Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" #16: week

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Blog entry by a1Jim posted 08-07-2010 05:36 AM 10576 reads 2 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: week Part 16 of Charles Neil build along mahogany lowboy "series" series Part 17: week »

Charles Neil lowboy build-along, # 16
Hey friends, when I left you last time, we were ready to sand the case. I started by putting wedges in the drawers, to keep them in place while sanding. First I sanded the whole front of the lowboy case and drawers to make them all even for the installing of the drawer fronts. After checking the front with a straight edge at many different angles to make sure the drawers ,legs and case were dead flat, I then moved on to both sides and the back. This was a big job and it took tons of sanding and checking to make sure everything was flat, using planes, belt sanders (very carefully) and then my random orbital sander with several grits . Even with all that sanding I only sanded to 80 grit. This took me from 8:30 AM until 8:30 PM. What made it even tougher is that my wife seems to be allergic to mahogany dust, so I had to stay in the shop until I was finished sanding for the day, in fear of bringing in dust to cause her problems.
The next step is to make and install the knee blocks. I first cut out the pattern furnished on Charles’ web site for the “Mastering Woodworking”, in PDF form and then glued it to some hard board and cut out and sand to shape, like the cut-out in the other patterns. Photobucket


Now I hold the mahogany up next to the legs and try to get a reasonable match on the grain. I then draw the pattern on the stock


and go to the band saw and saw out the first shape on the stock.



Now, back to the band saw to cut just outside the draw line. Note, I use the off cut as a carriage to hold the piece, to make it easier and safer to cut, plus it holds the wood at the correct orientation.


After cutting, I hold the knee block in place.


If I feel there is too much excess left, I then take the knee block to the disc sander and sand to fit. After I’m satisfied with the fit I then put a liberal amount of glue on the knee block and firmly hold it in place for a few seconds until I feel it is centered properly.


Next time we will be installing the drawer fronts.

I also use my random orbital sander and pattern makers file to get it shaped. Before going onto the next operation it’s good to compare by eye the legs and knee blocks to make sure they look alike. Regardless of measurements, if they look alike, they are alike, quoting Charles.

Remember, the techniques used are from Charles Neil’s subscription online webisode.
Sign up for Charles, “Mastering Woodworking” webisodes a new project starts soon so don’t miss out.


24 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10859 posts in 4655 days

#1 posted 08-07-2010 06:34 AM

You’re getting there!

Little by little… No rushing, etc…

Very good!

Does someone else take the pictures or do you setup a tripod, etc. & set the camera to delay and ‘Click’ the picture?

You’re doing a very good job of documenting your ‘Build’

Thank you for your efforts.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4130 days

#2 posted 08-07-2010 06:41 AM

Looks great! I am enjoying this build along!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3873 days

#3 posted 08-07-2010 07:06 AM

I agree with Kindlingmaker, this is most enjoyable. Jim you are doing an excellent job documenting/picturing the process. The pics of the leg sculpting are superb. They turned out great….I have not had the opportunity to use this style myself but certainly will want to give it a go in the future.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4180 days

#4 posted 08-07-2010 07:12 AM

Thanks guys, It’s not to late to get involved with Charles next build staring next week its a beautiful blanket chest. You’ll be glad you did.


View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3728 days

#5 posted 08-07-2010 10:05 AM

Wow, that’s a lot of steps…Does the glue just hold it on it’s own without clamping?


View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5004 days

#6 posted 08-07-2010 01:53 PM

Looking greatJim. ice jobon the fitting.

-- 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 CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4474 days

#7 posted 08-07-2010 03:14 PM

Looking good Jim, very well done

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4583 days

#8 posted 08-07-2010 03:21 PM

Hi Jim;

It’s getting there! There’s a lot of work in those, that’s for sure. And it’s picky detail work. Those of us with a short attention span have a tough time with these. What were we talking about? LOL

Nice work Jim.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4180 days

#9 posted 08-07-2010 06:04 PM

Jordon yes you just make sure it’s flat and hold it tight for a while and thin let it dry.
Thanks Karson I try
Charles thanks so much for the opportunity to build this great project and all the details in the mastering woodworking series and through e mails . I never would have tried this project without you invitation an your furnishing of all of the materials.
Yes Lee it does take a fair amount of time although Charles can crank a Lowboy out in a couple days. Of course Charles works super long days.


View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4485 days

#10 posted 08-07-2010 08:06 PM

Thanks Jim. That is so cool to watch. I have read books and magazines for years about doing this, but somehow watching you do it, it is so much more personal.

Thanks again for the posts,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4180 days

#11 posted 08-07-2010 08:57 PM

Hey Steve
Before finding Charles on You Tube I learned all my woodworking from books and god old Norm, but having Charles do it on line makes it so easy because you can go back and replay it as many times as you like plus Charles is a natural teacher plus he’s so innovative in his woodworking approach.


View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1914 posts in 4275 days

#12 posted 08-08-2010 04:46 AM

Very nice blend!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3794 days

#13 posted 08-08-2010 05:55 AM

Excellent Jim!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3806 days

#14 posted 08-08-2010 01:38 PM

Very impressive, Jim. I’m also impressed with the free-handing of the oscillating spindle sander. It’s a great tool, but can ruin a profile quickly. Very talented.

Again, you’re keeping me hanging for the next installment. Can’t wait!

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3928 days

#15 posted 08-08-2010 02:20 PM

Really cool. I am also impressed with that free-hand spindle sanding. Especially AFTER it’s glued…

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