A William and Mary Walnut Chest of Drawers – Part Two

I had intended to make the carcase of this chest out of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) or reclaimed Yellow Pine (Pinus taeda, Pinus palustris, Pinus echinata etc.) – either would have been historically appropriate – but in the end, I opted for Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii). Although not pertinent to the period, it’s fairly bland and ultimately a reasonable substitute for Spruce (Picea excelsa) and other pale deals of the period.

I prepared 7/8″ thick boards for the top and bottom panels of the carcase and 1-1/8″ thick boards for the gables. I rubbed the boards together with glue and stood them aside to dry.

The rub-jointed carcase panels.

When dry, I cleaned up the panels, squared them, cut the housings in them for the dustboards and planed the rebates for the backboards.

The carcase panels housed and rebated.

I cut the dovetails in the panels and dry-assembled them to check for fit (I only noticed the gaps in the lower left joints after I took this picture; a couple of knocks with a mallet rectified the matter).

The bare carcase.

The next step is to make the dustboards and the divider for the top drawers.

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About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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3 Responses to A William and Mary Walnut Chest of Drawers – Part Two

  1. This might seem like a really silly question, but you mentioned above that you “rubbed the boards together with glue and stood them aside to dry”. When you ‘rub’ the boards together, does the wet glue and ‘vacuum’ of jointed edges allow the boards to stay together without requiring clamps? …or am I just reading this incorrectly?

    Thanks for your time and I look forward to following this build.

    Dan

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    • Jack Plane says:

      These panels are each made up from four boards. I stand two adjacent boards, side-by-side on the bench with their mating edges upwards. I simultaneously slather the two edges with hot animal glue and immediately drop the front board into the vice and tighten it. I then flip the second board over and quickly rub it to and fro a couple of times on the clamped board until they grip. Within seconds, the boards are stuck. No clamps are necessary.

      Once rubbed together it’s safe to undo the vice, lift the boards out and lean them against a flat, vertical surface. The second pair is rubbed together and then the two pairs of boards are rubbed together in exactly the same manner to form the full width panel. Full strength is achieved once the moisture in the glue has evaporated – usually within 6-10 hours.

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