Thursday, 2 February 2023

The tresoor of Castle Hernen (Part 5) - The drawer

This post continues the series on making a six-sided tresoor for castle Hernen. Previous posts concerned the large and small panels and the frame, this post will concentrate on the construction of the drawer. We had visited the Muiderslot some years ago to have a more detailed look on how a medieval drawer was constructed (see the post 'A Medieval drawer' of 1 March 2019). The drawer of the tresoor was made based on this construction.

Making the drawer

The design of the drawn on the drawer front. 
The front panel was first carved like the middle small panels (see previous post). Then two grooves were made on the backside using a router table - first with a straight router bit, followed by a dovetail router bit, so that two dovetail grooves appeared at the short sides of the (back of the) front panel. These were to connect the side boards of the drawer. Then a long groove was made at the bottom of the backside with a straight router bit; this groove was to fit in the bottom boards of the drawer.

Left: the front singele sided dovetail of Muiderslot drawer; Right: the front double sided dovetail of the Hernen drawer. 
Note that the Muiderslot drawer has more wood sticking out than the Hernen drawer.

The back and the side boards were connected with one large dovetail, like the Muiderslot drawer. These were sawn and cut by hand. Also the long dovetail of the front was sawn and cut by hand with a chisel.

Left: The large dovetail at the back of the Muiderslot drawer; Middle and Right: the large dovetail of the Hernen drawer.

Left: The large dovetail at the back of the Muiderslot drawer; Middle and Right: the large dovetail of the Hernen drawer.

For the bottom planks a few oaken panels of old furniture were reused. First they were made of the same thinness (around 5 mm), and fitted together with a V-groove. At the sides the bottom boards protruded a few cm. The parts that stuck out later will fit in the sliding rail of the drawer. The bottom rail was fixed with square pins to the sides of the drawer.

Left: using a recycled thin oak board from a demolished piece of furniture as bottom for the drawer. Note the groove where the bottom board fit into the drawer front. Right: the V-groove connecting the bottom boards together.
Showing the bottom of the drawer from the inside and outside. Note that the bottom boards are wider that the drawer. 
The extruding part is used in the sliding rail.
Fixing the bottom of the drawer with square wooden pins.

View of the bottom with the pins after cleaning up. 
Also the dovetails at the back were fixed with wooden pins, just like the Muiderslot drawer (left).
The inside and the outside of the finished drawer seen from the back.

The inside and the outside of the finished drawer seen from the front.

Making the drawer rail

 The drawer rail of the Muiderslot drawer.

The basic drawer rail is a square oaken rod, with a groove in it. The groove was made using the router table and a straight router bit. The next step was more difficult: First positioning the rails attached to the drawer on the backframe of the tresoor, so that the exact position of the rails on the backframe could be marked. Then a square pin was made at one the end of each rail, and two corresponding mortise in the backframe of the tresoor (one for each rail). 

The drawer hanging on two drawer rails seen on both sides. These drawer rails were attached to the back of the tresoor (you can see the linenfold panels). 
Now the other side of the rails had to fit in the five-sided vertical front beam. This required that a part of the five sided beam had to be removed to fit a square rail. Also this side of the rails had a mortise and pin construction, so that the complete rail was fixed between the backframe and the front beams. 
A bit of wax was added in the groove of the drawer rails to improve the sliding.
The finished drawer closed in the tresoor.

The finished drawer open in the tresoor.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Getting the large photos from the Thomasguild blog - correcting a mistake

All the time I thought I was posting medium to high resolution photos on my blog, but it appeared I have been wrong.

Yes, when writing a blogpost I added the high-resolution photo, but then I edited the html/xml code behind it, cleaning up the code and removing the unnecessary things. Some appeared to be not so unnecessary as I thought: the  <a href=".............">   </a> code surrounding the image <img> code was the clickable link to the large picture. 

My sincere apologies to you who deserve the large images.

However, the good thing is that the information to get the large images is still present in the blog. You only need to do something to get them. Below I explain how this works and give an example of how to do it.  There were two clickable photos on the previous blog. This is one of them.

The design for the front panel of the drawer.

When you look at the source-code of the blogpost. For your Firefox browser this is right -click with your mouse and choose  (view) source code. You will then see something like this.

All the ones starting with <img     are images. I there is also an <a href=    and </a> surrounding an <img ...> making it clickable. This is one of the images that you already could access. Below I have cut out the part containing the clickable image.

 <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">

<a href="" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">
  <img border="0" data-original-height="1661" data-original-width="2953" height="360" src="" width="640" />&nbsp;</a></div>
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><i>The design for the front panel of the drawer.</i></span><br /></div>

If you compare both the image source of the small image (the src=https) with that of the large one (the a href=https), they are almost identical. The small one contains an indication of its current (small) size, e.g. the blue w640-h360 (see the orange height of 360 and width of 640 in the code), while the large one carries the original width (the blue s2953 . So all we have to do is swap the part of the small size with that of the original size. And luckily for us the original width is also given in the <img as data-original-width="2953" . So the replacement part should be s2953  . Do not forget to add the s before the original width.


Thus for the unclickable image of the previous post shown below

Left: The finished carving of the panel. Right: The large and smaller panel still connected and clamped.
  • Display the source code of the blogpost in your browser.
  • Find the <img ...... > line for the image and copy it to a text editor.
 <img border="0" data-original-height="1772" data-original-width="3150" height="225" src="" width="400" />
    <img border="0" data-original-height="3150" data-original-width="1772" src="" width="200" />

  • Replace the part that here is marked in red with with  s + the part marked in green, so s3150 for the first, and s1772 for the second. The part to replace is always between the last two forward slashes before the .jpg (name).
  •  You now made two valid internet links to the large images which you can copy directly into your browser. You then have access to these two large photos:


Friday, 13 January 2023

The Tresoor of castle Hernen (part 4) The small panels

This post continues the construction of a six-sided tresoor (dressoir) for Castle Hernen. For those who are in the Netherlands, the finished tresoor can already be found inside the castle, in the room called 'kemenade'. This post concerns the creation of the smaller panels of the tresoor.

The middle small panels

The middle panels follow the basic design of the small middle panels of the tresoor at Chateau Langeais in France, but with some amendments.

The small panels of the tresoor at chateau Langeais: left the drawer panel, right the small panel beneath the larger one. The design has a curving snakelike form.
The curving nature of the design in the French panel was followed for the design of the Hernen tresoor, meaning that the pattern continued onto the next panel, each time flipping the design horizontally. Further, a rose was added to the design signifying the link with the Duchy of Guelder. First, a test panel was made with a cheap pine wood panel.

The pine test panel clamped to the frame of the tresoor. A piece of the larger panel can be seen on top of it.

The design for the middle panels. Here the first layer has already been finished and the drawing for the second layer was added. Oak panel.
The design for the front panel of the drawer.
The workflow was identical to that of the large panels (see previous post): The layer was roughly deepened with help of a router and then cleaned and carved by hand with chisels and gouges. The router was used free-handed, staying close to the lines drawn on the panel. The middle panels were still attached to the large panel during the routing and carving process, making it easier to clamp to the workbench. This also assured that the clamps did not get in the way of the router movement.

Left: The finished carving of the panel. Right: The large and smaller panel still connected and clamped.
Whereas the large panels consist of three layers, the middle consists only of two. The second, deeper layer has large chamfers around the edges making only a suggestion of three layers in total. After the carving the bottom side - i.e. the side that does not go into a groove of the frame - was sawn in a curving form with a scrollsaw. The curves were cleaned with chisel, gouge, scraper and spokeshave. After that the smaller panels were cut loose from the large ones.

The drawing added for the scrollsaw.
 Two of the panels with their front size ready.

 The four small panels attached to the large one. You can see the design is flipped with each next panel.

Next, the backside needed chamfering on three sides in order to fit in the grooves of the frame. A basic chamfer was made using a table router, but the edges needed to be made smaller and wider by hand using a round moulding plane. Clamping was especially difficult here due to the small panel size. Finally the panel was sanded when needed and oiled with linseed oil.

Left: The table router set-up. Right: clamping the small panel for hand planing. You can see that the chamfer is larger and thinner than the one leaving the table router.

 The bottom small panels

 The design for the bottom panel.
The bottom small panels at the feet of the tresoor are the smallest panels. There is not much space available on the oak to carve a pattern. Hence, the pattern had to be a simple one. A design was made very loosely based on a small panel of a 15th century 'waschkästchen'. For the larger front panel a rose was added.

The grain of the wood runs horizontally for these bottom panels. Left: Two bottom panels attached to each other, the first layer carved. Right: Freehand routing of the second layer finished, the remainder to be done by hand-carving. 

Left: A board with the front bottom panel and one side bottom panel. Right: a board with two small bottom panels with the upside down design.

The front bottom panel finished, with a rose in the middle. 
Like the small middle panels, the design is flipped horizontally with each the next panel. Also similar is that the panel only consists of two layers. Different however is the grain of the oak panel. For the large and middle panel the grain runs vertically, in the bottom small panel the grain runs horizontally. This was simply done for economic reasons. I had plenty of smaller oaken boards available, and less wide ones. During the process I found that the oak of some bottom panels did not match well with the oak of the other parts of the tresoor, being too coarse in grain structure. I made some new ones, and the surplus coarse carved panels ended up in another project.

The finished front and back sides of the small bottom panels.
The carving and routing process was the same as for the middle small panels, however clamping was problematic, due to the even smaller size of the panels. Some additional oak boards had to be added to the sides to provide a stable platform for the hand router, and to prevent movement of the small bottom panel. The same was true when the chamfer was made on the backside. 
Some extra support guides were needed when the table router was used.

Left: Clamping was difficult when the backside needed some extra handplaning. Right: Fitting the bottom panel in a test groove to see if the chamfer was thin enough.

After the panels were finished, the bottom grooves had to be made. For the small 5-sided vertical rails a jig was made to make it easier to clamp it and cut out the groove. 
The positioning of the small bottom panels before the frame. 
The jig and clamping the small five-sided vertical rails.

The bottom panels ready in the frame of the tresoor.