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Thread: Turning drawer pulls

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Turning drawer pulls

    I pulled a 1790's Sheraton dresser down from the loft last week to restore for sale and didn't realize there were no pulls. I checked another Sheraton I have close to the same period to match up pulls. After no being able to locate any I decided to turn 2 top drawer [small] and 8 lower drawer large. This is the most finicky turns I've ever done. I have 1 small done and 4 large done and have busted just as many. Seems like cherry likes to bust allot. But they are looking period.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Congratulations on your perseverence.
    But, there are many, even most, old pulls, and whatevers, available as reproductions.
    VanDykes is one of the biggest, but there are others.
    http://www.vandykes.com/

    Otherwise, good luck with the turning. I'm working on some finials right now. The actual turning part isn't hard (I'm using mahagony, thanks, Tod) but getting identical is.

  3. #3
    Are you talking about Knobs?

    I tried making a bunch, a while back, you are right, Unless you are used to making bottle stopper and such you send more to knob heaven than you make, but after a while they catch on. I use a small faceplate with a piece of sacrifice wood attached . Through it I center a screw similar to the one I will attach the knob. Using the correct pilot hole I screw a small chunk and using smaller tools and high speeds, you can turn out a few good matches. The sacrifice piece allows you to come in close to the back side w/o damage to the tool.

    I have a couple of similar period pieces and the knobs are attached through Dowels these need a small chuck to complete or turn as the screw on knobs but drill out for a dowel. One of my Chests has a split dowel with a wedge to secure to the drawer (don't know if it was original or "Repaired" along it life.)

    Both are Shaker Originals (Shaker made Shaker style furniture, I was raised within 3 miles of a Shaker Village)

    Also, as Frank mentioned, I have always been satisfied with VanDykes Restorers, they will send you a great catalog if you order on line, Buy something and they will fill your mailbox with great wish books and ideas. ( I also buy from Vandykes Taxidermy and am a satisfied customer.)

    No connection here, just satisfied...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,101
    Dave I use a drill chuck from an old floor drill press (mt #2). So I turn a square piece round between centers, mark and do a lot of the prep (angle, back dowel, etc) then put it in the drill chuck and between the tailstock, cut it loose from the front end so I can bring my tool rest around and finish it up, do all my sanding and for some even friction polish only. Then cut it loose or almost loose and then go to the bandsaw. Works good for me this way. Tap your drill chuck in with a mallet of some type to "seat" it in. To stop it from working out or wanting to walk out, I do the back side cuts on the pull while the tailstock is being used.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  5. #5
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    I figured this out through trail and era, Using the old Shop Smith which has an attachment for such things. I cut the blocks, sanded off the square edges , that helped allot towards reducing the breakage and I sharpened the 2 chisels which I found did all the work. I could have bought the repro's but I needed a certain diameter for the base plus the look. Here is the Dresser, I have a little repair to do on the top.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CIMG0051.JPG   CIMG0047.JPG   CIMG0048.JPG   CIMG0049.JPG   CIMG0050.JPG  

    CIMG0052.JPG   CIMG0053.JPG   CIMG0054.JPG  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    OK, glad you figured out a technique and it worked for you.
    Of course, there is the added satisfaction of doing it for yerself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    North West Indiana
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    Bang up job!!!! It is very satisfying to turn them yourself isn't it?!!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  8. #8
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    Apr 2009
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    Sure is Jon, after the initial trail era only 4 were broken and I finished up the remained 5 with no breakage. Now to finish the dresser with a hand finish.

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