Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Chippendale chest

After my struggle with the desk, I thought this one would be easy. When I was halfway through staining it occurred to me that I had never taken the before and after pictures, so now I have. I was using new stain because I had just finished the old faithful bottle of stain I bought in a hobby shop in Sweden over five years ago. This one came from an online shop, and although I would guess that mahogany was mahogany, it wasn't. I thought it was far too pink. I had to use at least three coats, and it was still too pink.

Then I made a fatal mistake. The instruction sheet has a warning: before you start, read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand every step of the process. In my hubris, I thought that with my fifth piece of advanced cabinet-making I understood every step. So I put in wrong bits for shelves. For some reason, each shelf must be made of two bits. I am sure there is a very good reason for this in full-size cabinet-making, and I am sure my expert friend Chris Scott would be able to explain to me exactly why it is important. I guess it has to do with aligning. And that's what made it such a frustrating job. It had been hard enough to put in three solid shelves - which was wrong. You might think that in a miniature it wouldn't make any difference. But just as a table top must be made with several panels, so a shelf must obviously be made of two bits. I think my blood pressure sky rocketed that evening.

Finally the frame was assembled, and making the drawers with their tiny handles and keyholes was a joy.

Here it is in its room. I will fill the drawers with bedlinen and other odds and ends. You can see that the stain is not the same, but maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe not all furniture was exactly the same.  .

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