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Making concave drawer front fingergrips.

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recipio

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Folks, don't quite know what to call them - those scooped out depressions used by the Victorians for apothecary's drawer fronts. They have a turned button/ knob at the base. The question is how to make them ? For small drawers I have mounted them in the lathe but you are turning a depression in a spinning propeller. ! They need sanding as well which blurs the crisp edge of the 'crater'.
The solution would suggest a router jig of some kind but online research has yielded no info. I suspect they have been abandoned due to falling out of fashion but I'm wondering if anybody has found a solution ?
 

bjm

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As you say, I would make a jig and router them out with a dishing cutter. I would probably use a small forstner first though as this would give you the centre point to drill for the knob and also something to align the jig.
 

TheTiddles

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Firstly... 2 pieces.

Secondly, do you want the old way or the new way?!

Are you aiming for a hemispherical dimple or a flat bottomed one? A box core bit in a router will approximate the first, a ground spade bit will give you exactly it and also the pilot for the pull that’s then lo ng-grain and wedged in

Aidan
 

custard

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I made a dressing table with matching bedside cabs that had a similar drawer pull arrangement. Can't find any photos yet but I'll keep looking.

The method was two simple jigs, both with fences that delivered a precise location on a drawer front. The first was for an 8mm hole for a drawer pull. The second jig centred in exactly the same location and comprised a hole about 60mm diameter in a piece of 18mm ply. Then use a bearing guided router cutter like one these to plunge and run around the hole to form the depression. Just take it in a few passes, with a final clean up pass of just half a mill, and it's simple, quick and clean. Note, the ply jig needs to be thick enough to allow the bearing to still make contact even with the first light passes.

 
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recipio

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Thanks all.
A router jig is the obvious way to go ( which makes me admire the old Victorian makers even more ) However, I'm sure those 60 mm dished bits are designed for table use only. I think a router with a convex ( saucer shaped ) baseplate might work with a convex bit. The trick is to adapt it for different sized diameter' hemispheres' as drawer fronts will vary in size and depth. I'll try and make some prototypes as clearly no one has produced a working jig so far.?
 

Droogs

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The way i was shown when learning woodworking in Germany was that they tended to use a gouge or scorp for things like that
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recipio

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Having reflected on this I now think that mounting a router on a pendulum jig might work.. Jeremy Broun did this in his book 'The incredible Router' Another project added to the list .:D
 

bjm

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I think you're over-thinking this? Can you post a picture or diagram of what you have in mind? To me, a pendulum jig will give you an oval shaped depression?
 

recipio

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Thanks. If the 'drawer front' is rotated in a circle the routed bit will end up as a 'hemispherical dimple' -assuming the piece is somehow held down but rotated about a central axis. Yes. I'm probably overthinking this. In fact doing it on the lathe works fine for small square drawer fronts. I find that cleaning it up tends to lose the crisp edges of the 'dimple' but that could be corrected by taking a skimming cut through the thicknesser which would restore the sharp edges. I'm retired and have too much time on my hands.:giggle:
 

bjm

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Thanks. If the 'drawer front' is rotated in a circle the routed bit will end up as a 'hemispherical dimple' ....
It will but it's a long-winded route to achieve the same result you'd get with Steve's cutter above (post #7)?
 
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