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

moon screen

I’ve made some screens to cover a bedroom alcove in a new house.moon screenThe house is by the sea, near Ramsey on the Isle of Man. I took some photos while I was there earlier this year and based the screen colours on a photo I took of a local beach. Dhoon BayI used 3 veneers to create the design. The dark wood is fumed oak. Fumed oak is made by exposing regular oak to amonia fumes until it turns to a dark shade. The light coloured veneer is poplar burr, and the the grey is a re-constituted veneer made by Alpi.raw materials

watching TV in style

Here are some photos of the TV panel, drawers and shelves that I’ve completed and installed. I hope you like it all.TV panel, drawers, shelves and slate.The panel veneer is poplar burr with a solid cherry surround and ebony stringing for the dark line border. The surface is Welsh slate, Berwyn slate quarry near Llangollen.

drawers openI made the drawers from birch plywood and sprayed a high gloss lacquer on the fronts.

IMG_1524This is a detail of the drop flaps. I mitre cut the solid cherry edge and the ebony inlay. The hinges are hidden when the flap is closed.

glass shelvesThese two glass shelves are 12mm thick. I cut a 12mm wide slot with a router into the backing and simply slotted them in. The fit was tight enough to hold them in place without any more fixing. Phew!

Omega watch case photos


I’m fixing a hole…

I’ve managed to veneer all the surfaces of the watch case. There were many holes and small nicks in the veneer, some of which I was able to repair with matching veneer pieces. The hole in this photo is a natural hole in the wood, so I chose to fill it with different shades of wax filler.

I simply rubbed the wax filler crayon over the hole until it was completely full.

Then I smoothed it off with a cabinet scraper and sand paper.

Here’s the outside of the case with all the holes repaired. Not long to go now until the whole box is finished!

more Omega watch case updates…

I decided to use cramps to hold the base of the box whilst the glue was setting, rather than using the vacuum bag press. This was only really because my bench was covered with bits and pieces, and I didn’t want to spend time clearing it all away and setting up the vacuum pump. Anyway, I came up with this slightly eccentric contraption.

With the base attached I decided to add a small border to the inside curved edge. The pearl glue that I used to attach the ripple ash veneer to the inside is very dark, and left an ugly glue line. I routed around the inside curve to leave a 3mm rebate running around the inside edge. After a bit of experimenting with different thicknesses of walnut border, I sandwiched 7 pieces of walnut veneer and bent them around the curves.

Next was to cut out a recess for the hinges to fit flush in the lid. I agonised with Mark (whose case it will be) over many different methods of hinging. The difficult thing was that he wanted the box to open along the curved edge, and the hinges will only work if the edge is straight. Here’s a photo of the simple solution.

With the hinges accurately attached, the lid moves nicely up and down and has a pleasing weight to it.

Finally for this post, here’s a detail of the hinges. I alway use steel screws whilst I’m working on a piece, as brass ones can easily shear off as they they go in and out. I’ll replace them with brass ones when it attach the lid for the last time. You can also see the walnut border trimmed flush to the surfaces.

watch case update

Here’s an update on the progress of the Omega Constellation watch case I’m making. I’ve made a new carcass out of solid ash rather than MDF. I’m still going to veneer over it, but it made sense to use solid wood as a base as it will make the hinges a bit simpler to fit.Image

You can see that I’ve made some inserts to split the case into different compartments for each watch. The hinges are high quality quadrant hinges. I still need to cut a deep mortice into the ash carcass to house the arc stay when the lid is closed. You can just see the stays in place on the photo below.Image

The next step will be to veneer the case with this lush english walnut burr. Stay

Omega watch case

I’m making a prototype of a case I’ve designed to hold 6 Omega watches. There are a few ways I could go about making this, but I’ve decided to make it out of MDF and then veneer over all the surfaces. This is so I can use a burr veneer, which would be very expensive to make from a solid block.

The first step was to draw a template on a piece of 18mm thick MDF. The curves at the corners have a radius of 35mm, and the curves that join them up at a tangent have a radius of 615mm. Here you can see that I’ve cut the corner curves with a large ‘forstner’ drill bit.

I cut the other curves using a router attached to a trammel. After a bit of tidying the curves up with a sanding bobbin, I cut out a rough shape of the next layer with a jigsaw. I glued the two layers together by clamping them in the vacuum bag press. The bag press is great for giving a strong, even  pressure across a large surface area.

The next job was to trim the roughly-cut second layer to exactly follow the curves of the first. The ideal way to do this was to use a bearing guided router bit.

The cutter is exactly the same diameter as the bearing guide on the end, so the cut of the second layer will follow the guide which is set to the first layer.

After glueing up a few more layers, each using the previous layer as a template, I cut the outside curves on the bandsaw. The next step is to attach the veneer…

the screens are finished

Now I just have to fit them…