Washstand

details except for slightly thicker aprons, a plywood drawer bottom, and a different method of top fastening. The original one-piece top was glued to twelve blocks which were glued to the aprons. This procedure prevented shifts in the wood due to changes in humidity, and resulted in a crack in half the length of the top.

Start construction with the legs, which are ripped from solid cherry to 1%" square x 26 long. Lay out and mark the location and length of each square section and use a parting tool to start the transition from squares to turned portions: then use the gouge to bring the turned portion down to a uniform \W diameter. The various elements of the turning are then located and shaped with a gouge and skew chisel.

Finish sand the legs while they are still lathe-mounted, then remove them and plane the square sections down to I %" square. Lay out mortises for the aprons, lower rails, and lower drawer rail G, using the tenon dimensions given in Figure 3. Note that the mortises are located so that the aprons and rails are set in X". Drill out the mortises to a depth of 1", using a %" drill bit, then trim the mortises with a sharp chisel.

The aprons and rails are next cut from %" stock, either cherry or clear pine. Sand the outer surfaces of the aprons and rails, and test-fit the joints, making adjustments where needed. Identify the mating parts of each joint with a pencil mark on the inside faces.

The bottom shelf is glued up from stock and notched at each corner for a snug fit around the legs. The upper drawer rail F is cut and glued flush with the front edge of the shelf The rear rail D is nailed to the rear edge of the shelf, W in from the back edge. Use 4-penny finishing nails set below the surface of the shelf.

At this point, it's a good idea to sand and stain all parts. Staining before assembly helps prevent the often nagging problem of uneven stain at the joints. This problem usually results from glue that oozes from the joint on assembly. The glue dries clear and becomes difficult to see, and thus may not be completely removed when the project is sanded. When stain is applied, the glue won't

Before the introduction of indoor plumbing, washstands were necessary furnishings in most households. Besides providing a stand for the usual pitcher and bowl, some of the more elaborate versions had shaving mirrors and towel bars.

The antique example shown here is one of the more popular designs and tends itself well to a variety of modern uses as a lamp or end table, nightstand, or hall table, teamed with a mirror.

The fastenings, joinery, and tool marks on this piece date it probably to the early nineteenth century. The nicely turned legs are cherry; all other parts are clear pine. We would guess that it was built by a skilled country cabinetmaker. The unpinned mortise and tenon joints are still perfectly tight and the dovetail joints are carefully filled, though the glue has failed on the rear corners of the drawer.

The plans offered here follow the original in all

DETAIL A

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DETAIL A

Showing DfîAwjCR.SopfoRT c£fc>s-rruction

DETail B

method op Top.

USE -2. FasTfcMeRS AT E^CM EMO AMD <3 O) RtAfi. APRdkI

absorb as much stain as the wood, resulting in an area with an uneven and sloppy-looking stain.

Choose a stain that results in an "antique" look. Woodworkers tend to disagree as to exactly what an antique stain should look like, so it pretty much becomes a matter of individual taste. With pine, one method that has proved popular is the application of one coat of Minwax Special Walnut wood finish.

Glue a side apron and rail into the front and back legs. Use clamp pads to protect the legs and center pipe clamps on each joint. Repeat the process with the remaining side rail, apron, and legs.

After these dry, lay a leg-rail unit on a flat surface and add the lower drawer rail G and shelf-rail assembly. Next add the front and rear aprons and the other leg-rail unit. Turn the entire assembly upright and fasten four pipe clamps lengthwise, again using pads and centering clamps on each joint. Check the frame for squareness and tack diagonal braces in place as necessary to hold the frame square while the glue cures.

The top, unlike the original's 1554"-wide board, should be made by edge joining and gluing three or four j4"-thick boards. Use light clamp pressure to prevent buckling. The sides L and back M are cut from 54" stock, allowing enough length for the through dovetail joint at each corner. Enlarge the patterns in Figures I and 2 on thin cardboard; cut templates and transfer the outlines to the stock. Use a jig- or coping saw to cut the graceful curves.

The front edge of the top is rounded ofl" and the top is fastened to the frame with screws and glue blocks as shown in Detail B. The sides and back are added to the top with 5-penny finishing nails set slightly below the surface. Do not glue the sides to the top.

Referring to Figure 3 and Detail A, cut the drawer supports H to length and notch them around the back legs. Glue and clamp these flush with the bottom edges of the side rails. The drawer guides I are then added.

Figure 3 shows drawer construction using authentic dovetailed joints. Note that the drawer back is narrower than the sides and is not grooved for the bottom, but rather rests upon it. Fasten the bottom to the back with a few thin box nails. Do not glue the bottom into its grooves; it should have a slightly loose fit. The addition of small drawer stops N, glued in place, and wooden drawer pulls completes construction.

Finish with several coats of either a low-luster varnish or one of the new penetrating oil finishes which are more satisfactory' than the old boiled linseed oil finish.

BILL OF MATERIALS

Pes.

BILL OF MATERIALS

Pes.

Key

Part

Req'd

T

w

L

A

legs

4

IX"

ix"

26%"

B

front and rear aprons

2

%"

2%"

2054" (incudes tenons)

C

side aprons

2

%"

2%"

1454" {includes tenons)

D

rear rail

1

4V,"

2054" (includes tenons)

E

side rail

2

4V,"

1454" (includes tenons)

F

upper drawer rail

1

154*

1 854"

G

lower drawer rail

1

X*

IX*

1954" (includes tenons)

H

drawer support

2

154"

1354"

I

drawer guide

2

%"

"1254"

J

shelf

I

54"

1554"

2154"

K

top

I

54"

1554"

2156"

L

sides

2

w

2%"

16"

M

back

1

54"

5"

2256"

N

drawer stop

2

y<*

154"

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