A friend gifted me a bunch of red oak and I promised I’d build something different with it. Since red oak is a relatively cheap wood, I thought i’d use it to experiment with an idea I had some time ago – a ‘proof of concept’ if you will. This was the result. I had to figure out how to do hand-cut dovetails on a curved surface as well as how to best darken the oak and mahogany I used for the handle and feet. I hung the drawer from the top of the carcase – something new to me as well. I’m pretty happy with the result, though I think I should have slimmed the handle a bit more. I confirmed that red oak does not dovetail cleanly (it splinters to easily), and thus the joints are a little gappy. However, I feel confident that if/when I do this in a wood like walnut or cherry it will work out just fine. Actually the piece I’m dying to make is of bamboo. Any takers? I’ve got about 40 hours into this piece.
August 2012 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Well,. I think the handle needs to be much smaller. it takes over the entire front of the drawer and it actually looks kind of gaudy. and I would like to see how the dovetails will hold up , because the sides are wider then the top. meaning, the sides will expand and contract more than the top. so over time you are going to have gaps in your dovetails. or a split in your side panels. remember dovetails serve a purpose, they are not for decoration. but, time will tell. I wouldn’t sell any like that until I watched it for over a year to see what it was going to do.
Hewy Joe; Ive got the same issue with the handle. I’d change it if I do it again. Regarding the curved dovetails, I thought about this issue and hoped to compensate by using quartersawn Oak for the curved part and flatsawn for the top and bottom. I am pretty sure there will not be an issue with it, but time will tell; it is an experimental piece for this very reason. We live in an alternate wet/dry climate so a season or two ought to be enough to make the call. Thanks for the thought!