I had one original drawer to copy. I used a 14 degree dovetail that has as 3/16″ neck on the pins . The drawer sides are walnut with popular back and bottoms. What is unusual is the top edge of the drawers sides and backs are rounded over. I did this with a molding plane. Drawer bottoms were fielded with a hand plane to fit the groove in the sides and fronts.
The drawer blade is set into the case on a half housed dove tale. The dust cover slides into the case in a 1/2″ groove. There is a tongue cut on the front of the dust cover . This meets a groove that is cut into the back of the drawer blade. This will be glued together. The dust cover will not be glued to the inside of the case. The drawer blade will be glued to the case. This will let the dust cover come and go with humidity changes with out cracking the case sides. All the surfaces of the replacement wood have been hand planed.
This is how I found this poor desk. It had been butchered. The lower three drawers, drawers blades and dust covers had been cut into. This was done to put a door on the right side. Also the feet are missing. It is made out of walnut. The secondary woods are poplar, chestnut, white ceder, and cherry.
It has a simple pigeonhole interior. The molding on the walnut door is cherry. The drawer bottoms for the small drawers is white ceder. The secondary wood for the letter pull outs is chestnut.
The restoration is now finished on this cylinder desk. The desk is made out of Mahogany. In this photo the cylinder is retracted showing the pigeon hole compartment. The small drawers in the pigeon hole are veneered with Birds eye Maple. The writing surface slides out about 3″.
The cylinder is closed in this photo. The panel of the cylinder is veneered in Burl Mahogany. I French polished this panel. All the locks are original and have keys. The finish was done in shellac which would have been originally used. The glass in the doors are original. The price is $2,100.00
The newly made molding is a perfect match. After grinding shaper knives from the pattern that I cast. The replacement molding was run. Both the left and right side of the return molding were missing. In the upper left of the top photo you can see oak molding, that doesn’t match, some one had put on. The mahogany molding was so close it just needed to be mitered and attached. Next I stained and finished the molding.
Here the silicone cast is remover and turned over. There is less than 1% shrinkage of the silicone. Measurements can be taken from the casting . Patterns can be drawn right from this to grind shaper knives.
To make the casting of the molding. I first took the front piece of crown off. Then I made two dams across the molding out of clay. I used a two part silicone that sets in about 4 hours. When the silicone started to set a little I placed three 1/4″by 1/4″ wooden strips to stiffen the casting.
The book case is complete except for the crown molding. The crown molding is being made and will be another post. The plywood cleats on the bottom are for transporting. I feel very lucky to have the original glass. The glass is nice and wavy just the way old glass should be.
This is the screw that the metal trammels pivot on. The original screw holes were worn out and had to be patched with new wood. Here you can see the lid in the closed position.The metal trammel is fasten to the lid by screws and pivots on one screw at the bottom.
When the lid is opened the pigeonholes are exposed and the lid retracts. Notice the stop where the trammel meets a small angled block of wood on the side of the pigeonholes.
This is an Eastlake Cylinder Desk (1880’s) that I recently found. At first glance it didn’t look like to much was wrong with it. Once I had it in the shop I could see it need some attention. There was a poor lacquer finish on it. The writing surface was covered in cheep red felt and would not slid out. The pivots for the cylinder were worn out. Not shown is the upper book case that covers the cylinder and pigeonhole interior. I’ll cover that in another post. The lower photo is after being stripped.