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Build history for sideboard in Biedermeyer style

Step 1 - Build base and middle frame members

glue up base frame

Glue up base frame

Step 2 - Build feet - glueup of 4 tapered interlocking sides with embedded/epoxied 1/2"threaded rod

foot detail

finished foot - removable if needed for moving. A temporary foot will be used during build process

Step 3 - Assemble initial frame with feet attached

initial assembly

Internal frame up to top of doors (what looks to be top is really the midframe)

internal structure

Internal frame including interior shelf space and drawers.
Blue tape defines locations of holes for shelf pins. Next step is creating the doors, top and sides.

Step 4 - Build door/drawer base plate to which veneers will be glued

door base plate glueup

Glueup of door base plate. Doors and drawers are defined by walnut inset strips.

door plate

Door base plate roughly in place.
Veneer will be glued to front and back and individual doors/drawers cut out.
That will ensure continuity of grain from drawer down thru its corresponding door.

Step 5 - Veneer sides after making sure grain pattern flows up and through top sheet

veneer sides

Veneering side panels. Grain pattern will flow up and over top of sideboard.

Step 6 - Disassemble casement, finish interior, install brass ferrules for shelves, reassemble for fit

Interior finished

Interior finished, showing adjustable shelves

Step 7 - Veneer top sheet in giant veneer press

giant veneer press

This very large veneer press is used in another shop in town to make large commercial interiors.
I rented it for the top which turned out beautifully, and will use for doors

Step 8 Carve and fit columns of claro walnut

column detail

Side columns roughed in. centerpiece will be fluted and ebonized before final assemble

Step 9 Reassemble and glue carcass. Build test drawer to test the fancy drawer slides. Install all drawer slides.

corner detailw drawer

Carcass is solid. A test drawer is assembled with new drawer slides.
The drawer action is silent, smooth and very sleek!

Step 10 Build drawers with hand-cut dovetails

hand cutting dovetails 1

Begin handcutting dovetails by cutting the tails. These will then be used to mark and cut the pins
I'm using a Japanese Dozuki saw that cuts on the pull stroke guided by a wooden block

hand cutting dovetails 2

The resulting 4 drawers and their tails. Each drawer's sides have matched tails

glue drawer together

After cutting and fitting the pins, each drawer is glued together in a jig that ensures a squared drawer.
The jig uses old-fashioned wedges to put pressure on the various sides of the drawer

Step 11 Fit drawers on slides and finish column details (actually this is two steps but this is a combined picture)

drawers are installed on slides

Upper left corner - the drawers(less the applied front with walnut burl) are complete and installed on the underguides.
The drawers slide with a silky, silent operation

column profile

Complete the corner column with the ebonized center piece of column

Step 12 Cut and fit horizontal band trim pieces that will be ebonized like the columns

detail of trim

Detail of top band (will get a 1/4" black inset band around front and sides)
and horizontal band trim pieces (that will be ebonized)

case with trim pieces

Sideboard case with trim pieces (before ebonizing)
Awkward legs below are just temporary ;)

Step 13 Make doors - cut to rough fit, veneer first with cross-banding then final veneer, finally ~carefully~ cut to final fit and hang on special hinges

While my first impulse was to make the doors all at once - hence the base sheet of step 4 above, it became apparent that the walnut burl was too fragile to fasten into such a large sheet and then handle. So I have cut the door/drawer bases apart and will veneer each individually. Each door/drawer sheet will be veneered twice - first with a cross-banding layer, then the final show layers - burl outside and quartersawn ash inside - for a total of 8 veneer pressings. For the burl, I chose a match and have cut the sheets to rough size (about 1 inch larger all around than final size).  Below shows the pattern.  Sorry about the color - somehow my IPhone skewed toward too much blue in the picture.

walnut burl cut roughly to size

This shows you the pattern for the drawers/doors. The 4 walnut burl sheets have been cut to rough size and arranged as
bookmatch pairs prior to veneering to base.They will lose about 1 inch all around to get to final size. Because the burl sheets are lumpy and brittle, they will need to be softened and strengthened in a
solution of water, alcohol and glycerin, then completely dried while being pressed. This process will probably take a week for all 4 sheets.
The color is way off due to my iPhone.

Step 13 continued - veneer doors and drawers as individual sheets to preserve matching figure

door slabs out of press

Drawer/door veneered pieces straight out of veneer press- white is veneer tape covering thin spots.
Veneer tape is all cleaned off with water and chisel.

edge of door showing plies

After cutting to shape and finishing, this is a picture of the door edge to show the resulting plies.

Step 14 - Fit drawers and doors to cabinet

shaving doors to fit

Doors and drawers are carefully cut and fitted to spaces - important to get all gaps even.
Final fitting is with Japanese plane that shaves wood thinner than a hair.

fitting doors and drawers

The walnut burl bookmatch pattern is beginning to take shape
Mount drawer fronts on drawers using dowels.

fitting doors and drawers

Detail of drawer center burl bookmatch.
Note that this is raw wood with no cleanup or finish - may appear dull but will be stunning in end.

doors hung

Doors are carefully hung on European-style hinges. Tolerances for placement are less than 1/16".
The last remnants of blue tape are temporary pulls.

showing open door

With one door open, now you can see the contrast of the inside quarter-sawn ash facing.

Step 15 - Finishing the sideboard

varnishing doors

Doors and drawers are finished with multiple coats of varnish, hand sanded between each coat. After curing
for two weeks, the pieces will be rubbbed with pumice and then rottenstone to achieve a clear, handrubbed finish.

center of finished drawers

Center of finished drawers, without hardware

left center door wo pulls

Finished left center drawer / door without hardware. Note that the slight bulging is a camera effect.

varnishing the case 1

The case is also finished with multiple coats of varnish

varnishing the case 2

Detail of case. These are the true colors of the top and side veneer.

Step 16 - Install the drawer and door pulls

install door pulls

Client selected beautiful European-style pulls. Install on drawers and doors. Also add bullet catches on bottoms of doors.

Step 17 - Install drawers, adjust fit and make/fit velvet liners

fit drawers and velvet linings

Install drawers and doors and adjust fit. Make and fit velvet linings for drawers.

Step 18 - Step back and admire "shimmer" in top

Top veneer in changing light Top veneer in changing light Top veneer in changing light

The top veneers exhibit what the French term "chatoyancy." The wood pattern reflects light differently as light source is moved.
These three pictures are at same angle to top, just the light has moved across top.

Step 19 - Sign piece showing pride in workmanship

signed door

I signed the piece on the inside of the door. This also shows the beautiful quarter-sawn ash inside of doors.

Step 20 - Deliver to client

packed in van for delivery carrying through the rose beds setting down for unwrapping carrying into final location refitting the drawers adjusting the doors

Project complete!

Padoak
Padoak