Hillbilly Mini Tansu-Progress 8

Success!!!…depending on your standards.  The small drawer in this little cabinet just about broke me over.  I made three, three, sets of sides and back for this thing.  Every error, no matter how small, is magnified when working at this scale.  I learned early on, when building drawers the frame needs to lay flat and square on its own before glue up.  If not, it’s a battle from that point forward.  So I remade the parts until this little drawer did just that.  Third time was the charm.

Once I had the assembly acceptable, I glued it together and added the bamboo pegs.  Another exercise in frustration in itself.  These pegs needed to be small.  About a 1/16″ or so.  I split these out from the larger pins that I normally use.  Then I added the bottom and clamped the assembly by wrapping it with the cotton tape that I discussed before.


After a couple of days passed I unwrapped the little son of a….er…I mean.  Anyway, a little cleanup and fitting and I’m starting to warm up to this little drawer.  After I had it fitted to the cabinet I added the bead detail and some simple Hillbilly Inlay.  After that I used the wood burner again to highlight the bead detail.  Then I rubbed in some coffee and wiped the front down with BLO.  Done!


It may have a face that only a father could love, but I like it.  I like it quite a bit actually.  It closely matches the idea I had originally envisioned.


I still need to glue and peg the back panel in place.  I also need to decide on some “hardware”.  I’m making a few different versions of knotted pulls to choose from.  As to the finish, I think I’m going to stick with the Tried and True oil/wax finish.  I really like the way it turned out on my last project.

Greg Merritt…Part 9

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9 Responses to Hillbilly Mini Tansu-Progress 8

  1. Nice to say success after a few hiccups.
    Have you ever compared the japanese sqaure to the western framing square? I have read that they are flexible and that would seem to lead to not keeping itself square?

    • gman3555 says:

      Yes, that is what I used in the photo above to illustrate the size of the drawer. They are very light and flexible. Mine needed to be adjusted to be square and needs a light hand in use. It’s very easy to pull it out of square. I don’t use the full size one very often because of that. I do however, have a couple of smaller versions that are sold as “extra” thick. They are still very light but do not flex. I use these for most of my layout. Much easier than wrestling with my 12″ Starrett combination square.


  2. ant11sam says:

    Carry on… Greg!
    Some how it looks I’m taking to me, when I mess things up
    Usually, some how I mess … like everyday.

    Carry on!
    Carry on!

  3. billlattpa says:

    Working with small parts increases the frustration factor by about 10! It seems like every little splinter is exaggerated. But, the little things make all the difference, or at least that’s what they tell me.

  4. bloksav says:

    Drawers are really sensitive when it comes to warping. I am impressed that you remade the drawer 3 times. I doubt that I would have had that type of patience and perseverance.

    I like how the 2 middle Hilbilly inlays/patterns on the drawer front are mirror images. That looks great.


    • gman3555 says:

      LOL…don’t be too impressed. I had to have a working drawer to fill the hole. 🙂

      I built this little cabinet for two reasons. One was to prototype a new design. The other was to provide a blank canvas for trying out several patterns as well as pattern scale. That mirrored center pattern on the drawer was a spontaneous design and I too like how it came out. I’ll be using it again for sure.

      I know this sort of thing does not appeal to everyone, but its a whole lot of fun to do.


  5. Pingback: Hillbilly Mini Tansu-Progress 7 | GREG MERRITT – BY MY OWN HANDS

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