Bowfront Drawer (how done?)

There is a hallway/sofa table called a Barclay Console by Ballard. It has a bowfront drawer. How do you make this curved piece front on the drawer?
This is the web site address: http://www.ballarddesigns.com/bd/pdp.jsp?prod_oid (2826&showarrow=y&category_key=-15144&cursor=0
Thunder
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wrote:

fine woodworking had an article about making bow front drawers in the last year. it involved cutting parts out with the bandsaw.
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wrote:

Lots of ways. FWW did a piece on this a while ago - I think they had four different techniques. Many of them look ugly, but who cares because you're probably veneering it anyway.
For this piece, because it's only a small drawer front, then it's likely to be bandsawn from a single piece of solid thick stock.
In period, a wider or deeper curve would be be done by "brick stacking" four or five layers of pre-shaped bowsawn blocks and gluing them. These days we'd be crude and saw the whole construction to shape with a deep bandsaw afterwards, Originally they'd be made close enough to just finish by planing.
Other techniques would be to bend and laminate, or to steam bend from solid.
What an infernally nasty piece of piss-poor design that particular of crap is. Whoever drew it should be beaten with a stick and locked in the Rhode Island Museum for a week or two until they learn what it should have looked like. The lower edge of the apron is a crude hack of 1700 William and Mary styles, but missing the pendants, and the sub-Hepplewhite legs are 90 years later.
"Crafted of solid pine", yes it probably is. 8-(
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 00:21:25 +0000, Andy Dingley

Thank you for the insight to making a bowfront drawer. I kinda like it. Maybe just do the drawer and table top straight up. I like how the back board across the back keeps things from sliding off the back and a drawer to toss in stuff and forget.
With my simplistic workshop capacities, it looked like something I could do. As well as, its name similar to my own.
Thanks for the insights,
Thunder
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wrote:

I imagine you could do even better !
I'd want a bandsaw before I started doing bow front drawers. It would also be useful for the apron and the legs. Of course you can do it without, but it's hard work.
That console table really is an ugly example. Getting the design right, especially for repro work, is really important. It's also very cheap - you don't need expensive new machinery, just a few references and a pencil.
The front apron is taken from the early part of the 18th century - either Willima & Mary or Queen Anne. Both of these would probably have a more complex shape with sharp internal corners (these get removed by accountants, as they're slower to saw out) and a pair of small turned drop finials.
The way the top breaks out of being a simple rectangle, and the matching bowfront drawer, are from the middle of the 18th century. This was the era of the Rococo and excessive decoration. America was spared some of Europe's worst excesses here, but it's still likely that a bow front would have been associated with a little carving or at least moulding, not to mention a decorative brass handle.
Although American furniture did go through a phase of extreme simplicity at the end of the century, this was as a showcase for richly figured veneers and decoration by means of inlay work. The severe plainness of this piece just makes it look like something that was banged out of MDF for tuppence.
The legs are probably the worst feature of it. At first I thought these were clumsy Hepplewhite, but as it's American they might be clumsy Federal instead. On the whole, I think they're simply cheap - a continuous profile, relieved only by two coved bands. After the revolution / war of independence, American furniture stopped following Europe (or at least England) quite so closely and developed its own distinct style. The fashion in England would have been for the Hepplewhite leg, a slender taper cut on the square, rather than the previous turned or carved legs. The distinctive foot was still square, but tapered and wider than the foot of the leg. Although America did produce a few pieces in this style, they're rarely of high quality or well proportioned - particularly the foot is over-sized. There's a window seat in the Winterthur museum that appears to be wearing clogs!
At the same time, America's indigenous Federal style was appearing - a particularly delicate, attractive and modern-looking style that has much to recommend it for today's cabinetmakers. It's typical simple in style, but perfectly proportioned, and the skill and labour of making it mainly goes into high quality veneer and inlay work.
Federal styling, and particularly legs, were influenced by Hepplewhite, but still distinctive. Legs became square, but the tapered foot was continuous with the leg dimension, tapering down into a narrow foot. Compared to this lumpy piece though, the legs should be far lighter and more delicate - that's Federal biggest single shift from preceding styles. As a rule of thumb, it's sometimes suggested that you should draw the legs as you think best, then reduce their thickness to 3/4 of what you first planned!
The upstand at the back of the table isn't an 18th century feature, although you could obviously add it. As far as I know, I can't find any example of such a thing before the Victorian era (I'd be interested to hear of the first example).
One of my favourite furniture books in Jeffrey Greene's "American Furniture of the 18th Century" <(Amazon.com product link shortened)> It's an excellent mixture of content for collectors and for makers, and it's very well illustrated. A very good read, even if you never build a similar piece.
--
Smert' spamionam

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More badly-proportioned Hepplewhite legs http://www.tablelegs.com/hepplewhite.htm
Not too keen on the cabrioles either (some of them are klysmos, not cabrioles), but the ball-and-claw feet capture the New York style nicely,
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