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Custom Desk - page five
After building the desk and attaching the legs and granite we started on the drawer.
Seems we always end up making furniture with curved drawer fronts. Some day I'll get to use my Leigh Dovetail
jig! But not here. The front of the drawer is not only curved to match the desk, it also has angled ends for
create a tight fit to the desk itself.
We cut the blank out of solid stock, see photo one, using the band saw, but first we mitered the
ends, as it's much easier to do on straight lumber. After it was band sawed, we used a cabinet scraper to clean
To make the dovetails and pins we used a Fret saw,
which is basically a elongated coping saw, and a beautiful hand
saw from www.Lie-Nielsen.com .The hand saw was used for the
straight side cuts, and the fret saw was used to cut the bottoms of the joint. This is a very quick and easy
method to make dovetails, and is very accurate. Notice we cut a board long enough to cut in half, after the
dovetails for the back were cut. This makes it much easier to keep track of which end goes where. The front
joint itself was laid out with a scribe, and then chiseled out using the Japanese wood chisels shown. These
particular chisels are available from www.toolsforworkingwood.com. They are very fine
chisels, and are not outrageous in cost.
Cutting a dovetail in a curve can be somewhat intimidating, but looks worse than it actually is. As
always, cut the joint smaller than needed and sneak up on your layout lines with a sharp chisel. Paring a joint in this fashion is a good idea on any joint. The finest
joints of all are done using this paring method.
After the drawer was completed, tested and fit properly, we veneered the face using hot hide glue.
Once this was completed, we routed a bead on the top and bottom edge. Prior to routing, we cut the face of the
veneer with a mortise layout tool. This helps to prevent tear out on the veneer.
Continued page six
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