kitchen chests of drawers

Some photos of the completed chests of drawers…
petalsI was asked to make an extra piece with open shelves to house a microwave oven.

open shelvesThere’s oodles of storage space, especially with the inner drawers. All the drawers spring open by pushing on the drawer front.


I’m very happy with the way these substantial pieces sit in the finished kitchen. They complement the other solid items, such as the Aga, whilst the geometric patterns prevent everything looking too

chests of drawers

I’m making 3 chests of drawers for a kitchen, with the following 2 designs…chest of drawers 2

chest of drawers 1I’ve selected the species of wood. The pale ones are ripple ash and aspen. The darker ones are plum and cherry.

Both designs are based on the same grid, so I stared by drawing this out full size.grid and compasses

I then had to decide on the direction of the grain for each piece by doing a rough sketch.

grain directionThere are many ways to cut veneer. The curves on both designs all have the same radius, so I bought a gouge with a curve that is near to what I need and roll it around the curve to get it as close as possible.cutting veneerI gradually piece the pattern together with veneer tape to form a patchwork.veneer tape This is how it looks underneath…taking

how to draw a square

I’m making some workbenches for the woodwork course I’ll be running. Each one has a 1200mm square top. I could simply use a set-square to draw it out, but I find it difficult to keep my marking-out accurate over a large area. Here’s how I mark a perfect square that doesn’t rely on having a set-square. It uses basic geometry that has been used for thousands of years.

Firstly, mark where you want the centre of square to be and draw a circle whose diameter is the same as the length of the square’s sides. This sheet of MDF is roughly cut slightly larger that I need it to be.

Next, draw a line that passes through the centre of the circle.

Then you draw an arc using the same radius as the original circle, with the point located where the centre line crosses the circle edge. Do the same at the other end of the line.

The next step is to draw another line through the centre of the first circle at 90 degrees to the first line. To do this place the point of your compasses (or trammel in this case) where the arc crosses the circle. Using a smaller radius than the original circle draw a small arc roughly where you think the centre line should pass through it. Then draw a similar arc with the centre point where the circle and the other large arc meet. This is the one you can see just above it in the photo.

I like to do the same on the other side, but you can then draw a line that passes through these small arcs and the centre of the circle.

Next draw 2 arcs, radius the same as the original circle, with the centre points placed where the new centre line crosses the circle.

Finally, draw lines to connect the four points where the four large arcs cross.

I can now cut along these lines with my Festool TS55 circular saw along a guide rail. You could, of course, cut out a square on a table saw with the fence set square and to the length you need. However in this case the MDF is too large to fit on my table saw.