I’ve just about fully recovered from my rough day in the shop on Saturday. Over the past few evenings I’ve been able to cut, fit and groove the side bearers and the handle rails. This completes the outer carcass framing and finally has this tansu to a stage where it’s starting to look like something.
I utilize compression fit joinery in these projects. Essentially, this means that the end grain portions of the joints are very tight. The long grain portions are fitted snug as per usual. For the cherry, I cut the mortises 1mm shorter than I cut the tenons, .5mm on each end. In the pine tansu I went 2mm shorter, but cherry doesn’t compress as much as pine. One of the tricks for fitting this type of joinery is to pre compress the tenon by tapping with a hammer. This makes testing the fit easier. The tenon will swell slightly when the glue is added and the tenon absorbs water from the glue. This technique works great and results in tight fitting joints. I picked this little tidbit up from Toshio Odate’s book.
The next stage is to size, fit and groove all of the internal front to rear bearers. Nothing difficult, just repetitive. All of the panels need to be fitted as well. That is if I had any birch ply. One of the lingering effects of my terrible Saturday was that I completely forgot to place an order for birch plywood. I may run up to Woodcraft tomorrow after work and have the store order what I need. Which seems a little silly since the shipping warehouse is about three miles from the store. In the good old days I could just go directly to the warehouse and get anything I needed. Sadly, those days are long gone. So it will take two trips, one to place the order and one to pick it up.
So progress on HB Tabsu #2 is marching forward, just a little slower than I would like. Maybe I can turn the tide once the carcass is glued up.