Aurora Night Stand - Darrell Peart design #2: - making the drawer pull

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Blog entry by Mike_D_S posted 04-11-2016 01:56 AM 1378 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is more of an after the fact blog series, but I figured I’d document the last of the work, this is the drawer pull for the Arched Aurora Nightstand.

The pull is 3/8 Mahogany dowel in two ebony blocks. The plan called for a 9/16” thick block which you drill out for the 3/8” dowel. I have not worked with ebony very much and find it to be moderately difficult to work. The Gaboon ebony I was using has a strong tendency to chip and splinter a bit. I went through a couple of blocks, in both cases getting some cracks at the end of the blocks in the 3/32 thick web on the sides of the dowel hole.

So I gave up and increased my block thickness to 5/8”, which allows for a full 1/8” on both sides. For the second attempt, I also rigged up a different style of jig to drill the holes. You can see it in the pics. I had the idea that instead of trying to slip in the dowel and dealing with the glue, I might drill a small hole in the back of the block near the edge and drive in a small brad by hand to set the dowel. This jig lets me put the block vertical for drilling the dowel hole and then put the block face down to drill the brad hole and the hole for the threaded insert.

So after rigging up the new jig, I took my time drilling out the dowel hole. I started with a 1/16” pilot, stepped up to 1/8”, then 1/4” and finished with the 3/8” forstner. This produced an excellent hole and by taking small cuts and removing the bit to let the flutes clear often it went fairly smoothly. As a hint, I found the ebony dust tended to clog in the flutes sometimes, so I occasionally ran a small wire brush along the side of the running bit to help clear the flutes.

Hole drilled for the 1/16” and 1/8”, ready for the 1/4” bit:

After the 1/4” bit, ready to go with the 3/8” forstner:

Finished drilling the second block, both blocks ready for pillowing the tops:

After giving the initial pillowing, I took a test fit with the dowel to get a look. The ebony is dusty, so it’s not the dark rich black that it will be after cleaning.

And here’s one more with the dowel dyed and the blocks cleaned up for a test fit.

I also rigged up a small jig to help drill the holes in the drawer front for the handle. If everything goes well, I’ll put a couple coats of lacquer on the pull tomorrow and get it mounted to the drawer. Then the last thing will be to mount the stops to set the depth of the drawer closure and I’ll be all done.

Thanks for looking,

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

2 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4354 posts in 2594 days

#1 posted 04-11-2016 10:57 AM

Very nice…ebony is difficult to work with at times and expensive

View Mean_Dean's profile


7017 posts in 3753 days

#2 posted 04-11-2016 11:59 PM

Looks like you’re making some good progress!

Nice job on figuring out how to do the drilling. All that effort seems to have paid off, and will be worth it in the final product.

Looking forward to seeing how they turn out!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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