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  1. #16
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Moving along slowly here, but have got the case dovetailed and dryfitted. I see it will go together square and now need to cut the dado for the writing top. Had a setback in stock prep for the case top. I just cut it short. I planned a full blind joint (see first photo below) but cut the case top for a half-blind dovetail so I came up short when I started to lay out the dovetails. Back to the lumber store since that was the last piece of 12 wide stock in the pile. Found what I needed and now back on track.


    Here is the new case top ready to fit to the sides. Getting better at pins-first this one fit the first try. Front edge has been angled to accommodate the fall front when closed. Bach edge has been rabbeted for the shiplap poplar back.


    Here's the case dry-fitted to check square. Decided to use full blind but not mitered dovetails on the top as the original one was done that way. The "cover" is left a little long and will be planed flush after it is glued. I made some gluing cauls seen here from framing stock whatever-that-stuff-is from the big box. Now take it apart and cut the drawer rail mortises and writing top dado. I made a story stick and marked the sides while it was dry assembled.


    Detail of the case bottom joint which is through-dovetailed. The joint will be covered by base molding. The secondary wood is poplar for the bottom of the case.


    Here is the writing top. It is glued-up panel 20 x 36 x 7/8. Ready to hand plane and join to the sides using a sliding dovetail. I see this as part of the case structure so a sliding dovetail is worth the extra trouble.
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  3. #17
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Charlie I got married in WS in a small Moravian church over by Forsyth Hospital then off to an assignment in Germany. On just about every visit to my in-law's house I went off to the Old Salem museum and studied the 2 desks in the Single Brothers house.

    When I finally got back to the US, I decided to make a couple of these.


    As I recall in the Single Brothers house one was walnut like the one in the photo below and the other more detailed desk was built in cherry veneer and solid wood with a bonnet top.




    The German construction is certainly heavier than what you find on the English pieces. The stiles and rails are wider and the raised panels are smaller. This is a distinct feature of Moravian construction and more importantly -- the style that Johann Krause used for members of the community.


    On all the existing Krause work you will find the stair-step drawers. This gallery is the one of the simple designs but I do really like it.


    As you can see, the rails are wider than the stiles. Not something you see too much on doors made by joiners trained in England.


    This desk sat in the Single Brothers building for decades and then it was moved somewhere else??


    The Carlyle Lynch plans are just fantastic. Thinking back I don't think I departed from his plans too much. I did build the desk out of mahogany and not walnut.


    The 3 photos below are of a corner cabinet built by Krause. It was in the Winkler Bakery for a long time and used behind the cash register. I measured it before they "took the bothersome door off of it" to stack cookies on the shelves. I went back to get a sugar cake years later and it too was gone.

    Charlie take notice of the molding. Krause used this on just about all of the pieces I have examined over the years. On the original, it was all one piece. In my case I made it in 3 sections.



    This one I did in walnut. The original was built with poplar and painted/stained.


    The quality of the photos is not digital. These are photos from a camera from an earlier date.


    I really loved building the desk/bookcase. The tough part was the mitered breadboard ends with tenons.
    Post some photos as you progress.

    Last edited by danmart77; 05-01-2017 at 03:24 PM.

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  5. #18
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Really having fun building this desk. Just glad I don't have a deadline to meet. Dan, this original is now in the Single Brothers Workshop--not on regular tour but they are happy to show it. I am using Lynch plans but I may modify the center part of the gallery. I like the step back drawers but may substitute a center compartment from another Krause desk.
    Copying the Krause molding but as you did making it in 3 pieces.
    Ben Hobbs told me how to make the mitered fallboard. He says make the mitered board ends first, clamp it in place on the board and knife both sides. Then use router to remove material down to the tenons and finally pare to the knife line with a wide chisel.


    Got all the dados and mortises cut into the sides.

    Usng a tapered sliding half dovetail for the writing top. A few more pieces to make and fit before I glue up the case
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  7. #19
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    I vaguely recall another member (danmart77) commenting about blind dovetails in 18-19th century cabinet construction. I think that he used them too in a reproduction piece that he was building but I can't find his thread so maybe he'll chime in. This pic is from his "Linen Press" gallery.



    Here's an interesting video tutorial on the subject from Colonial Williamsburg.

    https://woodandshop.com/secret-miter...-cabinet-shop/
    The joinery in the photo above was my feeble attempt at using a method found on a Peter Scott desk being reproduced at the Anthony Haye shop in CW
    You can view the blog at

    https://anthonyhaycabinetmaker.wordp...-the-bookcase/
    Walnut Linen Press

    Jeff all of that discussion on the joinery of the walnut linen press is still here. Additionally, there are over 50 photos of the Linen Press build in folders under my name danmart77 named linen press for any viewer that is curious.



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  9. #20
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Charlie
    From our discussion at your house yesterday, we touched on the Krause desk built with cherry and cherry veneer. Its a stunning desk and bookcase but unfortunately for us home owners living with 8' ceilings, this piece would not work.

    I do love the upper bookcase with its bonnet curve. You feature a four drawer stair-step gallery with a prospect box and pilaster cases in a photo in reply #3. I think this photo is taken from the cherry desk shown here below.

    This piece was on display for years in the Single Brothers House. Not sure where it is these days but it is worth seeing. I called ahead and asked if the doors and the lid could be opened by one of the curators and they were very obliging with my request and invited me to come back on a quiet time if I wanted to measure the piece. Unfortunately, time and availability did not work out. Wish I had the measurements for this one.


    Last edited by danmart77; 05-11-2017 at 07:55 AM.

  10. #21
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Thanks, Dan. Next bad weather day I'll go over and look this one up. The photo in reply 3 came from a Krause desk -only which I also need to look at.

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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    I'm looking forward to viewing your completed project. I know it will be knockout show winner, as is all your work. That desk fascinates me! Reminds me of the beautiful desk in my Great Grandparents home 60+ years ago.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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  13. #23
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Great day for spreading glue. After dry fitting everything, fitting the sliding dovetailed writing top and (I hope) plowing all the dados that need plowing before glue-up I glued up the case today. The drawer rails are glued since they are mortised into the sides but the writing top will slide into the dado later. It's beginning to look like a desk. I was working alone and used Old Brown Glue to give me working time. Even so I felt like the one armed paper hanger buttering dovetails and holding parts until I got the clamps on.

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  15. #24
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Looking great! Can you explain whats happening bottom right? Dovetail shaped cauls?

  16. #25
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Quote Originally Posted by marinosr View Post
    Looking great! Can you explain whats happening bottom right? Dovetail shaped cauls?
    right, but they are just square dentils to press on each dovetail to equalize the clamping pressure. Cut from a piece of framing 2x4.

  17. #26
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    Glued in the writing top in sliding dovetail dado. It fit pretty well and pulled up tight in the last inch so I am happy about that. Last few days have been making and fitting the dividers for the small drawers. Edges are rounded. The small drawer runners are dry mortised into the drawer rails and center glued in the center to minimize cross grain problems as the case sides move.


    Side drawers are stepped back.

    Partitions have decorative curves that appear on lots of desks made by Krause in Salem.
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  19. #27
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    There is a lot of wow so far. Like those curves.

  20. #28
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    I know that door.... wait... I hung it.

    Dan should be making his way over here soon. Looks great so far..

  21. #29
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project

    First joints on this project were the bracket feet. Now that I've got the case to final size it was time to make the frame and attach the feet to frame. Not going to mount the frame until later, however. Still trying to keep the weight down since it has to be moved around. small shop space.
    Right shows frame and feet assembly standing upright on its back side with the case in the background.

    Top photo shows Frame and front right foot assembled on the bench.
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  23. #30
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    Re: Starting desk/bookcase project


    Charlie one of the things I noticed on some of the German drawers was the lip on the top and bottom of the drawer faces. I like this as it makes the drawers look a little bigger and it hides the fat 7/8 dividers. They just look too bulky to me and this is an easy fix.

    If you look at the first picture below, you will see there is NO lip on the top drawer. Reason: lid would not lay down flat on the pulls.





    When you have fancy drawers like the desk below, you want to show off the crotch figured wood. Larger faced drawer fronts give you that opportunity.



    Fitting out and then the thumbnail edge.


    I fit all my drawers in the case then adjust the faces for a nice grain match and it makes it easier to get all the drawer edges in plane.









    The good news Charlie is the desk you are building only has 3 drawers. I do like the big one on the bottom.


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