I just finished a hutch made of white oak. You can view it at
http://www.srww.com/gallery-fine-furniture.htm . Go all the way to the
bottom of the page. Also, you can follow the construction of it on
page http://www.srww.com/six-pane-oak-hutch.htm . If you want a
SketchUp model of it go to http://www.srww.com/sketchup-furniture-plans.htm
Wow, this piece looks like the crowning glory of your gallery page so
far. Really nice design and craftsmanship.
Regarding the Sketchup model. I am an AutoCAD expert but am just
recently learning Sketchup. I haven't been able to exactly figure out
how to model a mortise and tenon, one from the other. For instance, if
I have an apron that dies into a leg and I create a tenon on the end
of the apron. I can't figure how to easily use the exact location and
depth of the tenon to model the mortise. Any hints, or do you just do
them dimensionally separate and position them together manually.
Finally, just a question and no reflection on the quality of the
finish, it really is beautiful. I just wonder if you considered adding
a dark grain fill to make the grain more dramatic or did the customer
want a less contrasty tone. I have found that natural oak (red or
white) really pops with the addition of some enhamcement to the grain
I begin by making the tenon on the apron as you did. Then the leg. I
position them together so that the tenon is penetrating the leg
appropriately. Next I turn on the X-Ray view so that I can see inside
the leg where the tenon is penetrating. This assumes of course that
the apron is either a group or a component as is the leg, but the leg
is being edited. Now I can trace with the Line tool the tenon. Quite
Regarding the finish, I have never tried a fill for probably two
reasons. The first is because I am a chicken. When it comes to
finishing I do one thing well and that is put on a clear finish. I do
need to experiment more and so maybe you have given me just the push
The second reason is that I actually like what nature provides and
find it hard to improve on it. I have seen a lot of stained and filled
finishes I don't like. Especially when done by commercial outfits like
cabinet makers. They always look muddy. That said I have stained a
number of tiger maple pieces and had good results.
So maybe I will give it another shot.
Thanks for the interest and compliment.
Thanks Joe, I think the making it a component part is what I was
Yeah, I don't like truly "grain filled" finishes where they are trying
to make it flat. I like an oil finish where I can still feel the wood
or a thin enough film finish (poly, lacquer or shellac) that I still
feel the grain.
I do the filling just to enhance the look of the grain lines. The
easist way I found was presented by Jeff Jewitt in his mission oak
finish. After having the first coat of shellac, he uses any dark gel
stain, wiping it on and completly off. You leave no color in the field
of the wood but the grain lines get filled with dark color. You can
also choose to leave remenants in the corners and molding lines, etc,
to add some antiquing but just putting on the flat surfaces grain
really enhances the look.
Test it out. I had a red oak kitchen island with a thick maple butcher
block top in natural color with a poly finish. I took it to a few
shows and tried selling it on craigslist, no sale. Then I filled the
grain to pop the contrast and I wanted to keep it for myself but
actually sold it at the very next show.
I have Jeff's book, so I'll look it up. Does the filled grain detract
from the rays that are so outstanding in quartersawn white oak?
What shows do you do? What area? Are they furniture shows? Saratoga NY
has a great show coming up in April. You are not there by any chance.
Using Jeff's technique the rays and flakes are really accentuated. On
his method you first dye stain the raw wood. Then lightly sand it to
bring back the rays and flakes which are harder material so the dye
does not penetrate so deeply but leaves the backfield darkened
somewhat. Then after a coat of shellac you use gel stain wiped off
which only adds color in the grain lines.
I have enhanced his method by doing the dark stain and sand, then add
a golden or reddish or orangish, then shelllac and grain color fill.
I WAS doing local craft shows. There are two local companies that
manage these street fairs for the local towns. The problem is getting
accepted is hard at first. You also have to apply in December for the
coming year of shows that run April through October. Then some shows
are much better than others.
I made smaller and lower cost stuff to take to the shows but always
brought along one or two big expensive pieces too. I got lots of leads
for making custom pieces, probably the biggest benefit of the shows
and most customers end up buying multiple pieces eventually once they
order a custom piece. I've even been delivering a piece, see what they
have and suggest a piece I think they need next and have them order
Some shows are a near bust. Some shows are sell outs. I had one show
where I happened to bring a few bigger pieces. I sold everything I
had, all the big pieces and was up past midnight finishing half done
pieces so I would have something to sell on Sunday. It is real hit and
miss. I think it was a mistake to aim low. I think I could have done
just as well selling fewer higher end pieces but getting skunkled can
If the show has lots of older couples and large families (in volume
and number of childeren) the shows are not so good. If it is the
yuppie crowd with one royal child I always sold lots.
It's not my style, but that doesn't mean it's not excellent. Your
dovetails are first rate. I like the fact that you dovetailed the feet
to the carcass. It's built to last.
I'm not sure I follow you WRT the drawer frame. Are you saying the the
front of the drawer framework is only glued in the tenon and the
slotted dovetail on the side is not?
The sides of the base will expand and contract with seasonal changes.
So the rails, both front and back are glued in their respective
dovetails. But only the slider's front tenon is glued into its
mortise. The back tenon and mortise are not glued. This allows the
sides to expand and contract without pulling apart the draw frame. It
is pretty traditional.
As you may have noticed by a previous reply, this is not my style
either, but what my sister-in-law wanted. It compliments her other
choices in furniture. And thanks for your compliment.
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