A William and Mary Simulated Tortoiseshell Chest of Drawers – Part Two

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but due to the stormy and periodically wet weather we’ve experienced lately, I didn’t want to risk setting up outdoors to work on the chest’s carcase. In stead, I moved piles of stuff around inside my little shed until I uncovered the lathe and was then able to turn the four pine feet… they had to be turned at some stage!

wmftcod_bun_feet_031212_01aFig. 1. That’s the bun feet out of the way.

The unpredictable weather continued, so I gave the feet several coats of gesso… frankly it’s easier to do them on the lathe (rotating them by hand) than later on when they’re attached to the chest. The spigots will be glued into the feet prior to attaching them to the underside of the chest.

wmftcod_bun_feet_031212_02aFig. 2. Blanc de Chine-esque bun feet.

I also took the opportunity to make the pine upper and lower carcase mouldings. Normally cross-grain walnut D-moulding would be stuck onto the front of the pine dustboards, but as this chest will be painted, I can get away with simply moulding the front edges of the dustboards.

The weather improved, so I rub-jointed a few boards together, cut some dovetails and knocked up the carcase.

wmftcod_carcase_091212_01aFig. 3. Pine carcase with straight grain pine mouldings attached.

wmftcod_carcase_091212_02aFig. 4. Upper moulding.

I mentioned in my post, Dustboards, how, on occasions, thin dustboards were jammed up into their housings from beneath with wedges. The reasoning behind this approach is twofold; firstly, the thinnish boards slide freely into position, with just the front few inches being the fullness of the housings (only the front of the dustboards are glued). The second benefit is that the undersides of the dustboards don’t need to be planed particularly flat – or even parallel with the upper surfaces.

wmftcod_carcase_091212_03aFig. 5. Dustboard wedged from beneath (carcase upside down).

The wedges are simply riven from a pine block and are hammered in dry. The protruding material will be sawn off.

Jack Plane

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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6 Responses to A William and Mary Simulated Tortoiseshell Chest of Drawers – Part Two

  1. FIG Woodworks says:

    I always learn something from your work Jack


  2. Joe M. says:

    So….. the first inch or so is the full width of the dado, then the reast of the “dustboard” is deliberatly thined out to allow for the wedges? or is the first inch installed at front as separate piece with the “dustboard” glued to it? Unless you are apllying a seperate moulding (around front of the case and drawer dividers to hide the exposed end of the dado.


    • Joe M. says:

      besides my poor typing/and spelling, I should have read your post again before asking a question…. I see the dustboard is made the full thickness of the dado then the rear portion planed thinner, keeping the first inch or so full thickness. The end of the dado will be hidden by layers of gesso.
      Do I have that right?


  3. Jack Plane says:

    Joe, In this instance, the first 2-1/2″ of the dustboard fills the housing and the remainder of the dustboard behind this leading edge is purposely thinner to allow it to be easily slid into place without binding. The wedges then pack the thinner section up against the top (working) shoulder of the housing.

    The housings are cut 3/8″ deep into the carcase sides and a continuation of the 1/2″ D-moulding will be applied to the front edges of the carcase sides which also serves to hide the housings. See this image of the walnut W & M chest I made previously.

    The gesso is merely a thin surface smoother to prevent the pine’s figure telegraphing through the tortoiseshell finish – in exactly the same manner it’s employed in gilded work.


  4. Robert says:

    Not really a comment, just enjoy all you are telling.


  5. Pingback: A William and Mary Simulated Tortoiseshell Chest of Drawers – Part Three | Pegs and 'Tails

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