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Old 07-26-2011, 04:32 PM
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Default Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Although it will likely be several weeks before I need to fit the hardware on the Military Chests, I need to order the parts now. I have been considering what to use.


Picture from early in the build ..



The two banks of small drawers (in the centre) will have one handle each, and the single set of three long drawers (on the left) will have two handles. The far right are three shelves (although I am building drawers to match that can be used here if we later decide to stop using this as an entertainment centre - Lynndy is already trying to talk me into the latter option, and build something separate for the audio equipment!).
There are several options for the hardware.

Here are a sample of cabinets and their hardware ...



This cabinet uses the handles like these:



Corners:


Straps:


On light wood the brass looks good. However on a dark wood, such as Jarrah, I fear it will end up rather gaudy. Our choice is to either just go with handles only, or handles and corners (no straps). What are your thoughts?

Here is a dark cabinet with all the fruit:


There are other handles to consider. I particularly liked this profile. Unfortunately the smallest has a width of 3 1/2" and this is too large for the drawers I have.





The third choice was perhaps too modern? My wife likes it. I think that they might end up too small. But they do have a "neat" look ..





Here is a military chest by Philip Marcou. He specialised in military furniture before turning to plane making. Philip seems to favour these handles ...



Opinions, ideas?

Regards from Perth
Derek
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Have you checked the Lee Valley hardware catalog. They usually have several finishes in each form.

The bright stuff, you could add a patina to make it more compatible with the Jarrah.

You've advanced your woodworking very far already. Maybe it's time to get into metal working?
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Lee valley seems to have hardware with the correct patina -- size I'm not sure.
Inset Handles - Lee Valley Tools - Woodworking Tools, Gardening Tools, Hardware Supplies
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

All but one of LV handles are 3" long or larger. Too long/wide. The brass ones I am looking at are 2 1/2" long and 1 1/2" wide. The smaller size better fits the dimensions of the drawers (I mocked these up to be sure). These are 285mm (short) and 565mm (long). All are 155mm high.

Regards from Perth

Derek
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Last edited by derekcohen; 07-26-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Derek, you can take my advice for what it's worth, but I much prefer the look of the handles only. I do find that the straps and corners are overly gaudy.

Those handles are the kinds that you see on most ships - you might look in a ship-building hardware catalogue for other shapes/sizes. I personally agree with your wife - I like the round-handled ones.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Derek,
My general opinion is that it is the fittings which "make" the chest and therefore one must obtain only very high quality fittings.Dark wood high- lights bad fittings more than lighter coloured timber.
Fittings to be avoided are those made from folded sheet brass-too flimsy and the soldered joints are unsightly, plus I have not seen any good designs in this type.
The next category is the type made by pouring brass into sand cast moulds. This method is cheap but good quality only comes when the rough castings are well sanded and polished and that is the problem: it takes too long. If you find reasonable ones of this type you will have to finish them yourself-plus re-lacquer them. No two will be identical so they have to be individually fitted-makes life difficult since they are supposed to be flush fitted....Plus they have all kinds of gaps between the handle lugs etc...There is nothing worse than not flush fitting the fittings on Military or Campaign style furniture-guarranteed to look gawdy.
The best type is PRESSURE DIE CAST, so they are all the same dimensions, very smooth and with uniform gaps between handle lugs etc.I used Italian ones, which are mighty expensive , but they are lacquered so well that the brass has remained untarnished for the twenty odd years that I have had stocks of them. They are made in the rectangular "ship" type with round finger pull, or they can be round as well-there is a world of difference between them and those sand cast ones in your example .
I have no pics of them now but only a scan of photographs of specimen cabinets I made using the pressure die round "ship" type.
When it comes to straps it pays to make them yourself so you have flexibility in dimension choice and you can put the screw holes where you need them-plus they won't be buffed so much that corners and counter sinks are washed out-another common fault with sand cast types.
There is much on this subject....
Attached Thumbnails
handles-corners-straps-military-chests-scan0001.jpg   handles-corners-straps-military-chests-scan0002.jpg   handles-corners-straps-military-chests-scan0003.jpg  
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Phillip, this cabinet full of drawers is really impressive!
What are the white dots along the hinge stile of the left door?

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Old 07-27-2011, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

Michael,
The white dots are veldt (spelling) pads to stop the drawers rubbing when the doors are closed. I knew the cabinets would be travelling around some. They are egg specimen cabinets - a huge collection of African raptor eggs, now in a museum.
Unfortunately a scan iof the photos has messed up the colours in the wood (Iroko)-it isn't that odd yellow .
Good exercise on dovetailing, frame &panelling, moulding,drawer making and fitting brass chest fittings...
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Last edited by Philip Marcou; 07-27-2011 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Handles, Corners and Straps for Military Chests.

The pads are a good idea.

Those are some lucky eggs.
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