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Thread: Bompe Chest Build Almost Done

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Carlsbad, CA
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    Bompe Chest Build Almost Done

    This is the last post of a mostly Neander build of a mahogany Bompe chest Im building to house some hi-fi components. Earlier parts of the build are in previous threads for those interested.

    I left off the last post with the carcass assembled and ball and claw feet completed. This post covers horizontal dividers/shelves, molding, attaching B&C feet and finishing. Personally I always enjoy build pics so consequently Ive probably include too many here my bad.

    The front edge of the carcass bottom mimics the curve on the top and sides of chest and extends beyond the carcass sides so it can be mitered with side moldings.
    I did this as a separate piece to be added after the through dovetails joining the rest of the carcass bottom with the carcass sides were glued up. My reasoning is the final inside dimensions of carcasses I build rarely end up exactly as planned. Adding this piece after glue up gave me a better chance of getting a tight fit.




    I use the same template for the carcass top to layout this curve. Because I shape the curves with hand tools, I dont need a template to act as a guide for a bearing guided router bit, consequently I prefer to make templates out of poster board/paper that is faster/easier to cut than Masonite/MDF.




    I saw out rough outline of the curve with portable electric jigsaw and shape to the layout line with spoke shave and card scraper. Pic of the piece dry fit to the carcass.





    With the piece dry fit into position, Im able to layout, saw and shoot the miters that will fit to the side moldings. My LV shooting plane is probably the extravagant hand tool purchase I use most often. Although pricey, it does a fantastic job of a fundamental hand tool task (shooting edges), that I wouldnt know how to do otherwise with a power tool. Unlike some other tools I bought, I dont regret this purchase at all.









    I like to make moldings with hollow/round planes. Because the front is curved, I used an electric router. Here are some pictures of completed molding.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    I inlaid some musical symbols out of Holly into the chest top. I think my previous post has pics of sawing the inlays with a bird’s mouth and fret saw. I tried to get a low angle picture so you can see how the inlay tapers from top to bottom in hopes of getting a decent fit with the recess.







    I cut the inlay recesses with a Dremel tool in a “miniature LV plunge router”. I’m not sure that’s actually the name of the tool, but is probably my most important tool for inlay. Here’s a couple pictures of the inlay leveled with the surface of the chest top.









    Next up was attaching the B&C feet to the carcass with dowels and supporting blocking. This chest and the hi-fi stuff inside is really heavy. I’m hoping it holds together, but confess I’m more than a little nervous.






  3. #3
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    With the feet attached to the carcass, next step is adding the rest of the feet. These need to conform to both the curve of the front molding and curved profile of the feet. The only way I know how to do that is dry fitting and shaping them by eye.











    Forster bits shape the tight radii and the rest is rough shaped with saw, chisel and rasps.







    Sorry for this horrible picture of planing the radius of the front curve with block plane.
    Pics of completed feet.


  4. #4
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    Feb 2011
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    Here’s some pics of dimensioning the 2 horizontal shelves. FWIW, if you’re interested in hand tool woodworking, my humble opinion is a panel gauge and sturdy saw bench are 2 tools that make things a lot easier and more fun.








  5. #5
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    Pics of making the rabbits that join the shelves to the carcass sides. For me rabbit planes are always a challenge to set up correctly. Typically I end up with sloping sidewalls and out of square cheeks. This time the rabbits turned out fine. Im not gonna lie, Im super pleased with my shop built rabbit plane - it works awesome!






    I used a Stanley scratch beader to create 1/8 wide round beads along the top and bottom of the horizontal shelves. If you never tried using a scratch stock to create profiled edges Id encourage you to give it a try- there pretty intuitive and user-friendly. If youre getting too much tear out, dont be afraid to use the blade freehand so its easier to work with the grain.




    I suck at finishing and therefore rely on a couple Im comfortable with. My go to finish is: Watco oil/varnish, sanded while wet with 600 grit, to fill the pores of open grain wood like mahogany, followed by shellac and paste wax. I use a pad of cotton wadding inside an old T-shirt to apply the shellac. For me its easier to get a smooth, untracked finish with this method versus a brush. I also get better results making my own shellac from flakes.



    After padding on 2-3 initial coats of shellac, I use rotten stone with water as a lubricant and a felt block to level show surfaces. Be sure to wipe off all the abrasive slurry. I know spraying your project with water sounds crazy, but I think it works.





  6. #6
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    Probably way too many pictures padding on multiple coats of shellac. For the last couple passes, I charge the pad with mostly alcohol and only a couple drops of shellac and apply a lot of pressure. I read somewhere this “stretches” the shellac - I’m not sure what that means, but my experience is it yields a glossy, flat surface.















    Only thing left will be final coat of paste wax and building the carcass back that is intended to hide the spaghetti-like mess of cable that connects everything together. Probably not too interesting, but happy to post some final pictures if there’s interest.

    Thanks for looking,

    All the best Mike

  7. #7
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    Excellent work Mike.

    regards Stewie;

  8. #8
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    SE Michigan
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    Well done Mike! Love seeing your work. Thanks for the great build threads. And yes, would love to see the finished piece all set up. By the way, I share your love for finishing. Most of my projects get the Watco/wet sand/shellac/wax treatment as well.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    Extremely impressive Mike! This design requires mastery of the most difficult techniques in woodworking. Some of that curved work is what most dream of doing, and very, very few actually do.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Stone Mountain, GA
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    Excellent work on the chest, and the finish looks lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Broadview Heights, OH
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    128
    Mike,

    Excellent work. I love the use of that Disston #12 in your work. I agree with you on the shellac. Fresh mixed flakes is the way to go and using padding to get the finish on is what French Polish is all about. A great collection of almost forgotten techniques!!

  12. #12
    Very nice craftsmanship. I really like the character of the bomBe ;-)

  13. #13
    Nicely done Mike! I think the feet will be fine, they're relatively short and backed by corner blocks. Unless they catch on something while moving the cabinet (an event which will destroy nearly anything made from wood!) they will be fine IMO.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  14. #14
    Beautiful piece and work Mike! I'm in awe of your abilities.

  15. #15
    What a beautiful piece - lots of quality work in a short amount of time. Kudos, Mike; oh, and you can never have too many pictures so stop worrying about that.

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