This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
Fig.699 illustrates the construction of a 7-ft. pedestal sideboard with 3-panel back. The description gained for W. Robinson a prize in the Cabinet-maker. Having set out the work full size, first proceed to get out the top, which is a piece of 1-in. stuff, 7 ft. long, and shot to 2 ft. 2 in. broad. This, when finished, has a 2-in. ovolo on the top edge, and a 1/8-in. bead sunk on the face edge. Get out some 1/2-in. stuff, 4 1/2 in. wide, and line it up on the under side of the top, letting the end lining run the same way of the grain as the top. Cross line the top also over the inside end of the pedestals; this and the back lining may be pine. Next proceed to get out the drawer frame. It will be made of 1-in. pine, and its extreme length, with its end facings out, will be 6 ft. 5 in., and its extreme breadth from the outside of back to the front edge of the top blade will be 1 ft. 10 1/2 in.; the lower blade sets back 2 in. In getting out the cross rails of the frame, frame a piece of 2-in. stuff, 5 in. wide on one end, cross-ways of the grain, and in putting the frame together let the flush sides of the cross rails go next the centre drawer and the outside ends respectively.
When all is fitted, place the 4 cross rails side by side, and shape all together, and leave them with the carver to run 3 flutes 5/16 in. wide on each. Next proceed to get out the pedestals. These are simply a frame, with the stiles of 2-in. scantling, with l 1/4-in. cross framing, precisely the same as the door, the panels being § in. thick, and bevelled in 1 1/4 in. from their edges. Clean off the face of the panels, and finish off the mouldings, and let the polisher body them in.
In the meantime the framing can be got on with. The top and bottom rails run across, and are framed into the pilasters or angle pieces, and the stiles are checked or sunk into the pilaster 1/4 in. (see section of pedestal). The inner frame is connected with the outer frame by 4 short rails. Note : the end panels are framed in grooves, but the door panels are framed or fastened in with beads. Having got the panels from the polisher, frame the l 1/4-in. framing together, and mitre the mouldings offered to the top, give all to the polisher, and when done screw the side panels to the centre panel, place on its face, and block in the silvered glass; put on the blind frames, then screw the job all together. Screw the brackets, pediment, etc, on, and see that the doors work easily, and the locks are oiled. The doors may be hung with centre hinges, or with strong brass butts, 3 in. long, letting the knuckle stand out 1/8 in. past its centre of motion, and an ornamental hinge plate screwed in. etc., first having cleaned off the face, and got it bodied in.
Now proceed to frame the pilasters to the frames, and having dovetailed the top and bottom to the ends, clean all off, and let the carver flute them, and cut the elliptic paterae in the centres.
The doors may now be got out, of course letting the stiles run through.
As the moulding forms the rebate for the panels, it will be seen that the panels will be narrower by 5/16 in. on each edge than the pedestal panels were, in consequence of no groove being in the stiles, etc.
The frame may now be taken in hand, the drawer fronts fitted on the rake, and the drawer sides fitted and shot to their proper shape, the front dovetails being on the rake in order to take the front.
Get out 4 blocks the same shape as the blocks between the drawers, and glue them on to the ends of the frame over the pilasters. Now get out 2 mock drawer fronts, and fix them between them, and face the frame to represent the blades over and under the drawer. (Note that the blades have a sunk bead on the centre of their faces.) The plinth rails may now be got out and fixed, as also the bases of the pilasters.
To make the bases, get out a piece of cross-grain stuff, 4 1/2 in. wide by 1 in. thick. and about 2 ft. 2 in. wide, and run the moulding along the edge, and then cut it in lengths, and fix them, leaving their sides flush with the pilasters. The trays and cellarette drawer may now be made, the frame cleaned off, and pieces fitted on the fronts etc, and carved as drapery. The flutes on the fronts of the drawers can then be carved, and the ram's head and angle brackets, and centre ornament under drawer, finished.
The door mouldings may now be mitred in, and the panels bevelled 7/8 in. from the edge. Place the frame on the bench, and put on the runners for the drawers, and afterwards place it on the pedestals and block it in its place. Now fit and hang the doors, etc, and let the carver have them to cut the circular pateras at the angles.
After this take the top, shoot the back edge, joint 2 pieces of stuff 3 1/2 in. long by l 1/2 in. wide at each end, and run the mouldings through. These are to finish the top off level with the plate glass back. The top and frame may now be finally screwed together, the drawers run and stopped, and their fittings put on. The carcase backs of the pedestals may be put in, levelled, and coloured, and all given to the polisher.
The back is composed of 3 frames, the groundwork of which is 1 1/8-in. stuff; the 2 outside frames have their outside stiles faced on the outer edge by a pilaster, 2 in. sq., and which projects 2 in. above the top of the frame to receive the carved urn. The breadth of the outside frames, including the pilaster, is 1 ft. 8 in., and the extreme height is 2 ft. 2 in., exclusive of the pilaster. These 2 frames are faced with 3/8-in. stuff, and the bevelled glass is surrounded by a moulding. The pilaster is carved and fluted, and the dentilled cornice then mitred round the top, showing a 1/2-in. break. A small console is placed at the bottom as a suitable finish.
The centre frame is got out of the same stuff as the side frames, viz. 1 1/8-in., and faced with 3/8-in. stuff. In getting out this frame, the breadth must be 3/4 in. narrower than the finished size, in order to allow a side facing to hide the joint of the groundwork and its front facing. The extreme height of this frame will be 3 ft. 9 in., and the extreme breadth 3 ft. 1 in. Now glue 2 pilasters 3 ft. 7 in. long by 2 in. sq. on the face, keeping them flush on the top ends, also on the outsides; and on the faces of these two, glue 2 shaped pilasters of same length, but only 2 in. by 1 1/2 in. Mitre the cornice round, and also the necking, and leave a break of 2 in. at the centre. This tablet is to be 3 1/2 in. wide.
The edge of the facing on the centre frame is a 1/2-in. hollow. Get out the ogee pediment, and fit the looping of drapery to the urn, and give all other carvings, etc, to the carver. Note that it is always better to have the glass before finishing the sight measurements, as the bevels can be matched to mitre with the mouldings, and a more even margin secured.