Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" #12: week

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Blog entry by a1Jim posted 06-12-2010 11:43 PM 9528 reads 1 time favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: week Part 12 of Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" series Part 13: week »

Charles Neil lowboy build-along, #12

When I left you last time, I’d just finished with installing the drawer dividers. Now, I finish the top rail dovetails


by cleaning the sockets with a chisel, until the top of the dovetail is flush with the top.
Now I need to trim the top even with the top of the legs.


It’s time to turn my attention to the side scrolls. I start by printing out the PDF that Charles provides for subscribers of his “Mastering Woodworking” series.


After gluing it to some 1/4” ply, I cut it out and clean up the edges


and then trace the pattern on the side panel.


Now, as I did on the front scroll board, I cut the sides out on the band saw and sand it smooth on the spindle sander and clean it up with the patternmakers file and some hand sanding. After a test fit of the side panel



(oh man, that looks sweet), I move on to marking the center of the tenons



that have already been trimmed and fitted and mark the legs for wood pegging. I start with the back and start the drilling process. The top and bottom tenons have pegs and are not glued, to allow for wood movement, but the center tenon is glued in place. I start by having the back clamped in place

Photobucket and already having the centered mark on center on the legs, I drill the top and bottom tenons enough to have pegs go through the leg and through the tenon, but not deep enough to go all of the way through the leg. The next set is to slide the back down approximately 1/8”,


then I drill the top and bottom tenons again, through the first hole drilled in the legs. I now remove the back that reveals the two holes I have drill in the top and bottom tenon

. Next I use a drill saw and make the elongated holes, cleaner and smoother



. These holes are to allow for wood movement, so I want to make sure there is free movement. The next step is to make the wooden pegs and as suggested by Charles, I’m using cherry for the pegs.

I start by cutting the cherry in ¼”X ¼” pieces. These are cut to about 2” sections, then I take the pegs and sharpen one end in a pencil sharpener, just enough to get one rounded end. Now I take a peg and hammer it to round it part of the way down through a metal plate with a ¼” hole

. After the end is rounded, I then use a disc sander to sand the peg to size, after using a knife to clean up the curled wood from the metal plate operation and I have a peg that is round on the bottom and square on the top. Now the back is put into place and the center hole is drill in the center tenon. The last step before assembly is to use a punch with a square shoulder to punch in the hole that has already been drilled in the legs to indent a square. Next I glue the mortise and tenon and assemble the back to the legs


. Now the pegs are hammered in place

with the center peg glued top to bottom and the others just glued on the top of the peg as to not impede the wood movement.


After the pegs are in place and the glue is dry, they’re cut off and sanded smooth, revealing the square top.



The front is now assembled with spacers to insure good clamping pressure and to maintain square.


After the front and back are together and dry, both sides are put in place using the same method as used on the back.

The next time I will be making and installing the drawer frames.

Remember, the techniques used are from Charles Neil’s subscription online webisode.
Sign up for Charles, “Mastering Woodworking” webisodes

29 comments so far

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4044 days

#1 posted 06-13-2010 12:17 AM

Jim, I’m a late-comer to this project, arriving last episode, but I’ve read it now from the beginning…
You’re doing a Great Job on both the Blog and the Build, my Friend!!
It’s going to be excellent… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4119 days

#2 posted 06-13-2010 12:22 AM

Thanks Mike

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4466 days

#3 posted 06-13-2010 12:23 AM

Jim you are really moving along with the LOW BOY and doing a fine job as I see.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4215 days

#4 posted 06-13-2010 12:41 AM

Nice work.

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4943 days

#5 posted 06-13-2010 12:44 AM

Jim: A great series. Nice construction techniques.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View OttoH's profile


891 posts in 3552 days

#6 posted 06-13-2010 12:50 AM

Looking great Jim, I like seeing how your projects are done, and I appreciate you sharing them with us. Please keep it up, you are giving a lot of valuable tips to many individuals.

-- I am responsible for how I respond to everything in my life - - Deadwood SD

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3846 days

#7 posted 06-13-2010 01:23 AM

you sure are doing a wonderful job for a green horn….lol…im wondering if any of those 1000 routers will be used on this build…i imagine you have a name for each one….ha…...this is such a nice project to help us with techniques …keep up the great work jim….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DocK16's profile


1186 posts in 4629 days

#8 posted 06-13-2010 01:26 AM

Coming along nicely Jim, This is going to be one nice piece when finished. Lowboy is definitely on my bucket list. Getting a good look at the process from your blog, many thanks

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4119 days

#9 posted 06-13-2010 01:28 AM

thanks gang
Grizz no routers were injuried in the filming of this blog. How did you know about that green horn I had it removed years ago. LOL

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3846 days

#10 posted 06-13-2010 01:35 AM

jim there have been rumors going around Oregon for a long time about a guy who had too many routers…they say he cut the green horn out himself….so the legend goes….lol…....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3988 days

#11 posted 06-13-2010 01:58 AM

Fantastic job Jim. You’ve sure put a lot of effort into a great blog & build. Well done & thanks for sharing the knowledge.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4316 days

#12 posted 06-13-2010 04:16 AM

Really coming along nicely. Excellent blogs on your progress. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3883 days

#13 posted 06-13-2010 04:43 AM

excellent !
to you and charles both my best felt thank you .

i have meet guys with 6 years of schooling ,
that don’t match your knowledge or work ethics ,
thanks for giving us all this opportunity to see how things are really done ,
and done right !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1594 posts in 3794 days

#14 posted 06-13-2010 05:14 AM

Awesome job looks really great.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View rcs47's profile


210 posts in 3672 days

#15 posted 06-13-2010 05:59 AM


You are doing an excellent job in documenting your process for all of us. You go into enough detail when needed, i.e., only gluing the center of the panel to allow for movement. I really like your pictures too.

I look forward to your future updates.

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

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