After the foot construct tour de force, its kind of nice to undertake a straight forward task occasionally, there are precious few straight forward tasks during the construction of this chest. Next up is the top of the case, the case top is constructed from a one board wide piece of South American Mahogany (20″ wide x 37″ L x 13/16″ t). As previously mentioned, I was fortunate to receive a single wide and long piece of SA Mahogany from my lumber supplier that would yield the case case sides and the case top.
In this photo we see the case top ready to be planed to the proper thickness (13/16″), because of the width of this piece, this task was done using hand planes. After hand planing the case sides and the case top, one now understands why the master employed apprentices 🙂
The case top is affixed to case with screws. The screws in the front stretcher are standard non-slotted holes, the rear stretcher uses slotted screw holes, that provide room for expansion and contraction of the 20″ wide top. The middle of the case is secured with a wood button, the button rides in a wide slot that also provides room for expansion and contraction.
The edge profile for the case top is via a Amana Tool table top router bit. A couple of things that need to be noted about these bits, they big and remove a tremendous amount of wood, secondly since these bits shape the entire edge of the top, a full size pattern must be used. The solution to issue #1, is to replace the stock 5/8″ OD bearing with various sizes of larger OD bearings (every router bit manufacture has a router bearing kit), the final pass is done with the stock 5/8″ OD bearing fitted.
Here we see the full size patter affixed to the underside of the case top, notice the pattern is wider than the case top, this allows the “lead in” area before the bit actually starts cutting the edge.