Butterflies on the Inside

Once the rabbets were cut, the next step was to assemble on the case. The wood had other ideas. I noticed the some additional checking in the middle a panel. Combining this with the bow I mentioned earlier, and the repair I’d already made to another panel, I really questioned this batch of poplar. Maybe I didn’t let it acclimate enough? Regardless of what happened, a voice in my head kept whispering the story from Schwarz’s ATC about “if he had to ask the question…” I knew I couldn’t just leave it.

[Incidentally, when the thought ran through my head this post didn’t exist but it does now and it hit home when I read it. This story affirms how my journey has crossed over from rank amateur into something much better.]

So, onto the fix. I’ve always liked the look of the butterfly key (a.k.a fancy dutchman) and thought it would be a nice touch to anyone opening the chest in the future. I’ve cut them a few different ways (by hand and by jig). Knowing my time crunch, I thought I’d use the jig to cut out the mortises and the finesse the butterflies in by hand.

This method proved difficult. I rough cut the keys with the community shop’s bandsaw because it’s more convenient to just use up a small scrap of walnut; however, that same scrap is difficult to work on with a bulky jig attached. I ended up tossing a few of the keys and using one I had lying around from a previous build. The scale was a little off but it works.

This was good practice for the upcoming dining table build where I plan to use the butterfly keys again. If you haven’t tried this technique, I encourage you to give it a shot but make sure to start with the keys as it makes everything else easier. Finally, I sanded up the panels and hit them with a coat of amber shellac.


Ready for glue up

The next step is assembling the case.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in Kids Furniture, Toy Chest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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