Author Topic: Table Chest with Drawers  (Read 4876 times)

Tom M

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Table Chest with Drawers
« on: January 02, 2014, 09:20:36 PM »
I've been wanting to make this small chest for several years. I thought I understood the construction reasonably well, but in starting a drawing and looking at the picture from "American Case Furniture" I'm thinking I might be wrong.  I'm including a link to a PDF file I put together to try and explain my dilemma in more detail. Basically I assumed the front of the box had cut-outs for the drawers. But closer examination of the picture makes me think the front might be assembled from three pieces. If that is the case I can't figure out how it would be held together.

Any suggestions? (Yale would let me see the original but that's almost 400 miles away...)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74428001/Table%20Chest%20Question.pdf

Thanks,
Tom
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Jeff L Headley

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 09:38:10 PM »
Tom, You have your front which runs down to above the drawer fronts with a center vertical grain drawer divider which is usually set in a rabbit ( not to be confused with a silly flea bitten varment) and your bottom which is hidden behind your front foot mold. On this small of chest your bottom might be fastened by many different methods. Your sides and back width ( heigth ) will be full size to your case size. Hope this makes sense.

Jack Plane

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 09:48:58 PM »
This might make the construction clearer...
Regards, Jack.

Tom M

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 10:58:16 AM »
Jeff and Jack,

Thanks for your quick replies.  Based on your input this is how I interpret the front and side assembly:

I made a set of hinges in 2005 for this project. My father was an ornamental iron worker between high school and the Army, and he directed me on it. He passed away several months later, and this was the first time we did iron work together since I was in high school - great memory.
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

Tom M

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 10:59:00 AM »
Front assembly
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HSteier

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 05:30:17 PM »
Hi Tom

The chest has the appearance of a blanket chest. But I assume that it is a miniature. What are the approximate dimensions?

Howard Steier

Jack Plane

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 08:23:08 PM »
Tom, the most common method that I have seen for attaching the base is to form a tongue along each end of the base (on the upper surface - in other words, just cut rebates along the underside) which is then glued into grooves in the sides. The dovetailed plinth helps keep it all together.
Regards, Jack.

Jeff Saylor

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 08:52:04 PM »
Tom,

I've measured two miniature blanket chests that had 2 drawers as yours does. The one was done with the end grain exposed, exactly as your illustration suggests.  The other had vertical face grain pieces that I assume were glued into a tongue on the side piece because there are no visible fasteners, no evidence of mortise layout, and they are full thickness (1/2").   The middle stile on both are mortise and tenoned.
Jeff Saylor
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msiemsen

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 09:02:51 PM »
I would expect the bottom was just nailed on and covered by molding. Your drawing would be nicer.
Mike Siemsen
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Tom M

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 10:44:29 AM »
Howard,
The box is about 2 feet wide. Attached is a drawing I made several years ago. Now that I'm thinking it's time to start building it, I've been rethinking some of the details - as evidenced by my original post.

From the picture it does appear the end grain is exposed.

Mike,
If I understand you right you're thinking there is no front bottom face piece. The bottom of the box (secondary wood) could just be wider than the inside of the box? Can I assume the center stile would still be mortised into the bottom then?

Jeff,
Someone else sent me some pictures of small chests he's made, and one add verticle grain pieces covering the endgrain. I like the idea of a little tounge for glueing.

Jack,
When you say "attaching the base is to form a tongue along each end of the base" I assume by "base" you mean the bottom piece of the front assembly - not the bottom of the box? If I interpret this correctly I like it. There isn't room to do a full dovetail on the narrow piece. That's why in my picture I showed a pin from the side.

And just so everyone knows, I'm still a little uncertain as to the best approach (if there ever is a best approach). But thank you all for your responses. When I get everything firgured out I would be happy to post the drawing.

Tom
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Jack Plane

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 02:58:54 PM »
Tom, I was referring to the base board of the carcase. However, I was talking about full size mule chests and I think Mike's suggestion of simply nailing the base board on would be more appropriate for your small chest.
Regards, Jack.

johnjesseph

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 10:18:00 AM »
Hi all,

You may be over thinking and over engineering. I think that the carcass is just a dovetailed box with the sides extending lower, as you have figured out. The true bottom of the chest in the upper part is rabbeted in, and is flush with the drawer opening top, if that makes sense. Acts as the drawer kickers also. The vertical mid piece is just for looks, does not go into the carcase very far. I am not sure about the nail there, maybe a red herring? I doubt there is a mortice there, it would interfere with the chest bottom. Besides, there is no shortage of nails in that piece, why make a deep difficult mortice for a non structural part? Time is money! It is possible that the rabbet could have been skipped on some of these and that bottom is just nailed in all around. I am editing here to say that the stile is likely haunched in, set in a dado or perhaps just nailed, although it would all be end grain.

Thanks for bringing this up!

Edit: Looking at this big picture (click on photo to enlarge), still not sure about the nail in the middle below the mid-molding.

http://yuagds.its.yale.edu/imgsvc?objectid=40814&size=3
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 07:56:48 AM by johnjesseph »

Mo Yarborough

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2014, 08:32:39 PM »
I always enjoy a mystery and a good challenge as to the nature of making things.  After reading this thread, and wanting to build a beautiful blanket chest like the one discussed, however not a minature, I went to the public library today and checked out a book that has some similar explanation to the construction.

The Molding that surrounds the chest above the drawers...seemed to me to be hiding the screws attaching the floor of the chest.  So, as it has turned out...a chest similar in Georgia shows the very concept.

This book, "How to Make Colonial Furniture", by Franklin H. Gottshall the Industrial Instructor at Berry College outside Rome, Georgia has plans for many pieces, including a blanket chest which I have scanned and include here.  The vertical strut between the drawers in the  attached drawing shows a dovetail mortice, but the one you are showing in the Yale Photos looks to be a standard mortice with a pin.

I scanned it in PDF view but the file is too large @ 425kb, so the best I can do based on SAPFM 192kb maximum
is to scan it in .jpg so you will need to try an enlarge to view it.

Thanks for bringing this project up..it is a great one!

Mo
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FrederickH

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 09:19:34 AM »
Tom, I've been looking for a late winter project and this chest looks like a good one. Do you have the overall dimensions and know where I can get a pair of hinges like you've shown (I have one, not two hinges). Rick

johnjesseph

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Re: Table Chest with Drawers
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 07:58:40 PM »
I thought about this a while and dug through my correspondence- I knew I remembered a different, simple method for this. I will see if I can put up a sketch with some dimensions, maybe even make one and post pictures. Stay tuned. First woodworking I have done in a long time.