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Thread: Build Thread for Curved Drawer Fronts with Veneer and Cock Beading

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Carlsbad, CA
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    Build Thread for Curved Drawer Fronts with Veneer and Cock Beading

    The Boss decreed we don’t have room for any more furniture so I’m reduced to building mostly small accessory/boxes I can sneak in the house when she’s not looking. This is a small walnut box roughly 18” long x 12” high x 10” deep. The main design/build challenge for me was carrying the “double curve” design elements (I believe called a Cupid bow), through the top, drawer fronts, dividers and base. I started laying out a template which was largely a matter of dividing the template proportionally and using circle templates to fit the curves. – sorry no pics.

    This thread is really focused on the curved drawer fronts which were shaped out of basswood. If you’ve never carved basswood you should definitely give it a try – cuts like butter!






    Once the drawer fronts were shaped, next up was gluing on the “field” Burl veneer. Because of the curved substrate, I used thin commercial, veneer, rather than thicker shop sawn material. I highly recommend using veneer softener and pressing the veneer between newspaper with the heavyweight to get it flat before getting started.






    The veneer was cut down the middle and applied is two separate pieces butted together at the low point of the central curve glued with Tite bond, veneer hammer and tape to hold it in place. After the field dried, I used a flexible metal straight image with sandpaper glued to the back to add some grip and Exacto knife to cut out space for the surrounding edge banding.











    I used superglue to attach the 1/8” wide ebony banding because the pieces were so small I couldn’t really get them lined up in place any other way. I used a guide block and chisel to miter the outside Elm burl.







    Again I used superglue to first attach the medial ends at the central curve and then press the remainder into place. I left this veneer slightly larger than the drawer front so after glue up I could trim to a final fit.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Using the drawer fronts themselves as a pattern, I traced out the profile of the cock beading on 1/8th” thick Maple stock. I made the rabbit on the drawer front to receive the cock beading primarily with a sharp knife and chisels to prevent chipping off any of the delicate face veneer that I’ve done before when using a rabbit plane.





    I used a Stanley bead cutter blade to roughly shape the round profile on the edge of the beading before assembly and then made some final adjustments after glue up to get a consistent reveal. Here’s a picture after coat of Watco oil/varnish which helps bring out the figure in color.




    Surface coat was shellac padded on 4 – five coats.








    I line the drawer bottoms with blue velvet because I thought it looked cool.



    Even though this was a small project, it gave me a chance to practice not only the veneering but also some line and Berry inlay and carving on the front columns. I didn’t get pictures of those steps but I believe there are covered in a previous post if you’re interested. Making the curved Holly line inlay that follows the curve on the front of the box top was particularly challenging because the curves were to acute to follow with my inlay cutter. I ended up mostly cutting the grooves freehand with an X-Acto and circle templates. Pretty hard on the old eyes but turns out it was doable.

    Thanks for looking!

    All the best, Mike

  3. #3
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    Jul 2016
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Amazing - well done!

  4. #4
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    Oct 2004
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    SoCal
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    Simply Stunning!

  5. #5
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    Dec 2010
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    Newtown, ct
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    Great execution. In my experience small stuff is a lot harder. Well done.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2019
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    Fairbanks AK
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    And you are going to have to sneak that into the house to get it past your wife? I am super impressed. Feel free to mail stuff you made that your wife wants to get rid of to me, I will pay the shipping.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    Really nice work, Mike. Lots of great detail in that piece. Comes with a good dose of head scratching along the way, but makes for a fun, engaging project.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2014
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    Gorgeous Again!!!!!

  9. #9
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    May 2015
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    Morocco IN
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    Wow Mike - another beauty. You really do fine work my friend.
    You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens.
    Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.
    - Bob Curtin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    7,996
    Mike, there are just so many advanced techniques in that little box. Amazing work! Thank you.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  11. #11
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    Nov 2007
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    Goleta / Santa Barbara
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    Michael, yet AGAIN you impress us all. Great job, sir. Great job.

    Best wishes from up the coast a bit, Patrick

  12. #12
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    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Looks great....way beyond my skill set...

  13. #13
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    Jan 2010
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    Lafayette, Indiana
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    1,232
    I always look forward to your builds. They are inspiring. Nice work Mike!!!

  14. #14
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    Sep 2009
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    Putney, Vermont
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    944
    I'm speechless Mike!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
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    Thanks guys for the very kind comments!

    For what it’s worth, the veneering, line/Berry inlay and carving are all things I learned to do on my own just by giving it a try. No classes or instruction – just experimentation. My main take awayFrom trying to learn these skills is:

    1) they’re not as hard as it seems,

    2)you can always start with a simple project in inexpensive wood and if it doesn’t work out pitch it.

    3) reward for persevering to learn a new skill is pretty cool you get to incorporate new things into your woodworking.

    Ironically I ended up giving this piece away and I don’t feel good about it��. I went through a series of four interviews for a job I really wanted and at the final interview I gave board members this box as a demonstration of my commitment to “building” the company. I know that’s super cheesy but I’m getting up there in years and I thought this kind of gesture might be helpful.

    Turns out not so much -Didn’t get the job – I’m bummed! I know it’s completely juvenile and petty , but gotta confess I kinda want to ask for it back. Sherrie says absolutely not, but I’m kinda pissed. I invested a lot of time and effort in the interview process and at this point,, I’m not so concerned if they think less of me. I know that’s not rational just emotional.

    What should I do? I appreciate suggestions from my fellow creekers . Thanks in advance for your feedback.
    Last edited by Mike Allen1010; 04-29-2021 at 12:28 PM.

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