Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Candle Rack Continued (Part IV)

Time to get back to work on the candle rack (I'm still not happy with that name). Last time I worked on the dovetails and now I needed to make the dados that house the drawer dividers. After that, the case could be glued.

First the layout. I made sure to mark which side of the line the dado was supposed to be on. It's too easy to make a mistake if I don't do that.

I didn't actually lay out the lines with the sides in this position. I marked them separately and then book matched them just to double check that I had everything right.

I prefer using a dado plane to create the dados, although there are a lot of other ways to get the job done. To guide the plane, I nailed a batten across the stock aligned with the layout line. The batten must be to the right of the plane, as the left side has the depth stop. I had to be sure the stock was oriented correctly so that the small nail holes from the batten were located on the inside of the drawer openings.

Job complete:

The Gramercy holdfasts kept everything locked down tight - they are great. I used the medium shoulder plane to tweak the bottom of the dados, which were slightly out of square. I need to reshape the iron of the plane a bit to fix that problem. It was a replacement, and it isn't quite right yet.

One more check:

At this point, I glued up the dovetails, then measured dado to dado to determine the divider width. After that, I cut the dividers to the correct width but left them deeper than needed. This allowed me to leave them proud and plane them flush, front and back, after glue-up.

Hey, it's starting to look like something!

Next I'll work on the back, the angled candle rest, and then on to the drawers.


  1. Shaping up very nicely! Is this going to be a hanging candle rack?


  2. Jamie - Thanks! Yes, it's going to hang. The original design I drew had a hole in the crest, but I'm not sure if I will stick to that or not. I often make changes as I go...

  3. "Candle rack" sounds better than "candle-holding apparatus," but I can't think of anything better, either.

    I love to see those wooden dado planes in action. They do the job so much faster than my backsaw/router plane method. Tryin' not to get tool lust here though!

    I can't think of what I did before I got my Gramercy holdfasts, either. I've been wondering if it's possible to weld a little bit to the bend to make them easier to release. Sometimes I just give 'em a whack below the bench.

  4. I agree with Brian, the wooden Dado plane made the story much more entertaining. I have just discovered the joy of hand planes and now I think about all the ones I want to collect and use.

    Great post.

  5. Brian - I know, I hope some better name comes to me at some point - for now "Candle Rack" works (and it might grow on me).

    Yes, the dado planes are fun! Nothing wrong with the saw/router plane technique though - works fine. Dado planes come up on eBay fairly regularly - maybe you should feed that lust :) The most common problem seems to be missing nicker irons, so look at the pictures carefully.

    And yeah, those Gramercy holdfasts are a joy to use! I think I know what you mean about the release - if the arch was higher so more of the shank was exposed, it would be easier to strike and loosen. But I still love them.

    Extremely Average - Beware the siren call of the planes! No less a figure than the Bard himself recognized the danger, as expressed in this lost first draft of Macbeth:

    "Is this a plane I see before me,
    The tote toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
    I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
    Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
    To feeling as to sight, or art thou but
    A plane of the mind, a false creation,
    Proceeding from the shavings-obs├Ęssed brain?"

    Sorry, I couldn't resist :) Just kidding. Get them. Get them all!

  6. Hey Dan...

    Whatever the name...it lokks great. I really like the grain pattern. You've taken a very methodical process and made it look rather simple. Nice job!

  7. A&J - Thanks! I like the grain too, but I'm thinking of painting it with milk paint. Of course, I could just do a wash and let the grain show through. Decisions, decisions...

  8. Anxo Mosquera from the north of spain.

    First, thank you for the information about tolomera press that you sent to me 5 mounths ago...

    Second: very nice explanations and photos. ( sorry for my english )

    Third: what a big mallet you have ¡¡¡¡¡. ( mallet = mazo in spanish ). your arms must be very strong and you will be very tired ??????, ja,ja,ja.

    Thank you for this nice blog and carry on doing the same ¡¡¡¡

    Anxo Mosquera

  9. Anxo - First, You're welcome! Second, Thanks! Third, yes - it's Alaska Size! Actually, it's the maul I use with my froe. It gets pressed into duty with the holdfasts as I don't want to dent the face of my good mallet. It's more than a little overkill...


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