I was able to slip down t the shop for about an hour after work the past couple of evenings and size, cut and fit the drawer fronts the current HB Tansu. One the aesthetic elements that originally drew me to the Japanese tansu was the asymmetric layout of drawers and doors. Maybe it is just because its different. Most western cabinetry and drawer chests favor a symmetrical layout and it is what most of expect to see. The left side mirrors the right side across a visual vertical center line. Not so much with the Japanese style and I like it.
I had already designed this asymmetry into this tansu by way of the drawer layout. I’ll further amplify the asymmetry by my use of differing drawer front material. Half of these drawer fronts will be from pine. The remaining drawer fronts will be from walnut. That’s about as much visual contrast as you’re gonna get.
As I said in my last post, I purchased this walnut out of the off-cut bin at a local lumber yard. They through the scraps from their custom work into this bin and sell them for $1 a piece. Selection is usually red oak, poplar and soft maple. I was lucky one day a couple of years ago and there were four pieces of walnut up for grabs. They were all roughly 6″ wide by 12″ long and 7/8″ thick. I quickly scooped them up and they have been in my shop ever since. I finally have a project to use them on!
This was my first experience using walnut. Now I know what all the fuss is about. Walnut’s visual appeal is obvious, but I had no idea how mild it is to work with. It’s much harder than the pine that I typically use but it saws and planes like butter. An absolute joy. I’ll know more when I cut the half blind dovetails for the drawer sides.
Anyway, I have an asymmetrical layout of drawers and material. It’s only when I get to this stage in the build that I truly get a sense of the completed project. I’m really happy with the way it looks. I’m supposed to be making this for my son, but he may be SOL. 🙂