the Professional Approach
To be able to mill, select, join and assemble a small three-drawer chest is a skill. To be able to finish it with piston-fit drawers and smile, saying, "How sweet it is," is mastery. Rob Cosman's two-hour, two-disc DVD set is a swift journey to that goal.
Rob starts with a basic, assembled carcass, explaining how to allow for wood movement and how to assure it is parallel top and bottom and side to side. He uses a shop made sanding jointer and winding sticks, emphasizing the importance of these initial steps for easing the work later. He explains the selection of drawer materials, and finished dimensions of each part for lightness, strength and durability. Selection of grain direction in drawer sides, continuity among drawer fronts, and choosing dimensions for the drawer backs and dovetailing are covered. With great care he avoids any taper in the drawer sides, fits the backs and fronts to their openings, and scores lines for dovetails. The dovetailing of drawers front and back is shown in its entirety, but only quickly covered because of Rob's previous videos on handcut dovetails.
There is a preferred sequence of assembly that makes each step flow smoothly to the next, and a very patient, final fitting, constantly checking and adjusting for movement and fit. Sticking points will show up with burnished wood, and any torque in overall assembly can be detected by checking diagonals. The final hush of air as the drawers are slid in, is the ultimate reward. With many tips along the way, Rob Cosman is demonstrating fine handtool work and a patience with the craft we all should aspire to. Nothing he does is 'good enough' until it is right.
Included are short selections from his other DVDs, all widely available. His webiste is www.robcosman.com.
. . . Barb Siddiqui