Rope Handle Boss

This is the inside lid of a seaman’s chest from 1875. On the outside it has two rope handles. These have long since gone and the wooden bosses that hold them are damaged. Apart from an overhaul of the chest we need to make a new pair of bosses. These will be from oak as per the originals. Here’s a picture of a finished boss to give you an idea of what we’re talking about. In many ways the important thing in this job is the sequence of operation. Get the sequence right and the job has a better chance of turning out well.

In our timber store we are lucky to have lump of oak exactly the same length as the boss. So we’re off to a good start.

This lump needs to be made into a block that has the same height, width & length of the boss. This block has its centre lines marked out. A template of the curve is also made. These marking out lines will help the shaping process.

Before we start the rope tunnel is cut & chiselled out. We start with some vertical saw cuts. These are carefully chiselled out.

The curves will be done with a rasp by hand. Well seasoned oak is quite hard so the shape is roughed out by cutting excess material off with a saw.

As there is a difficulty in holding such a shape for rasp work the boss is glued to a sacrificial board. It all makes for easier holding in a vice.

The shape is worked up and constantly checked against the original.

And when finished the boss is sawn from its sacrificial mount.

Chest of Drawers with the broken leg

And finally from a recent post the chest of drawers with a broken leg has had all its repairs completed and is now for sale.