Plans for the John Chipman blockfront chest of drawers. Info needed.


Well-known member
I am currently drawing plans for the John Chipman blockfront chest of drawers on display in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State. When finished they will be free to SAPFM members. I will have Mark post them on the member’s only forum.
John McAlister graciously loaned me his set of plans to reference. With John’s permission I have altered the construction to be more in line with the original. I need some information on a few details if any member has that or has an opinion. The overhang on the top in relationship to the sides and front, is it equal or is the front overhang smaller.  What is the usual drawer front thickness? I have seen from 13/16” to 1 1/2:”
Cock beading: is it 1/8” wide and 1/16” in depth or is the depth more than 1/16”.
I tried calling the curators in charge of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms but they refused any help.
This does not have to be exact just some general guidelines.
Ed Stuckey
Ed, very beautiful piece and thanks for the effort. The only details I could offer is from a 4 drawer Newport chest. The info that I was given was supposedly from the original. I never tried to confirm the info and it might not have been right but it looks good to me. The top overhang is 1 3/16 to the case side and front, excluding the molding. The finished blockfront drawers are about  1 5/8 thick. The bead is closer to 3/16 wide and 3 /32 deep. Not far off of your estimates and might be "usual".

Wouldnt surprise me if you were to get access to the original piece and one bead was 1/8, one 3/16, and, the top was 1 1/4 on one side and 1 3/16 on the other. Either way, it still looks good. Perhaps a member has actually measured it and will come forth. If I ever get in there again, I'll let you know. I look forward to other opinions. 
I think there is also a pair of reverse-serpentine chests there also attributed to Chipman. I tried to layout the serpentine curve from the photos I had years ago, but became scared that I had that curve wrong and never built the chests.
In the event someone here had or has luck with this curator, I would really like an accurate representation of that curve someday. Perhaps someone already has a tracing of the curve. There is a dynamism about those chests I would really like to capture. I think it is mostly because of the intersection between the figure in the lumber and the curve.
My apologies if this does not exactly belong to this thread, but I became excited when I saw the words "chipman" and "department of state" together.
Thank you for the information. John McAlister made his overhang 1 1/4". I took measurements from the photograph and came up with 1 1/2", so maybe I will split the difference and try 1 3/8". Members who download the plans can adjust the dimensions to their liking.
I did some analysis on the proportions used. The drawer profile, flat, concave block, flat, convex block,etc. is set up proportionally. If the thickness of the side panel is equal to 1 then the first flat is a 2:1 ratio. Next, using the flat equal to 1 then the convex blocks are a 6:1 ratio and the concave block is a 7:1 ratio.
The base molding height is a 2:1 ratio based on the side thickness. The top overhang is a 2:1 ratio, making it 1 1/2". The furthest projection of the cabriole leg which would be the knee is equal to the overhang on the top.
I have not checked on other proportions for the chest. If I find any else interesting I will let you know.
These guys were good and the chest was well designed.