Marking the pin board

The feet of the blanket chest are made from two identical boards cut with a dec­orative scroll pattern and joined with half­blind dovetail joints. Make the joinery cuts first, then saw out the patterns and assem­ble the pieces. To begin, cut blanks to the size of the feet, then mark the half-blind dovetails. Indicate the outside face of each board with an X. Then adjust a cutting gauge to the thickness of the stock and scribe a line across the inside face of the pin board to mark the shoulder line. Next, secure the board end-up in a vise, set the cutting gauge to about one-third the stock’s thickness, and mark a line across the end closer to its outside face. Use a dovetail square to mark the pins on the end of the board. For the size of board shown, a half-pin at each edge and two evenly spaced pins in between will make a strong and attractive joint. Indicate the waste sections with Xs, then use a combi­nation square to extend the lines down the inside face to the shoulder line (left). Re­peat the marks on all the pin boards.

2 Cutting the pins

Secure a pin board in a vise with its outside face toward you, then cut down along the edges of the pins with a dovetail saw, working from one edge of the board to the other. For each cut, align the saw blade just to the waste side of the cutting lines (left). Use smooth, even strokes, con­tinuing the cuts to the shoulder line. Next, clamp the board outside-face down on a work surface and use a chisel and mallet to pare away the waste wood: Score a line about % inch deep along the shoulder line and then shave off a thin layer of waste, with the chisel held horizontally and bev­el-up. Repeat the procedure to cut the remaining pin boards.

4 Test-fitting the joint

Make a template with the desired pattern for the feet and trace the shape on one face of each board. Then, test-fit the half-blind dovetail joint (right). Mark any spots that bind with a pencil and carefully pare some wood away at each mark until the fit is satisfactory.




Making the base pieces

The four pieces that make up the base molding are shaped and rabbeted individually. Working with stock longer than you need, rout one edge of the front and side pieces the same way you would shape cornice molding (page 66). Next use your table saw to cut rabbets in all four pieces. The rabbets are sawn in two passes, with the shoulders first, followed by the cheeks. Adjust the blade height so the cheeks will be wide enough to support the chest without reaching the molding cuts; position the fence so one-third of the stock thickness will be cut away. Use two featherboards to support the workpiece; attach the table-mounted featherboard to a shim so the middle of the workpiece is pressed against the fence. Feed each piece on edge into the blade (left) until the trailing end reaches the table. Then move to the other side of the table and pull the stock past the blade.


Gluing up the base

Saw the molding pieces to length, cutting miters at both ends of the front piece and at one end of the sides. The front corners of the base are assembled with miter joints; butt joints are sufficient for the back. The connections should be reinforced with wood biscuits. Use a plate joiner to cut slots, then spread glue in the slots, insert biscuits in the front and back pieces, and press the corners together (above) and clamp them.


Fastening the feet to the base

Working on a flat surface, position the base on the feet of the chest, making sure all the outer edges are flush. At each corner, bore four countersunk holes through the base and into the foot and screw the two together (above). Place the chest in the rabbets of the base piece and drive screws from under­neath through the base and into the chest.




Cutting the ogee cove

Ogee bracket feet are created much like the bracket feet shown on page 93, but with an S-shaped ogee profile shaped in their outside faces. Because of their contoured surfaces, the two halves of each foot are joined with a miter-and-spline joint (page 98), rather than a half-blind dove­tail. The ogee profile is cut in three steps on the table saw and the router. Begin by marking the profile on the end of a piece of stock long enough to make all the feet. Set up your table saw to make a cove cut in the face of the board as you would for the cornice molding of an armoire (page 69). Use a push block to feed the stock, mak­ing several shallow passes to cut a cove of the appropriate depth (right). Once you have made the cove cut, use a router fit­ted with a rounding-over bit to shape the corner of the board to the marked line.

2 Finishing the ogee profile

The ridge of waste between the cove cut and the rounding-over cut is sliced off by the table saw. To set up the cut, hold the workpiece on edge on the saw table and adjust the blade angle to align the cut­ting edge with the marked line on the board end. Butt the rip fence against the stock, lock it in place, and set the blade height to slice away the waste. Use three featherboards to support the workpiece dur­ing the cut: Clamp two to the fence and a third to the table; this featherboard should be mounted on a shim so it will press clos­er to the middle of the stock against the fence. Feed the workpiece with both hands (right). Once the board’s trailing end reach­es the table, move to the other side of the table and pull the stock past the blade.


Making the bevel cuts

Since the ogee bracket feet will be assembled with miter – and-spline joints, each of the eight foot pieces will have bevels on adjoining ends. First, cut all the pieces slightly oversize. To cut the bevels, set your saw’s blade angle to 45° and attach a wood extension to the miter gauge. Mark the length of a foot piece on your stock and, holding the flat edge of the board against the extension, align the mark with the blade.

Before making the cut, clamp a stop block to the extension to enable you to line up the cuts for the three other identical pieces. Hold the flat edge of the board against the extension and the end against the block as you make each cut (above). To bevel the ends of the four matching foot pieces, hold the contoured edge of the stock against the extension as you make the cuts.

3 Cutting the patterns and gluing up the feet

Once all the spline grooves are cut, design the scroll patterns on the flat faces of the pieces and cut them out on the band saw (page 95). Sand the pieces smooth, then cut splines from plywood or solid wood to fit into the grooves. The splines should be as long as the grooves; make their width slightly less than twice the combined depth of two grooves. (If you use solid wood for the splines, cut them so the grain runs across their width, rather than lengthwise.) Spread adhesive in the grooves and glue up the feet (right), then attach them to the base as you would standard bracket feet (page 96).


Cutting the spline grooves

The grooves for the splines in the beveled ends of the foot pieces are cut on the table saw. Install a dado head and adjust its thickness to that of the splines you will use. Set the angle of the head at 45° and shift the rip fence to the left-hand side of the blades. Holding one foot piece flat-face-down on the saw table, butt the beveled end against the cutting edges of the dado head and adjust the fence and blade height so a %-inch groove will be located about % inch from the bottom of the piece. Butt the fence against the end of the stock and lock it in place. Feed each piece with the miter gauge (left), pressing the end against the fence through­out the cut.

Updated: March 14, 2016 — 12:20 pm