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Coved Frame-and-Panel

I had this bright idea to use a wooden clamp to provide a parallel paring surface for removing the waste in preparation for the mortices. I had last used this technique to saw the shoulders on a chair with a curved rail.

By lucky chance, the height of the clamp was exactly in line with the lower edge of the cove, which was the level for the mortices.

You see – one is rewarded for being good!

I added three layers of blue tape to the upper side of the clamp …

which raised the flush cut saw slightly above the paring line.

When paring, come in from each side to overt spelching.

The lower end of the leg has a blind mortice …

The upper end of the leg has a haunched mortice-and-tenon joint.

Here the mitre is being pared with the aid of a guide.

This mitred cove is what we are after. It is not that straight forward as aligning the parts is not a given. Every joint required a goodly bit of tuning.

As much as I was careful with marking the mortice-and-tenons, there were variations in the positions. Plus, the ploughed grooves were also not as exact as I hoped – probably due to variations caused by hand thicknessing and smoothing. A millimetre here-and-there ads up.

An example was the grove for the panel. It did not matter if at a different depth in at the centre of the panel. However, this would be noticeable at the corners. This was easily remedied with a side rabbet plane (above).

Then there were cove shaped that differed in their radii. They also required tuning to match at the corners.

Below is a sequence in which the corners and mortice-and-tenons come together …

Firstly, the mitres are added to the two sections, and then these are fitted together. Obviously, basic work first needs to be done on the tenons to fit the mortices, such as leveling the tenons (I used a router plane), and cleaning up the shoulders (I used a chisel).

Above you see the tenon into the mortice, and that the haunch has still to be sawn.

With the haunch seated, it can be marked, and sawn …

What then occurs is the reality that the cove does not match, either in shape, and that the mitres are not fitting together (the last bit is not a surprise as I pared them a little short on purpose – one can remove wood but nor put it back) …

The mismatch in cove shape is ever more evident as the mitre comes together (by paring away more of the corner) …

So that gets fixed.

And finally, there are parts that are ready to put together!

Below is one panel that is a dry fit only. It has one coat of oil so far. The panel needs to be oiled before the frame is glued and draw-bored together, otherwise any shrinkage might expose bare wood.

The Makore has wonderful chatoyance. The flash tended to exaggerate it a little in the picture below …

Below you can see the curve that will be to the sides of the cabinet.

A picture below of the effect of the cove in creating a transition from the frame to the panel …

A final few pictures to complete the section on the panels, and then 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


June 2015