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Old 10-02-2011, 05:42 PM
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derekcohen derekcohen is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 446
Default Against the clock

I am curious about the speed at which the pros work. One reference I had was 6 1/2 hours to make a high end drawer. I consider the style of drawers I am currently building to be high-end drawers - that does not imply that I can build them at the level of the pros (I do not), but one measure of improving skills is the efficiency with which one completes these tasks. In other words, could I build a drawer with reasonable speed?

6 1/2 hours includes, I assume, all preparations: thicknessing and dimensioning of boards, finishing and installation of handles. The first two were done earlier. The last will come later.

So I set the target at 4 hours. Not the 20 minutes that Frank Klausz gives himself. Not the 3 minutes which he can dovetail an end. Fours hours because it is about 3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, and I have until 7:00 p.m. before I must shut up the shop and get ready to join friends for dinner. Later than that and my wife will have a few choice words for me!

There are about 25 pictures here. I hope the documentation is interesting rather than pedantic. Well, you can always skip to the end!

The start. 2:54 p.m. Fresh boards.

15 minutes to mark and saw the tails ..

The shortcuts involve doubling up where ever possible. Gang sawing boards and ditto clearing the waste ...

10 minutes to chisel the waste ..

3:17 p.m. and time to start the half-blind pins.

How long does it take to mark out with the blue tape? Including applying the tape, transfering the tails to the pin board, and removing the excess blue tape .. 10 minutes ..

Sawing the pins ..

Using the kerf chisel ..

OK, now for something completely different (on a hand tools forum) ... using a power router to remove waste. I was shown this method a year ago by Niel Erasmus. Simply, it is just an extended platform for the router ...

.. and the use if a 1/8" carbide bit ...

I could have set the fence to run against the boundary of the pins, but decided to end a 1/32" short and finish with chisels ...

The remainder of the waste was removed ...

This took 12 minutes.

The remainder of the waste was removed with chisels ..

So, 23 minutes to remove all the waste from the pin board. I would estimate that this required about 1 1/2 hours with a chisel (emphasizing that I am referring to removing hard, brittle Jarrah).

The tail board goes on without any need for fine tuning ...

Note: Ian asked whether I bevel the tails before fitting. Bevels are cut on both the insides and the ends of the tails to avoid maring the straight edges of the pins.

The second side is repeated - I will spare all the detail here - and this takes about the same time as gthe other side ...

Now the front end of the drawer is complete. It's taken about 2 hours so far. Time for the other end.

19 minutes to mark, saw and clear the waste from the tails ...

15 minutes to transfer the tails to the pin board, saw and chisel. And then about 30 minutes for the other side (both boards shown here) ...

It takes a couple of minutes to test the fit of all four sides ...

A test fit of the drawer into the drawer space reveals that some tuning it needed.

It was very close but I decided to glue it up as before (in the squaring jig), then tune it once the glue dried after 25 minutes ...

I will write a review of this new small Veritas BU smoother. It is exceptional.

The drawer fits perfectly ...

... but the slips now need to be added (gad, we are cutting it fine for time - Lynndy will kill me if I am late) ...

The slips attach quickly with rubbing, and we are done!

Installed with one coat of Danish Oil on the exterior ..

I am off for a few beers, and never do I want to work at this pace again!

Regards from Perth

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