I rubbed a couple of lengths of ash together to make the fall and then added a single-mitred cleat to each end. Next I scratched an ovolo moulding around the periphery of the exterior of the fall (fig. 1) and planed the closing rebate around the interior top and side edges (fig. 2).
Fig.1. Moulded fall edges.
Fig. 2. The 110° top (only) rebate.
Before I assembled the carcase, I formed the narrow housings in the desk compartment for the pigeonhole and drawer dividers. You can probably just make out the horizontal housing in the left carcase side in figure 3.
Fig. 3. Horizontal housing in left hand carcase side.
The 3/16″ thick dividers comprise two boards which are rubbed together in the normal fashion. The front board of each division is ash, as you’d expect, however, the rear is pine, which may sound cheap, but was common practice in the eighteenth-century (figs. 4, 5 & 6).
Fig. 4. Mahogany bureau with mixed wood dividers, circa 1750.
Fig. 5. Mahogany bureau with mixed wood dividers, circa 1760.
Fig. 6. Mahogany bureau with mixed wood dividers, circa 1780.
I prepared some thin ash and pine stuff and rubbed the dividers together. When dry, I cut out the shaped vertical dividers and formed the half-round nosing on the front edges of all the dividers. Shallow housings were cut into the various dividers to permit them to interlock and then the whole pigeonhole and drawer-opening structure was slid into place within the desk’s interior (fig. 7).
Fig. 7. Pigeonhole and drawer dividers installed.
Fig. 8. Ash and pine dividers.