More progress this week on the Toy Chest. Serious work was completed on the the dresser as well, but more on that in a different post.
I put the disassembled panels on the MFT and squared up the haggard miters one by one. During the first cut, the motor of my TS 55 started to slow (not stall but it had to work to get through the wood). Then the smell came up. It wasn’t the smell of pine, which I’d expected. It smelled and acted like maple and when I lifted the sides up, I could tell from the heft it clearly wasn’t pine. I’m pretty sure the wood is maple. This was a first in a series of surprises; I would’ve pegged grandpa and dad for cheaper material. Maybe it was back then.
The next task was to research six-board chest construction. My first stop, as always, was Lost Art Press to see what Schwarz did. He also did an article in the Nov 2013 Popwood, which I printed off form my digital subscription. These helped me figure out where to make my next cuts. I loaded up the OF 1400 with a 3/4″ bit and start hogging off more material.
I first scored a line with a marking gauge using the actual thickness of the panel; it was a bit heavier than 3/4″, which is perfect for the look I want. Then I plowed out the maple with my router. This is hybrid woodworking at it’s finest. Being too lazy to reset my router fence, I finished off the rabbets with a long chisel and bullnose shoulder plane.
The plan is coming together, along with other things. Working with this piece conjured up unexpected memories, questions, and connections. Not to get lost in metaphysics, but it’s as though I can feel my dad’s hands through the boards. It creates an unanticipated comfort, since I no longer touch his hands.
Along those lines and inspired from a recent post by Justin Leib, I made an effort to get the girlies in the shop. The little one needs absolute attention at all times, so I didn’t work on anything. Instead, I just sat on my saw bench and watched them play. Smiling. Completely unprompted, the older one started channeling her grandfather. And Repeat…repeated.
My dad was never one to shy away from sweeping floors; it put many a meal on the table. This post goes out to you Papa Nichols.