Saturday, February 23, 2013

Designing the Pull

     The nice thing about designing your own hardware is that it will be unique to your piece.  Not something that you may find anywhere else.  The design process can be carefully planned out or kind of a spur of the moment, here's what looks good to me now, kind of process.  The one element I knew I wanted for the drawer pulls was that it incorporated some of the beading that is on the long apron of the table.  Here's what I came up with, at this point the drawer is unfinished and the pull is on with some double back tape.

Drawer Pull, Notice the Difference in Finished vs. Unfinished Sapele?
     When I initially beaded the apron I also beaded a few pieces of 8/4 Sapele with the plan of eventually turning them into the pulls.  Since the entire apron has the triple bead I knew that design wise it should also be on the narrow ends.  The process started with a very rough sketch:

Preliminary Sketch
     Since there are only two of these and they're on opposite ends of the table I didn't feel the need to make a template or pattern.  The question mark on the drawing is because I didn't know how deep to make the pull.  Two things I considered is that first of all there was ample space to get a finger or two under it and also that it stayed in scale to the rest of the table.  Step one was to use a forstner bit to hollow out the recess:

Roughed Out Finger Area
     I know, you're probably thinking why make three?  Well you know that old adage, if you make an extra you won't have any problems, make just enough and one will probably break!  Anyway, after drilling the holes the sides were chiseled to even up the overlapping cuts made by the forstner bit.  Next step was to cut the angle on the top.  I wanted it to match the angle under the table top so used the bandsaw with the table tilted as shown to make that cut.

Cutting Angle
     A block plane made the sawn surfaces smooth and they were then  ripped to what seemed like a proper depth.  Finally they were cut to length and formed.  Planes, spokeshave, and sandpaper was the next thing to make them feel like something you'd want to grab on to.  Here they are, almost ready for finish.

Ready to Go to Work
     Several little items were done today as well.  The shelf got it's last coat of finish, the drawer stops are made, and the remaining things are the clips I need to make that will secure the shelf to the legs and the top to the apron.  Just had to mock it up and put it in the house, besides it's cold out there and the finish will cure better inside.

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