Making - the Professional Approach DVD
by American Craftsman Publications, Canada
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 139
If you've ever admired the gliding fit of drawers in a Master Craftsman's cabinet; if you've ever pushed a drawer in a little sharply and watched the piston effect puff all the other drawers out, then you will know what this set of two DVDs, titled Drawer Making - The Professional Approach, is about.
Rob Cosman is an accomplished Master of his craft and he approaches teaching with the same quiet commitment that he does his woodworking. The lighting is good and the photography is clear and generally well focussed on the area of the work that is under discussion.
But be warned. This is not a video for the power tool afficiando. The entire two and a quarter hours is taken up with making drawers by hand, using only hand tools. Therefore, to apply Cosman's techniques in your own workshop, you will need a reasonably comprehensive set of hand tools which you've learned to keep sharp.
You will also need to have equipped yourself with an accurately made shooting board large enough to accommodate the sides of the drawers you wish to make.
Early in the dvd, the author reveals that he had recently spent time with the legendary Alan Peters and that it was from him that he learned some of the 'tricks' of making drawers by hand. Not that the word 'tricks' is really appropriate. They are simply methods of work that are less well known than they should be, but which work extraordinarily well.
To use Cosman's terminology, a prime example is what he calls 'the 140 trick'. This is the idea of using a rabbet plane to take a couple of faint shavings off the inside edges of each end of all the sides for a drawer.
The rabbet provides a reference line at the bottom of the dovetails. While it helps when sawing the tails, it's major benefit is realised when it comes to marking out the pins. The idea is as simple as it is ingenious, but to use it, you will need a finely tuned and very sharp rabbet plane.
Reviewing the disks, the first deals with Timber Selection, Preparing the Carcass, the Sides and the Front. The second disk goes on to discuss Joining the Parts which includes: Dovetail Layout, Cutting Pins, Drawer Bottom, Drawer Assembly and Drawer Fitting.
If you have reached the stage where you are confident in your use of hand tools and you want to lift your game so as to achieve the finest of fine woodworking, you will be enthralled by Rob Cosman and his presentation on making drawers.
Alan Peters method of drawer making
DVD - English - NTSC