We’re Talking ‘Tallboy’

Last Friday, I did take a trip down to Yandles in Martock, Somerset for their annual Autumn Woodworking Show. Not for the first time though, I managed to leave without spending a penny (in both senses!). That’s not to say that they didn’t have a nice selection of timber on offer – there was maple, cedar, American cherry and sycamore, among others. Many of the boards were near-sap-free and the prices didn’t look too bad either. I just hate shuffling around confined spaces with hundreds of other people also trying to do the same.

So, while I couldn’t make a decision on which or what to use on the door panels to complement a bathroom cabinet (I already have the ash) that I was complementing, I’m back at the drawing board (Google SketchUp) with my mind set on an alternative project with which to end this woodworking year…

It’s a tallboy; a narrow, single-width chest of drawers for the storage of clothes.

A this stage, the dimensions are fairly approximate. Well, they’re not far off what I’m looking for. A five-drawer unit is what I think I am looking for and, as detailed above, it should fit quite nicely within the space I have in mind.

…To partially contradict myself though, I am also considering whether to increase the overall depth of the unit by 50mm (2in) from the 450mm (18in) as detailed in that first photo…

Widths of the drawer fronts are still to be decided although, I’m leaning towards the idea of implementing a ‘diminishing’ formation, with the widest drawer starting at the bottom. No handles or pulls (at least, in the traditional sense) will feature on this piece. Instead, I’ll be looking to come up with something more… Concealed.

Another major feature of this piece will be the exposed sides of the unit, which will allow the dovetailed sides of each drawer to be visible from outside. It’s something I’ve often seen discussed and mentioned on the woodworking forums but, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen it done… Assuming I stick with the idea of hand-cutting all those joints then, it’s certainly an idea I will pursue. I mean, I can’t think of anything else to do here, besides the obvious frame and panel construction.

Like many other woodworkers, I’m constrained financially by the need to keep myself alive but, with only a measly sum of money coming in each week which barely allows me to do that. So, until this evening, when another idea hit me, I’ve been thinking of making this entire unit in pine. Now though, I’m going to do some research and looking in to current costs of some reasonably-priced hardwoods. We’re not talking tulipwood or poplar here but, maybe European steamed beech, as it’s something I’ve been eager to ‘play’ with for a while now.

Actually, another reason for pondering over pine is because I have several 16mm thick PTGV boards (each over 2m long) that are nicely dried and otherwise doing nothing in my workshop. If I don’t use them here, I’ll probably try and sell them. It could save me from buying a small quantity of wood, though…

Pine would have to be stained (in my opinion) to attain any level of quality. But, if I’m going to put a considerable amount of effort in to this one then, maybe it is worth saving up for some kind of hardwood species, which would ideally be finished in a water-based lacquer (…indeed, that very same bottle I purchased from Axminster the other week! ;-)).

If you have any comments or suggestions on the design as it stands then, by all means, feel free to make your words read!

Thank you for reading.

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