire panel on at once, a little oversize, and then trim it to fit. This way any imperfections won't be seen. Also, there is a smaller chance of anything splitting when I drive the screws.
|The back before trimming. You can also see I've made a front flap lock already out of oak.|
|Trimmed and sitting pretty.|
With the front flap, I decided to prepare the outside surface for finish before attaching the battens, just in case I want to install them with clenched nails already. This outside surface is a wild grained softwood, which I would like to be seen through the milk-painted finish. This outer veneer of construction grade lumber is only about 1/16" thick, so planing it might easily tear through and destroy it.
I think the perfect way to prepare this is with a light sanding block to knock the fuzz off, then treat with my Japanese burnishers.
|My Japanese burnishing tools.|
A few years back I bought some of these burnishers, and I always enjoy using them. They are similar to the French burnisher, except there are three: course, medium and fine. Also the point isn't so much to polish up the wood as to bring out the texture of the grain.
They idea is with woods (especially softwoods), early wood and late wood have different hardnesses. When the wood erodes, the softwood erodes faster than the harder parts. Japanese burnishers take advantage of this.
I probably could spend a month or more burnishing all of the exposed parts of this tool chest, so I didn't go all out.
I started with the rough burnisher, which I made from broom straw and zip ties. This one is very much like the French one, except I usually apply some downward force with the French polissoir, whereas with this one I just use like I'm sweeping shavings off of my benchtop.
Once I'm tired of this, I move to the medium one, which is a much finer fiber. I don't remember what this one is made from, but using it makes a big difference. After that, I move on to the fine, horsehair polisher. This really makes the surface smooth to the touch.
|Before on the left, after on the right.|
Tomorrow we'll tackle the lid and the hardware.