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Thread: Part 2: Pair of Quarter Sawn White Oak Greene & Greene Inspired Blanket Chests

  1. #1
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    Part 2: Pair of Quarter Sawn White Oak Greene & Greene Inspired Blanket Chests

    First part of this build is here in the cave as a separate post. This is a quick update on progress with decorative pegs, assembling the carcass and baseboard. To me most obvious decorative feature of Greene & Greene furniture are the contrasting decorative “pegs”, typically used to highlight exposed joinery and horizontal lines (e.g. cloud lift). Original is Walnut (I think?) With ebony pegs. These 2 are quarter sawn white oak with cocobolo pegs. Intent of these 2 chest was to make something a little smaller, lighter than the original, which might be more appropriate for my twentysomething nephew who lives in a small apartment.


    The most critical tool in this project is what looks like a 3/8” square “mortising chisel” attachment for a mortising machine – basically a sturdily made square chisel (suitable for hammering) with central access for a corresponding drill bit. Sorry I can’t remember what this tool is actually called – I got this from Lee Valley. I think in total these 2 chest have about 70 of these mortises and corresponding pegs and chopping all those mortises square without this tool would have been a lot harder.



    I ripped the 3/8 inch square cocobolo pegs stock on the bandsaw a little over size and then you send paper glued to the reference board to establish the bevel’s and sand to a tight fit. I also ran the pegs stock through buffing wheel on the drill press just to create a nice shiny surface I hope contrast well with the QSWO.






    I wanted to create a reveal so the bevel of the pegs was level with the show surface of the carcass. Probably would’ve been good idea to use some jigs/drill press to establish consistent depth of the mortises, but of course I didn’t do that which resulted in quite a bit of trial and error to get a good fit. Lessons learned: better to leave the pegs a little long than a little too short, and don’t use too much glue as cleanup on beveled edges of the pegs/adjoining surfaces is a pain in the ass.






    After gluing the pegs used a card scraper on the carcass sides as final cleanup before assembly. The ray flecks in the QSWO had quite a few areas of reversing grain. As much as I love the mystique of getting a final show surface from a well-tuned smooth plane, card scraper yielded my best results. If I were teaching a hand tool class learning to sharpen/use card scraper would be one of the 1st/highest ROI things to cover.




    Glue up was the usual frenzy of “all hands on deck”. IMHO, 90° aluminum angle iron/plastic “squares” you can use on the inside of carcass to square things up at glue up are invaluable.


  2. #2
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    There is about a 2 ¼” wide 1” thick baseboard that goes around the bottom of the chest. Here are the baseboards planed up with quarter round molding’s sawn off. One of the luxuries of having a little bit longer lumber than usual was that I was able to make the baseboards and moldings out of a single board and therefore allow the grain to wrap around the chest.





    After glue up I realized when I cut the finger joints I didn’t allow for this design element and so had to trim the “extra” after assembly. Just one of the several challenges I created for myself with this project by not drawing up any plans.



    Sawing out the baseboard finger joints and using a chisel to cut the bevels. Some of my chisel were very “unhappy” trimming the end grain bevels in white oak – quite the demanding test. The Lee Valley PM bevel edge chisels are my go to for tough jobs like this that rapidly dull my other chisels. I can’t seem to get them is sharp as some of my 01 or Japanese chisels, but they definitely retain an edge longer.
    Here’s the fit of the baseboard.








    My set up for my mitering moldings. It’s a luxury to have a 2nd (old) bench to leave the miter box and shooting board set up while trying to fit moldings on the carcass on my main bench. (Sorry if that sounds like a humble brag – really intended to point out my view you can’t have too many horizontal shop work surfaces!).












    With the carcass is assembled, next step will be making the chest top2, and may be a couple sliding tills if I’m feeling really ambitious.




    Thanks for looking!

    Best, Mike

  3. #3
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    The glue up pic made me feel right at home! Can’t claim to be a fan of Greene & Greene but hope your nephew appreciates the special nature of your gift.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  4. #4
    Mike,

    As always I'm blown away by the quality for your work. Once MsBubba returns from the UK in November I hope to take you up on the Tacos and Cerveza.

    ken

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    Looking good.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    Very nice work Mike! Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
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    I'm impressed. I may have to go make something.
    I have built rocking chairs for family and friends.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys for the feedback.

    Ken we would love to have you and Mrs. McBubba come stay for a while! Plenty of room and can guarantee lots of shop fun and personal relationships with all the best hole in the wall Taqueria‘s in town.

    Cheers, Mike
    Last edited by Mike Allen1010; 10-15-2019 at 11:12 AM.

  9. #9
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    Tacos and woodworking? Hard to beat that combo. Thanks for sharing the project photos Mike. I like the attention to detail, especially when faced with many repetitions of a potentially tedious task. I think I saw a William Ng (or maybe even that Darrel guy) method for creating the square plugs, their finish and install on Y Tube at some time. It was not a slapdash operation at all. Agreed on an extra work bench surface. My shooting board lives on the far end of my 52" Unisaw table just next to my main bench as I rarely need that extra crosscutting capacity any more. Did you make that quarter round or purchase it? What will be the method for filling the nail holes?
    David

  10. #10
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    What will be the method for filling the nail holes?
    Why fill if you can cover?

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?232798

    Lee Valley used to sell an invisible nailing tool. It is just as easy to use a gouge or chisel.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
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    Thanks for reminding of a forgotten technique Jim. I actually used that one back in the 1980's but had forgotten about it. I haven't been adding moulding to my projects lately and had planned on changing that. The "lifted flap" will be in use again I bet as I creep into the world of hollows and rounds.
    David

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Eisenhauer View Post
    Tacos and woodworking? Hard to beat that combo. Thanks for sharing the project photos Mike. I like the attention to detail, especially when faced with many repetitions of a potentially tedious task. I think I saw a William Ng (or maybe even that Darrel guy) method for creating the square plugs, their finish and install on Y Tube at some time. It was not a slapdash operation at all. Agreed on an extra work bench surface. My shooting board lives on the far end of my 52" Unisaw table just next to my main bench as I rarely need that extra crosscutting capacity any more. Did you make that quarter round or purchase it? What will be the method for filling the nail holes?
    Hey David,

    I made the mounding, sawn from same piece of stock used for the baseboard below so grain matches.

    I struggle with filling nail holes- don’t use them much except for mouldings. I used sawdust mixed with titebond but the filler darkened after drying. I could really use some suggestions?

    Thanks, Mike

  13. #13
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    I struggle with filling nail holes- don’t use them much except for mouldings. I used sawdust mixed with titebond but the filler darkened after drying. I could really use some suggestions?
    Have you tried blind nailing as linked in my last post?

    If you want to stay with a filler, try mixing sawdust with a clear glue like an epoxy. Heavy on the sawdust. Try an experiment or two before using it on a project. This has worked well for me when gluing darker woods.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    Very craftsman-like workmanship!

  15. #15
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    Thanks Jim for the suggestion. I’ll have to try the “hidden“ nail technique, although this quarter sawn white oak is pretty brittle– seems like I could be asking for trouble to try and lift the shaving without breaking it off. Definitely worth a try, as is the epoxy suggestion.

    Appreciate the help!
    best, Mike

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