Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stickley #913 Harvey Ellis Dresser, Part 3

Well, its the next weekend and sure enough, I got done what I wanted to get done on this project, I think I could have got more done on it but sometimes you just have to work in the yard. That and one of my neighbors was at the Master's and I took care of their dog, and my other neighbors went up to the mountains and I took care of their dogs, yeah and I had to do my taxes...

Ok enough excuses, the truth is this thing is a puzzle and it takes quite a while just to piece it all together. So Saturday I finished the final dryfit with the side drawer guides and the center guides for the top drawers.
You can see the side and center guides here, notice the gap in front of the back drawer rails, this is left to allow for wood movement with the change of seasons. The back tenons will not be glued into the back drawer rails. Once everything was fit it was time to take everything apart for the last time and do some sanding. I started with 100 grit, proceeded to 120 grit, then 150 grit. I stopped there, I plan on hand sanding the rest after glue up.

I had to do some more work on the legs before I sanded them, the first thing I had to do was to cut a stopped rabbet into the backs of the back legs to hold the back panel. I installed the dado blade set to 3/4 inch in the tablesaw and adjusted it to 1/2 inch high. I marked the front and back of the blade on the sacrificial fence and transferred the marks from the stopping point of the rabbet to the opposite side of the legs. One leg I ran until the mark reached the front of the blade then turned off the saw and held the leg until the blade stopped spinning. The other leg I had to carefully lower onto the blade with the mark at the back of the blade and fed it through, I squared up the ends with a chisel. Then I needed to cut a taper in each leg starting at a point 15 9/16th of an inch down from the top. The leg is 2 1/8th wide and tapers to 1 7/8 at the top and 1 3/4 at the bottom. To accomplish this I marked the legs with lines showing the taper on both sides and used my jointer to cut the taper most of the way. This method involves holding back the blade guard and carefully laying the stock down on the running blade with the flush line just post the blade and running the taper over the blade in consecutive passes until the desired taper is achieved. I flipped the leg around and repeated the process for the top taper. I wouldn't recommend trying this technique unless you are comfortable with it as it involves a running machine with exposed blades. I then cleaned the cuts up on the workbench with a number 4 plane and a card scraper.

I also had to cut the tenons on the arched front apron and the mortises in the legs to house them. I cut the mortises with my hollow chisel mortiser, 3/8 inch wide and one inch deep. Using the dado set still in the saw I fit the width into the mortises then cut mortises on both ends one inch wide. Using a gentleman's saw I trimmed the mortises to the correct width and cleaned it up with a sharp chisel.
I used a arch bow that I had made previously to mark the arch in the front apron. I ripped a piece of white oak 1/8th of an inch thick and drilled a small hole in each end and using a string and a sliding adjuster made from the same oak I can adjust the bow to form the correct size arch, I mark a centerline on the board and another line at the limit of the arch. The bow has a mark on its center point so I line those up, after a little adjusting you have the arch you want. I traced this arch and cut it out on the bandsaw, I used the oscillating spindle sander to remove the saw marks. I stopped here for the day.

With all the parts now ready and sanded it was time for the final glue up and let me tell you, I was kind of nervous about getting everything glued, in place, lined up and clamped before the glue set. I guess I could have made a run over to Woodcraft and picked up some slow setting glue but I stuck with my old faithful, regular old Titebond. So it was time to take a deep breath, make sure all my clamps were laid out, a small deadblow hammer was handy, the glue bottle was filled, I had a few glue brushes out and some wipes too. I went over to my iPod, picked out some good glue up music, and cranked it up. A few songs later and the clamps were on, a little adjusting, a clamp diagonally across the top to help square it up and one screw to hole the center divider to the rail below it and it was done. Well almost, I had to glue in some center dividers for the top six drawers, these I just glued and clamped to the center supports.
Now it was done, I turned off the iPod and the lights and walked down the street to talk to my returning friends. After hearing about their adventures watching golf and playing in the mountains I came back, mowed the lawn, played with my dogs then decided it was time to take off the clamps and take some pictures.

"It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends." John Ruskin


Kip said...

Hey Frog

I was wondering what your source for the Harvey Ellis #913 Dresser is.

I have a book "Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture", written by Robert Lang with 27 project plans in it and the #913 dresser is one of them. However, it has 10 drawers. Lang does explain there are several versions for this dresser but, lists only the 10 drawer version.

Your project has inspired me to put this dresser on my project to do list, so I am wanting to start the research. Any guidance would be most appreciated. If you have already covered this somewhere else in your website, I appoligize for the inconvence. Just point me to it and I'll try not to be to much of a bother.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.


Brad Ferguson said...

I'm using that book, as well as Mr. Lang's large format plan for the dresser, I think you must have miscounted, please look again, there are three large drawers and 6 small drawers. There were several variations in the details over the history of this dresser, however the number of drawers for the model number 913 has always been 9.