Back on the Grid and a Carcass Laid Bare

hb_carc_2The power company has me reconnected to the grid.  It’s amazing how dependent I am on electricity.  It’s a little scary, actually.  But that is the life we live now.  Anyway, glad to have the electrons flowing again.

I thought I would post a little update on the Hillbilly Tansu project.  I believe that I have all of the construction details worked out.  The photo shows the carcass mockup with samples of the major components.  The mockup has luan plywood panels to show the idea.  The actual build will use high quality birch plywood for the outer panels, dust panels and drawer bottoms.  I know some of turn your noses up at the use of plywood but here is my reasoning.  hb_carc_1Quality ply can be finish planed, it’s dead stable and stronger than solid wood.  What’s not to like?  While researching antique tansu, almost all of the images revealed the same problem.  Split panels.  So I’m using plywood, the good stuff, not the crap in the photo.  Feel free to denigrate me for it, but my panels will remain solid.

For those of you who may be playing along, I’ll be posting drawings and details on the remaining construction elements as I get the drawings completed.

Greg Merritt

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8 Responses to Back on the Grid and a Carcass Laid Bare

  1. I think plywood is a good choice. One good thing about hand tool work – it doesn’t need a steady flow of electrons.

  2. billlattpa says:

    I love plywood for cases-you can’t argue with strong and stable. I like electricity, firstly because I make my living at it, secondly because I wouldn’t be typing this right now without it, and thirdly because without it many of us may not even be alive at the moment. I can remember reading that in the 18th century, only 1 out of 3 children lived to the age of 4, and it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that life expectancy actually increased. Call me a wuss but I don’t want to go back to that.

  3. davidos says:

    good quality birch ply is super stuff . my sister works in a playschool where everything bar the children are constructed of it .tables, chairs ,toys that understandably get a lot of abuse and i am amazed at its strength .its expensive here though and not everywhere stocks it. i love the way your project is coming along Greg.and looking forward to your progress .as they say in my neck of the woods “your flying”

    • gman3555 says:

      Birch ply is not cheap. That is for sure. I can buy small, 20″x30″ pieces, locally at Woodcraft. Or, mail order. Either way I’m looking at about $70 worth of ply for this project. I’ll get into more details later, but I’m trying to develop a system of a few key materials that will allow me to build several different items. Tables, clocks, cabinets, etc.. A little ambitious, but we’ll see how it goes.


  4. Hi Greg,
    off topic question – your drawing for the latest MWWC corner cupboard. drawing #2 of the crown detail the top radius (7 5/8) is this taken at a point in space that is a continuation of a line from the ends?

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