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derekcohen 05-15-2015 05:01 PM

Building the Lingerie Chest
For those interested in a watching a build of a chest - with an interesting design, I must add - the start (4 chapters) is now up on my website.

Go to: Furniture

... and scan down to "Lingerie Chest".

Regards from Perth


TahoeTwoBears 05-16-2015 01:06 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Super interesting as always. You keep raising the bar and it's going to get harder and harder to please us. :wavey:

Okami 05-16-2015 05:07 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Very interesting project, Derek!
Love the way You used the #66:thumbsup2:
The Shinto Rasp is a very useful tool and can remove wood fast. Much overlooked rasp in my opinion, although I agree about the painful top grip. I usually tape my fingers if I'm using it for any prolonged period.
Derek, what's the plane You jointed the legs with?
I'm looking forward to the drawers, and how You go about tackling them.

derekcohen 05-16-2015 09:27 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks Okami.

That is why they have a Shinto with a handle to be used like a plane. What I tend to do is push on another handle on the end so that I can push-pull it. This board was too wide for that.

The jointer plane is the new Veritas Custom #7. Fabulous plane. I have a review (of sorts) of these planes here:

It was an opportunity to explore plane design their ergonomics - how we hold and use them - which is an interest of mine.

Regards from Perth


CharlesWilson 05-17-2015 01:34 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
My Shinto has two handles: (lower right in picture)

Sometimes I use it with the handles removed.


Leakyroof 05-18-2015 08:05 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Very nice Derek. I'm not sure why, but I really like the Stanley #66 tool and the work it produced for you. I guess simple coves and beads at interesting places on a piece draw me to it . :thumbsup2:

derekcohen 05-19-2015 03:13 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks LR

I had not used the #66 for some time, preferring instead to use a really simple scratch stock, such as the Hack type. For beads, the Hack is OK, but one has to watch the formation of the bead as it is possible to over cut it. This remained the danger with the cove. Although working to scribed lines, it would be easy just keep cutting at this type lacks a depth stop. The surface end result can be quite rough. The #66 has a built-in depth stop, which partly ensures that the cuts are even, but importantly when it stops cutting, it starts burnishing. This smooths and polishes the surface to a plane-like finish.

Regards from Perth


Sta2lt 05-22-2015 07:06 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thank you for posting, I always enjoy reading your posts. This is a really nice project and gives me some ideas.

derekcohen 05-25-2015 04:46 PM

Sawing tenons
Most of us have cut a good many mortice and tenon joints over the years. It occurred to me today to ask a question about something we likely take for granted: Do you saw the cheek first, or the shoulder, and how far to the intersection do you go?

For myself I saw the cheeks (as close to the markings as possible) ...

.. and stop a smidgeon short of the shoulder line.

Having created a knife fence on the shoulder line, I saw the shoulder close to but a smidgeon short of the cheek line ...

Then it is a case of back-and-forth to sever the bit between ..

It will eventually pop off nice and clean ..

The vanity cheek may now be sawn. This is 1/8" (3mm) ...

.. or the haunch created. The haunches are for the upper side of the panels, with the blind M&T at the lower end (as they do not go all the way to the bottom) ..

I am now ready to measure and fit to mortices, and then complete the mitres for the coves, and fine tune the shoulders ...

Ready for the weekend ...

Regards from Perth


rutager 05-25-2015 09:50 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Nice sawing as always Derek.

I do the cheeks first although I don't think I've ever handsawn them except for on my Bridge City Tools Jointmaker. Usually I use the table saw.

Poto 05-25-2015 10:23 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
I'm also a cheeks-first guy. It's actually pretty fun practicing that cut - just making vertical cut after cut, trying to get them perfectly straight...

derekcohen 06-01-2015 04:45 PM

Coved Frame-and-Panel
Below is a link to my ongoing build.

This focussed on taking these parts ..

.. and forming this joint ...

.. to create this curved panel ...

This is just a dry fitting at this stage. The emphasis here is the cove as a transition from frame to panel ..

Hopefully you will find parts to discuss or critique.

Too little available time this weekend for building. I am hopeful of completing the other panel next weekend.

Regards from Perth


PaulG 06-08-2015 12:30 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Derek, wanted to thank you for this thread. You're way beyond my skill set and tool kit, and I find it all very inspirational and makes me very glad to be a part of this forum. :takebow:

derekcohen 06-13-2015 02:43 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks for the kind words Paul. I think that you overestimate my ability ... and underestimate my skill at fixing mistakes!:)

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 06-13-2015 02:44 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
A final few pictures to complete the section on the panels, as we move to planning out the drawer dividers.

Here is the second panel (on the right) ..

While it appears less figured than the first panel completed (on the left), it does have a special charm of its own. Here is a close up of the book matching and the central figure ...

This will give you a little more of an idea of the curve in the design ...

Regards from Perth


Sta2lt 06-13-2015 07:32 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest

Ausrob 06-14-2015 10:46 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Looks beautiful, Derek.



Wonderwino 06-14-2015 02:48 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Very graceful curves!


derekcohen 06-15-2015 03:01 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
It's always a bit disheartening to hit a problem that threatens to derail the project before it has managed to truly get underway.

When we left off last time, the panels were done and I began planning the drawer dividers.

Then I noticed that the join in the book-matched panel on the left had split in near the centre. It was possible to flex it back-and-forth. The lower- and upper sections were still holding. I wiggled a little hide glue into the split and pulled it tight with clamps. I returned after a day, and it looked strong. It had been my plan all along to add 1/4" thick strips at the inside of the panel, which would both stiffen and reinforce. Now it looked like this would be necessary, rather than insurance.

The areas for the 3" wide strips were marked off, and the finish scraped off the centre of each panel. One panel remained intact as this work took place. The other split .. again. Damn and bugger.

My wife said "take it off". I thought I may be getting lucky, but - no - she meant the panel :)

Thank goodness for hide glue! I had used Titebond Liquid Hide Glue all along. However, I have never had to undo anything before. This was a first.

The first step was to drill out the pins. One side of the hole was covered with waterproof tape and boiling water was poured in. A heat gun added more heat. A clamp was used in reverse direct to push the sections apart. Slowly it moved, and then .... then my camera decided to blow up the memory card, and every photo of this process was lost! Double damn!

I started over today ...

Post-mortum of the panel indicated that the spring joint gap was too large ...

Clamping the pieces together would have squeezed out the glue.

Checking the sides against a straight edge, it was clear which piece was the offender ..

I am not sure if I demonstrated the method I used to joint these thin 1/4" thick panel sections. Well this is how it was done ..

First step was to lift the board up on a 1/2" thick section of MDF (nice and flat). The second piece was added for balance ...

A second piece of MDF was layed on top, and then weighted down with bricks (to ensure the edge was flat and parallel to the bench top ..

A jointer plane was now about to shoot the edge square ..

Generally I plane the centre to create a spring joint, but here I was reducing the existing gap by planing it flatter. In the end it was a very slight, almost imperceptible hollow ..

To glue up, the panel pieces were first work from the back side. Tape was stretched across and used to pull the sections together ..

The full side was done, with the joint line reinforced to minimise glue running out ...

Reversing the panel, glue was spread down the join ..

This could then be opened out, taped together (again with stretched tape), joins levelled with a plastic mallet, and lightly clamped together. Bricks were added to hold everything flat while the glue dried ...

While this is drying, the solid panel received its reinforcing strip ...

The program will be resumed shortly ...

Regards from Perth


CharlesWilson 06-15-2015 04:26 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Nice post Derek. Hide glue is responsible for the survival of many ancient pieces of furniture. Thanks for reminding us of its virtues.


Okami 06-19-2015 07:34 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Derek, it's coming along nicely:clapping1:
Nice recovery with the panel! Thank goodness for hide glue!
I've had one or two thin panel glue-ups fail in the same manor, over clamping and starving the join. Lessons learnt.
I also cut cheeks first, with handsaw or machine (bandsaw,tablesaw).
The curved drawers are gunna be interesting!

derekcohen 06-21-2015 04:32 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
First of all I am very pleased - and relieved - to mention that the panels are back in one piece and together.

Then just a couple of comments about the failure and the hide glue ...

The reason for the failure was that the join was glue-starved. As simple as that. Well, almost.

The reason for the join being glue starved was not because I used too little glue, and not because of the type of glue, but because I over-tightened the clamps.

The over-tightening was due to the spring joint being too wide. What is a good- and what is a bad spring joint? Well, a good joint is one that may be closed with hand pressure, and a bad one is one that requires help to do so. In the case of the one panel, I got it right. In the case of the failed panel, clearly I did not. I could see light through the centre when I inspected the join, and immediately I knew this was the cause. Pulling the join together with a clamp just disguised the issue since all the tension was at the centre (where the join failed), and the force squeezed the glue out ...... no glue + tension = open up.

A second question is "why spring at all". Some like to do this and others argue that it is not necessary, that glue is tougher than wood. In my book, it is important to ensure that the ends of a panel contact each other. If there is any curvature to mating sides (and often this is difficult to see - which is the point), extra clamping at the ends creates two tension sections .. where as the spring joint only creates one tension point. But the spring must be almost imperceptible, as in the photo I posted.

A third issue is the choice of Titebond hide glue. Well hide glue rocks ... but Titebond? I have had a number of emails warning me about its use, that it is unreliable, etc. My experience with it is not long - about two years. In that time I cannot recall a failure. It needs to be pointed out that the mortice-and-tenon joints were solid. There was no failure there.

I must admit that I have avoided going to the trouble of preparing the stuff myself since I am lazy. The issue is that I get into the workshop on weekends only, and making up a fresh batch of glue each time, keeping it warm, etc .. well, it does not thrill me. Anyone have a way of circumventing this?

So back to the repair.

It the face needed a minimal amount of scraping to level the joint ...

... before I called it good and re-glued and pinned the panel inside the frame.

The repaired panel is on the left ...

Reinforcing strips were added to the rear - I had planned to do this anyway to beef up the thin panels. They will not be seen (on the inside) but will offer a little more reliability ..

Some may be interested in the supports I built to aid accuracy in dimension and to keep everything square. The first was the base, which also will enable the chest to be moved around later ..

The other clamps across the top ..

So now we are back to clamping all on the jigs, with an added section of MDF clamped to the rear. The plumb bob ensures that vertical and centre is created, and may be returned to at any time ...

Once this is done, the inside perimeter can be traced onto the MDF. The MBF is moved to the bench, where the drawer dividers are drawn in. This is to act as a template.

A line is drawn down the centre of the cabinet template, and the dimensions first marked on this centre line ...

They are then transferred to each side ..

Here is the template back supporting the chest sides ...

I moved it to the other side and it was reassuring that there was about 1mm difference in the marked outline.

Now the intention was not to use these marks as the template, but rather to create a template from them. To do this the MDF outline was sawn down the centre, and then the curved side band sawn out, with a little cleaning up done with a small block plane.

Measurements are marked both sides ..

... and then transferred to each side of one board (only) ..

The panels are clamped together and the markings transferred from one board to the other ..

Once one side is match, the boards are rotated to complete the other matching edges ...

Now we can move on to marking out angled sliding dovetails and build the draw dividers.

Regards from Perth


jessecloud 06-21-2015 06:43 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
I'm a fan of hide glue, too.

I think, though, that the warnings on titebond may be exaggerated. I have used titebond for veneering and lamination for a decade now, and none of the pieces I made show any signs of failure, despite hard use.

BTW, I saw Paul Schurch cutting veneer with a Festool track saw on a video. I was skeptical, but when I tried it, it worked brilliantly. Per his recommendation, I used the Festool blade for cutting aluminum. The process produced clean pieces that were ready for joining. I was amazed. And I saved a lot of time compared to traditional methods.

Okami 06-22-2015 02:24 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
They say a true craftsman doesn't buckle under the pressure of his mistakes, but corrects them, and nobody ever knows. Nice job on the panel:clapping1:
I can't remember all the details, but I used tightbond hide glue once and it failed. I haven't used their hide glue since. I do use their tightbond 3 and like it.
Derek, how have to attached the reinforcing slats to the inside of the panel?
I much prefer using full scale drawings and templates when ever possible on my projects. That's the way I was taught. I've tried using the modern ways with sketch-up for drawing out, but always go back to drawing on a sheet of something:D

derekcohen 07-12-2015 05:01 PM

Before the drawer blades ...
The cabinet carcase is now complete and together as a dry fit.

You cannot see the curve on the front elevation in this photo, but it is clearer in the documentation ..

It had been my intention to post the carcase with completed draw blades – this would have been the next stage in any cabinet with straight sides. However it became increasingly apparent that, as a result of the many curves, this build is a tad more complicated, and I am have been left wondering whether I would ever get to be in a position to build the drawer blades as something else kept cropping up! It was a case of “I’d better to this before I get to that as it will not be possible later. And on and on ..

It is possible – and indeed I like to hear the opinion of others here – that the sliding dovetails for the drawer blades could be marked and formed from inside the completed carcase. I am now seriously considering this method. Indeed, I cannot see an alternative. The carcase could be dis-assembled and assembled repeatedly for work to be checked, carried out, and then checked again. However the latter will cause wear on the joinery, with resulting loss of tautness and accuracy.

Let's hear your thoughts on constructing the drawer blades. The front and rear are planned to be sliding dovetails (as has so much of this construction so far).

Here is the build in detail:

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 07-20-2015 04:56 PM

Moving forward
It seems like a lot of planning for little actual progress. However the basic carcase was glued up after stopped rebated were planed at the rear, and the strategy for making the sliding dovetails in the curved sides from inside the front leg/frame was finalised.

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 07-27-2015 05:03 PM

Sliding Dovetails for the Lingerie Chest
Below is the work completed over the past weekend. The Lingerie Chest is progressing steadily.

The strategy for the sliding dovetails into curved sides looks to be successful. The strategy was necessitated by the design, which required the housings to be made from inside the front legs, rather than from outside, as is usual.

There is also a novel method for creating the sliding dovetails using an easy-to-make dovetail plane (everyone will make one!).

The article is here:

Regards from Perth


patriot 07-27-2015 08:16 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest

Originally Posted by jessecloud (Post 91265)
I'm a fan of hide glue, too.

BTW, I saw Paul Schurch cutting veneer with a Festool track saw on a video. I was skeptical, but when I tried it, it worked brilliantly. Per his recommendation, I used the Festool blade for cutting aluminum. The process produced clean pieces that were ready for joining. I was amazed. And I saved a lot of time compared to traditional methods.

Are you pulling our leg?? I just found the video. I am not sure what to say about this??

Here is the link to the video.


jessecloud 07-27-2015 10:28 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
No joke. It works. After a few successful runs, I still felt nervous about pulling the saw backward, so I tried using it in the normal manner. It worked just as well for me. I was using a TS55 with the long rail and I cut a stack of half a dozen or so pieces at a time.

Works well for rips and crosscuts.

With two MFT 1080s and a plywood bridge to stretch a couple more feet, I can cut the whole length of a 110 inch sheet of veneer.

Stop by next time you are on your way to Santa Fe and try it.

patriot 07-27-2015 10:34 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest

Originally Posted by jessecloud (Post 91627)
No joke. It works. After a few successful runs, I still felt nervous about pulling the saw backward, so I tried using it in the normal manner. It worked just as well for me. I was using a TS55 with the long rail and I cut a stack of half a dozen or so pieces at a time.

Works well for rips and crosscuts.

With two MFT 1080s and a plywood bridge to stretch a couple more feet, I can cut the whole length of a 110 inch sheet of veneer.

Stop by next time you are on your way to Santa Fe and try it.

OK, but I'll be wearing my waders.BIG Big Grin

I watched the video but he never showed the veneer edges, but I'll take your word for it. Wish I could make it up there.

We should start a new thread on this because I don't feel right high-jacking Derek's thread.

derekcohen 08-03-2015 05:41 PM

The Proof of the Pudding ...
Below is the latest installment of the Lingerie Chest build. I get the chance to test out whether the strategy to build the sliding dovetail housings from the rear of the carcase for the front of the carcase works or not.

I know that there are no questions asked, but please feel free to comment or offer your thoughts how you would do it differently.

Regards from Perth


Wonderwino 08-06-2015 01:00 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Great progress, Derek! Are the drawer sides going to be angled or are you going to build "square" drawers that you will taper to fit the openings?

derekcohen 08-06-2015 05:00 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Both. The drawer fronts will need to have their ends angled to the extremes of the side curve. The drawer sides are then dovetailed on (half-blinds). Now the drawer sides are coped into the side panels.

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 09-28-2015 05:33 PM

Lingerie Chest - starting on the drawer runners
It's been at least a month since I managed time on the Lingerie Chest. Found some time today. It seems to take forever to get the rhythm back.

We left off last time with the sliding mortice sockets installed. These had been built in one section (a "fillet" - I did not know what else to call it), which was split into two parts, one for the rear and another for the front of the carcase. This was to ensure that they were both parallel and coplanar in this curved sided chest ...

The front and rear drawer blades were fitted ...

Today every was removed ..

The first task was to ensure that there were no sections of the fillet that were higher than the sides of the carcase (otherwise the drawers would not be flush with the sides). These were pared down ..

The dovetails in the fillets needed to be extended into the sides of the carcase ...

... by 20mm (this will leave space for a 22mm thick drawer front and a shadow front edge). The fillets were glued onto the panel - any movement in the floating panel will be towards the rear, and allowance for this is made in that area. The extention of the sliding dovetails would solidify the structure at the front ...

The sides of the sockets were saw, first with a dozuki and then extended a little deeper with an azebiki.

The ends were drilled to depth ..

.. and then pared out. The sides of the sockets became handy guides to maintain angles ..

Now that that front and rear drawer blades were in their correct positions, the side drawer runners needed to be made.

The drawer blades were morticed and the runners received tenons ..

In fitting them, the front blades were first inserted (from the inside), and the runners fitted (the picture below is taken from the rear of the chest) ..

The rear blade could then be attached. The photo below is taken from the front of the chest. The lower two drawer blades and runners are filled (dry so far) ..

Note that the drawer fronts are bowed, and bowed filler sections are yet to be added to the front drawer blades.

And the last photo before I close up for next weekend ...

Regards from Perth


Poto 09-28-2015 08:27 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Really fun, Derek - thanks for sharing the progress. It looks like a really nerve-wracking build. I'm looking forward to seeing how the curved fronts develop.

That's a very nice-looking Damascus (mokume?) marking knife. What's its story?

Wonderwino 09-28-2015 10:09 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
I've been practicing full-blind, rebated dovetails for a campaign piece I've been working on for longer than I'd like to admit. I took a demolished BCTW JMP blade, busted off a 3" section and sharped one side to a chisel blade, which can be slipped in the angled kerf and driven to the bottom of the joint with a few light taps. It makes cleanout much easier.

Great to see that you are making more progress on your beautiful project! :scool:

derekcohen 09-29-2015 04:17 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest

Originally Posted by Poto (Post 92006)
Really fun, Derek - thanks for sharing the progress. It looks like a really nerve-wracking build. I'm looking forward to seeing how the curved fronts develop.

That's a very nice-looking Damascus (mokume?) marking knife. What's its story?

Poto, that is just a knife I made some years ago. I've made many. They get rotated. he wood is ebonised Jarrah.

The hole from the lathe was filled with brass.

The tapered handle is great for heavy down force, for which this knife it intended.

Regards from Perth


Poto 09-29-2015 04:18 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Sweet! :thumbsup2:

Thanks for sharing the pictures. That's a very beautiful - and I'm sure functional - knife. The brass dot in the handle is a really nice touch.

derekcohen 10-05-2015 04:27 PM

Mortice and Tenons
There are a couple of techniques regarding tuning of the mortice and tenon that hopefully are worthy of discussion.

The next chapter of the build is here:

For those who just want the update on the build progress, here it is ..

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 10-26-2015 05:53 PM

A stage completed
Well, it has been a lot of work to complete the drawer runners. Everything is now done preparatory to building the drawers. I've really been looking forward to this stage, since it will be another challenge.

The drawer runners, themselves, required a great deal of finicky work. Getting them in square and coplanar is straight forward in a straight construction, but curves and compound angles change all that.

We left off last time with the basic frames in ...

To the front of each drawer blade was added a bow.

I was asked early on why I did not just shape this directly on the blade. The reason I chose to do it this way was just that I felt I had more control over the result. Every drawer is a different width, and needs to project in a coplanar line from top to bottom. I drew up a template to shape a consistent curve ...

That is the Jarrah for the drawer fronts at the rear.

The upper most drawer will have a secret lock (since this drawer will be a jewellery box). I decided to use the Shaker method. My variation consists of cutting a slot in a centre mullion ..

... which is lowered below the rails ...

There will be a spring (probably in mild steel) beneath the drawer that will drop down and lock into the rear of the front drawer blade ...

A finger (through the slot - which will hide the mechanism from below) will lift the spring to permit the drawer to slide forward ..

Since the casework is a framed panel, guides are needed for the drawers ...

Here are they installed. Perhaps you can begin to see the how the slight bow will form ..

Now I need to figure out the drawers construction - coping it into the sides. Any thoughts?

Regards from Perth


TahoeTwoBears 10-26-2015 11:47 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
None, other than it's already beautiful.

PaulG 10-31-2015 05:09 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks again for sharing the progress on this project, it's a joy to see how things are coming along.

derekcohen 11-22-2015 03:22 PM

Designing the Drawers
This is the start of the second stage in this build. Now that the carcase and drawer blades/runners are completed, it is time to start on the drawers.

The drawers are complex as they call for compound angles and dovetails. The design may be improved, and I welcome comments about this and the methodology.

This chapter provides a pictorial on the design and construction I have come up with so far. Pine is used in this test case (where Jarrah fronts and Tasmanian Oak sides will be used in the final build). However, the construction is for real.

The link is here (too many photos to post on the forum):

Regards from Perth


Sta2lt 11-22-2015 08:37 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
This is an amazing project. I learn so much reading your posts, thank you!

Chris 11-22-2015 09:31 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Enjoying these posts, Derek. Thanks.

derekcohen 12-28-2015 03:53 PM

Re: Building the Drawers
Here is the next chapter in my lingerie chest build: the drawers. Just two of eight so far. I cannot believe how long each one is taking! Hopefully I shall speed up as I now understand what is needed.

I did promise to post once I had a few done. I shall not get back to the build for about a month as we are off to the UK for a few weeks.

For those who just want the details, the link is:

These are compound angled drawers, with a bow front and angled sides. There are flush beaded slips, amongst the details.

For those who just want a progress picture, this is for you ...

(The carcase is Makore, a West African hardwood, while the drawers fronts are Jarrah)

Regards from Perth


PaulG 01-03-2016 06:07 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
That is looking fantastic!

Wonderwino 01-03-2016 04:30 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
I love seeing your updates on this project, Derek! I'm not sure I could ever deal with all those curves! This will be a "voluptuous" chest when it is done. :eek:

derekcohen 01-03-2016 10:13 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks Paul, thanks Alex.

Regards from Perth


TahoeTwoBears 01-05-2016 12:31 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks for keeping us up to date. The work is beautiful and really intimidating.

derekcohen 01-08-2016 06:45 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest

Originally Posted by TahoeTwoBears (Post 92572)
Thanks for keeping us up to date. The work is beautiful and really intimidating.


You're not alone if feeling intimidated - I feel this way about many pieces when I start out. The challenge is getting one's head around the angles - especially in this build. The rest is just working to the marked lines.

Regards from a chilly London


derekcohen 02-09-2016 04:21 PM

Four down, four to go ..
Just a quick update on the Lingerie Chest.

Four drawers done. They take 3 full days each to build (1 1/2 weekends). This includes thicknessing/sawing/shaping all the parts, dovetailing, and fitting.

The gaps between the drawers will be sorted out once all are done. There will be 1/16" between the drawers.

And the obligatory dovetail shot

The dovetails increase progressively, as with the size of the drawers.

Next post will be after all the drawers are done.

Regards from Perth


rutager 02-09-2016 10:50 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Beautiful work Derek!

derekcohen 03-14-2016 05:34 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
All the drawers are finally done ...

Well, almost ...

The drawer bottoms have still to be made for 4 of the drawers. After making each one separately, it occurred to me that this was the one item that I could build en masse.

After the drawer bottoms are in, the task will be to make the drawer fronts coplanar. They are close to one another in curve, but there are a few variations here-and-there. What I plan to do is shim the drawers by about 1/2" to raise them out an equal amount so that they all lie proud of the carcase, place the chest on its back so that the drawers face upward, and then sand the faces with a long sander made out of a 2x4.

What do you think of this method? Any other ideas?

Regards from Perth


Poto 03-14-2016 06:21 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Wow, Derek - that's a significant achievement. Nice work!

Your method of getting the drawer fronts coplanar is an interesting one. Lee Valley makes a shooting sander - a long metal angle designed for sanding long edges like a shooting plane. I wonder whether something like that would work? I guess it depends a lot on how much you need to remove. If it's more than a couple of mm, I'd probably use some machinery first, just to save time, and wear-and-tear on the drawers.

derekcohen 03-15-2016 03:41 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
I need something longer. It will just be used with fine grit to mark the high spots, which I will then plane down. (similar to "colour sanding" car body panels).

Regards from Perth


Cricket 03-15-2016 06:59 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Derek, I've used sticky back paper on a long steel angle to bring boat surfaces down to coplanar bevels. Similar to the 2x4 idea I guess. If you had a helper, with one of you on each end of the sander, it would be easy to use.

Coming along very well!

derekcohen 04-06-2016 08:35 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
This weekend I returned to the Lingerie Chest to flush the drawers fronts and seal all with white, dewaxed shellac.

The drawers are now complete (coplanar) save for the drawer handles and waxing .. which will be done this coming weekend. And then it will be time to start the top section.

In the end I did not use sandpaper to level the drawer fronts, but simply marked off the high spots and planed/scraped them.

It is difficult to see the bow fronts in this photo.

The figure on these drawer fronts was both a source of pleasure and frustration. I love the wildness of it. On the other hand, it was important to achieve a flow from board-to-board, and I only had just enough to make these drawer fronts. If I screwed up one, I would have had to start all over again.

The Jarrah fronts were also difficult to work. Very hard wood, with grain that went all over the show - reversing ... even end grain showing through. Planing these boards really demonstrated the value of the double iron as they were less affected by grain direction. It was necessary to scrape at the end since I needed to level small areas, and fortunately the scrapers worked very well.

Traversing with a LV Skew Block plane to level the faces ..

Followed by a HNT Gordon palm smoother (60 degree bed) ...

This is the type of tearout from this plane (which is a fantastic very small smoother) ..

Removed by scraping ...

Then sanded (!) to remove marks (theis is a Mirka Abranet hand sander, using dust extraction - I hate sanding, but this excels) ...

And finally scraped for a fine, burnished finish (you can distinguish the scraped from sanded sections) ..

Lastly, two coats of White Shellac (by Ubeaut) to finish. This is a concentrate of dewaxed shellac that is thinned with methylated spirits (alcohol).

Regards from Perth


derekcohen 04-10-2016 02:41 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
We left off last time with the drawers completed - coplaner with one another, and then finished in white shellac (Ubeaut).

It was was nice to work at a relaxed pace this weekend, since the goal was to install the drawer handles, wax the drawers (Renaissance), and complete the rear of the carcase. All nice and easy.

The panel for the rear is 1/4" thick Makore, as are the carcase frame-and-panel sides. I made the panel at the start of the build. It had begun as one of the side panels, but it lacked any figure, and consequently I set it aside for the rear of the carcase. This was finished inside with wax and outside with Livos Universal Wood Oil (an Aussie product), which was used on the all the other parts of the carcase.

The panel is secured with nails into the frame. The panel can move laterally via widened (drilled) nail holes. There is a coved attached moulding that tidies up the fitting. The cove matches the cove that is part of the frame-and-panel sides (which were shaped into the frames).

I got to use my restored mitrebox :)

Before the rear could be done, the handles needed to be attached to the drawers. The handles had been a major headache for a long time. I knew what I wanted but could not find ready-made versions. I hunted everywhere like an obsessed dervish!. I was about to build them in Jarrah (my wife's choice to go with the Jarrah drawer fronts) when I found them about 6 weeks ago on eBay! According to the advert they are "antique bronze".

After building a template, and carefully marking, triple checking measurements, I drilled the holes and screwed them on ...

What do you think?

Here is a side. The bow is very subtle, softening the profile ...

What's there to do? Well, I am starting on the top section. The chest needs a crown moulding. This will hide a lid. Raising the lid will reveal a mirror on the underside, plus a recess to place jewellery or cosmetics. The recess will be leather lined.

Then there are jewellery trays to fit (also leather lined). This will go in the top drawer ..

All the drawers have good extension, held horizontal by the last 1 1/2" -2".

Until the top is done ...

Regards from Perth


neilc 04-12-2016 02:36 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
That looks fantastic, Derek! The bronze hardware is a perfect choice. And the bow adds a subtle detail that really is nice.

Great work! How many hours would you guess in the build?!


derekcohen 04-12-2016 03:25 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Too many hours, Neil! :eek:

Been at it 12 months of weekends. A few more to go.

Regards from Perth


Poto 04-12-2016 04:14 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
It's really stunning, Derek. I showed the latest pictures to my daughter - she said, "Can you make me one?" I'm thinking, "Probably not!"

The arch on the bottom rail really ties the curves together. Would you consider arching the top as well. It might really finish it off nicely. And since the top is designed to be raised, you wouldn't be putting things on it anyway.

And just how much lingerie does your wife have?!? :eek:

(I'm assuming this is for your wife's lingerie - not yours...)

derekcohen 04-12-2016 04:41 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
My wife says I "may" get the bottom drawer ... if I am lucky.

I did consider a curve at the top, however I think that it would make it look too heavy. The top will be low and the edge be coved (like the mouldings). That should tie it all together, as well as create a grip to lift the lid.

Regards from Perth


PaulG 04-14-2016 06:20 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
That's a gorgeous piece. It's been a joy to watch the progress.

derekcohen 06-06-2016 03:13 PM

Top of the world to you!
Top of the world to you!

Well, my wife is partly Irish, and we are getting close to completing her Lingerie Chest.

My last post completed the drawers, and now attention is turned to the top of the chest ...

This was a saga. I built and rejected three tops before settling on the one below. There were a variety of mouldings, and none fitted in, even the subtle ones. In the end it was a case of less is more. Book matched Makore (as with the carcase) ...

As seen here, the panel is reinforced by breadboard ends. The breadboards line up with the side frames.

So here is the completed carcase. I apologise for the inaccurate colour - it should be a little more red. New camera and still trying to sort out the lighting. Trying to learn to take better photographs!

Here's the obligatory dovetail picture, which most have seen already. The bowed drawers (figured Jarrah) are difficult to judge in this photo, but the curves will show up in the top shortly ..

So, let's see what happens when we lift the top ...

The chest is just 48" high, and the mirror allows it to double as a dressing bureau. This will be covered in dark blue leather.

The hinges for the top are heavy-duty Brusso butt hinges that have a built-in stop at 95 degrees. Holding up the top and mirror is not a problem - my concern was to ensure the lid did not fall down! I searched for months for a suitable brass stay, but could not find one anywhere. The problem was that it needed to fit into a narrow space, and all the ones I looked at needed more room than I had. In the end I designed and built my own.

A brass bits-and-pieces, reshaped, fitted together ...

The stay and catch are french fit into the top. There is a finger hole to access the head, then swing it over and into the catch. It works really well.

And one last photo. Apologies for the gruesome person in the background :)

I am now working on the last part of the Lingerie Chest: sliding jewellery trays in the top drawer.

Regards from Perth


PaulG 06-06-2016 06:47 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
That is coming together beautifully, very impressive.

Wonderwino 06-08-2016 03:23 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Absolutely spectacular! :thumbsup2: :thumbsup2: :thumbsup2:

neilc 06-10-2016 02:27 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
That is fantastic! Very nice how you did the ball catch with the brass rod.

So much wonderful but subtle detail in this piece, Derek. You have done a great job!


derekcohen 06-11-2016 02:06 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Neil, here is a bit of detail about the brass stay.

I probably have the largest range of brass stays in the history of mankind, collected in the course of research for this build ... Oh, I think that will do it! Cha-ching (sound of me paying for another stay) .... Damn, too large to fit!

Originally, I had planned to situate the stay to the right side and inside the tray. This has a depth of about 1 1/2". It was this that was too shallow for all the stays I came across. Here is what I came up with ...

I was wandering around the local hardware store looking for inspiration when an idea formed around these door closers (front) and (at the rear) box hinges ..

I managed to find brass pipes with a 5mm hole and 5mm brass thread. The brass thread fitted the pipe to create a strong brass rod.

The "catch" (female) was modified: the wings with screw lugs were removed (needed to reduced the width and make a neater fitting), a screw hole was drilled in the centre, the springs were removed and shortened (re reduce tension), and the case ground back by about 2mm each side.

The "lug" (male) was also modified: shortened and rounded (as it needed to fit at an angle. The existing square shape only permitted entry if all parts were square with one another). The brass thread was tapped into the lug ....

Here is the end with the box hinge ...

This was also 5mm diameter .... see how it was meant to be?

Once the lower section was epoxied together, the lid was morticed for the catch (to prevent it moving on the single screw) ...

Once this was done, the stay was attached (clicked in), and the position for the pivot could be marked for drilling ...

And the rest (drilling, grooving and morticing for the stay) is, as they say, history.

Regards from Perth


TahoeTwoBears 06-11-2016 04:48 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Just amazing. I'm thoroughly impressed by your craftsmanship and attention to detail. Kudos.

neilc 06-11-2016 08:43 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
The catch rod detail is great! I have made brass hardware for pieces in the past on my mill and lathe. It is amazing how inspiration can come to you just walking around the hardware store sometimes!

I've seen the box hardware with the imbedded slide in the side, but your approach is a great idea. I'll file it away for the future.

Good luck hanging onto that bottom drawer ;)


derekcohen 07-11-2016 08:26 AM

The Devil lies in the details
I completed the Lingerie Chest this weekend, and moved it to our bedroom to recuperate from the cold of the workshop.

It was comforting to see the pieces still looking quite good …

Here it is in the nook that was always to be its home.

What I would like to share with you are the details that I have been working on over the past few weeks. These have been fun to do, especially as they were planned right at the outset, but left until the end.

The first task was not so fun, if I am honest. In fact I wanted to avoid the risk I needed to take, and enquired of a few people whether they could spot the problem. I was reminded that, if you have to ask, then there is an issue. What was the issue? It lay with the fitting of the handles.

Here is an older picture of the drawers taken after the handles were fitted ..

What is difficult to see is that the drawers are bowed, while the handles are designed for a flat drawer face. As a result, there are gaps at each end …

I dreaded having to chisel into the drawers to seat the handles. In the end, I knew I could not leave them like this. Fortunately I came up with an alternate plan, which was to file the raised sections of the handle into a profile that matched to drawer fronts.

To do this I build a profile of the bow, taped on 120 grit sandpaper, and lapped the handles on this …

Despite fantasies of the handles disintegrating, it turned out all good.

The second area involved the “jewelry drawer”.

Facing the chest (48” high), my wife is tall enough to look down into the top drawer.
Since this drawer is to hold jewelry, it needed to be locked. I did not wish to add more hardware than necessary and so, instead of a lock-and-key, added a Quaker Lock.

A Quaker lock is simply a spring-loaded wedge under the drawer. It is made of the following parts: thin, flexible (straight-grained) strip of wood, a thin wedge, and screws …

These are put together to create a spring wedge, which extends to the rear of the drawer blade ..

To release the Quaker lock, first open the second drawer, then reach underneath and push up the spring while simultaneously pulling out the drawer.

The top drawer opens to reveal the upper jewelry tray (spaces for ear rings) …

Sliding it back reveals the lower jewelry tray (spaces for necklaces and rings) ..

The construction of these trays was based on a different design to the drawers. Slips were used in the drawers, but the trays needed to maximize the space inside, which left the 3mm (1/8”) thick drawer bottoms 3mm from the lower edge.

As can be seen below, the lower pin is not enclosed, which allows more space for the drawer bottom groove ..

The drawer bottoms were covered in 1.2mm thick leather. This was attached with contact glue (I used a brand that permitted some movement for repositioning up to 3 minutes after placement). The edges were tidied up with coved beading.

That coved beading was a real bugger to make and fit as it was so tiny. The drawers were for the most part easy to fit. However, the compound curves behind the drawer fronts and at the top of the mirror (which curves to match the bow drawers) required extra attention.

The jewelry trays are easy to lift out of the drawer. The idea for fitting them came from the sliding tills in tool chests. To do this with these drawers, the inside of the drawer sides was squared up with filler pieces. To ensure that the lower drawer does not slide away from the front position, clips were added to the rear (they are shelf rests and just push into the sides). These can be removed if needed. There is now hidden space behind the lower tray.

The third area involves the mirror recess. This was also covered in leather …

Here is one example of the coved beading around the mirror (so difficult to photograph owing to the reflections) ..

And so we come to the end of this build. All-in-all, it stretched over 18 months (closer to 14 months of actual build time on weekends), which is my longest project to date.

Thanks for looking.

Regards from Perth


Poto 07-11-2016 04:31 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, Derek. A true work of art. Your attention to detail - and to the use of the piece - is admirable. Congratulations on an amazing piece that should bring all of you great joy every time you see it.

Sta2lt 07-12-2016 01:45 AM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
I have really enjoyed following this project. Stunning.

PaulG 07-18-2016 02:28 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
It's been a joy and very educational to watch your vision take shape in crafting such a beautiful and functional piece. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

So what's the next project for you?

derekcohen 07-18-2016 02:50 PM

Re: Building the Lingerie Chest
Thanks all.

Paul, next up is repainting the house. Such fun :rolleyes: Followed by remodelling the kitchen. This will involved building about 25 doors. I've just purchased a Domino in anticipation. Should keep me off the streets for a while.

I hope this build has motivated others to post theirs here as well! :thumbsup2:

Regards from Perth


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