Work In Progress #5: Canasta Final Part

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Blog entry by Byron posted 11-22-2011 07:31 PM 6760 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Canasta Part 4 Part 5 of Work In Progress series no next part

So heres the finished thing. You can see it open in the pictures on the bottom. Better pictures soon to come.

The drawers are an important part of my design because of my mother. When I was younger she taught my older brother and myself how to play canasta, and always had two nice decks of cards to play, unfortunately we were not the cleanest while playing and the cards almost always got ruined. Eventually she started to hide the cards. It came to the point where she would burry the cards in her junk drawer, with a few other decks of cards thrown randomly higher up in the pile. This memory of my mother hiding the cards is one of my fondest and I tried to capture this memory in my reliquary. The line carvings through out the panel are an abstraction of the emotions I feel make up the game of canasta, with the obvious divide being the drastic two sides of the game, happiness and frustration.

And heres the hole concept to my project

The drawers are pulled out by the fluctuating height in the carving, luckily they are pretty hard to find if you do not know they are there. They come all the way out and hold a deck of cards each. The drawers are fit to the cards in a way where you can flip the drawer upside down and they do not fall out, but they are still easily pushed out with your finger.

I do not have pictures of my process but I cut out the holes for the drawer fronts in the panel with a scroll saw and made all the shoulders smooth and slightly undercut using straight chisels and gouges, then a light sanding to even things out.

Next I cut out the false fronts on the bandsaw. I scribed a line straight from the panel onto these pieces. I used my spoke shave and some more chisel work followed by slightly heavier sanding to bring these closer to fitting, The still were VERY tight by the time I was done. They could fit all the way in, but would be very hard to get out. I dialed them completely in later when I had the false fronts glued to the drawers and everything except the false fronts finished.

The last step was more coats of shellac and setting the hinges.

I used keyholes to fasten it to the wall which I mortised into the liner before I glued them in to the carcass.

I also pre finished the visible parts of the ebony inlay so the pigments in the ebony would not bleed out into the Avodire when I put on the initial coats.

I think that about sums it up, I will put up the final photos on my project page as soon as I get them taken, hopefully next week.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions feel free to contact me through here or email me at [email protected]

Check out my profile for more information as well, thanks again for reading.

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology,

2 comments so far

View JL7's profile


8762 posts in 3569 days

#1 posted 11-23-2011 03:54 AM

Very cool to say the least – and quite a story behind it. Your carving and detail is off the charts. Thanks for sharing…..


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View SanctusAngelicus's profile


1 post in 2605 days

#2 posted 12-03-2012 09:04 PM

Beautiful as a reliquary. Even a saint’s tiny remains would be comfortably hidden here. Very special!

-- SanctusAngelicus, San Antonio,

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