Blanket Chest – Creating the Coves

Now that the side assemblies were glued up, it was time to apply the cove molding trim to the edges of the panels.  I chose a cove because, well, out of the four prototypes, it was my wife’s favorite.

Blanket Chest 24

The actual molding would have a cross-section of 1/4″ x 1/4″, to allow a 1/8″ rabbet where it joined the frame (as shown in the above linked post).  The first step was to rout a cove of the desired size in the corner of a board.  The rest was simply a matter of cutting off the molding with two intersecting cuts.  Normally, this would be a job for the table saw.  However, I needed to use it to rip the edge smooth again after cutting the molding free.  That would mean resetting the saw after each cut, and trying to keep all the individual moldings cut that way the same size.  Was there a better way?

Blanket Chest 25

I decided to use a variant of the technique used on the feet of my sawbench.  By setting the plow plane for 1/4″ and making intersecting cuts as shown above, the strips of molding could be cut off with only a bit more effort.  You’ll notice in the above photo that one leg is a bit thicker than the other.  This was a result of having the core-box bit set a bit lower than I thought, and rendered the molding asymmetrical.  This is almost inevitable to some degree, and must be allowd for.  More on that in a minute.

The stock in the photo above was fairly thin, and I could only get one molding per edge.  However, I later used thicker stock that allowed cutting two moldings at once, which reduced waste considerably.  In either case, once the molding was cut away, I went to the aforementioned table saw to rip the edges smooth for the next evolution.

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Eventually, I was left with a pile of moldings in two lengths, which would fit the two different panel dimensions with a bit of room to spare.  You will notice black marks on some of the molding.  In fact, all of the pieces have that mark.  This designates the side where the freeing cut was made into the face of the board.  By placing the side with this mark against the rail or stile instead of the panel, I can keep any asymmetry in the molding coordinated, so that the corner joints will line up as they should.  As long as you get that correct, the rest will go unnoticed.

Next time, I’ll fit these pieces to the frame-and-panel assemblies.  Stay tuned!


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