Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Post For Ron

Ron from For Lack of a Better Plan asked me how I did the bottoms of drawers and so I thought I would do another post showing what I tried to explain in the comment section of my last post. This shows the tablesaw method that I use to cut a dado on the bottom of the pieces. The piece on the left will be the drawer front and the piece on the right will be the drawer side. I make sure that I put the dado in the bottom finger of the box joint on the drawer side. When you put them together seen below, you will be left with a small square hole on the drawer front and back. Since I will attach a larger front onto the drawer to hide the drawer slides, the two square holes on the front will be covered up. The two square holes in back will never be seen unless you pull the drawer completely out and look.

For decorative boxes like a jewelry box or the treasure chest I'm making where the holes will be visible, I use a different method. If I make a dado, I have to use a plunge router and properly sized bit and stop short of the end so that the dado doesn't show on the ends. This is a strong joint but requires a plunge router. An alternative is to cut a rabbit joint with a regular router and stop short of the end also. This is a weaker joint but doesn't require a plunge router. An alternative to using a router is to do the joint on the table saw like what I showed in these two pictures and just cut a wooden plug out of the same material and glue it into the holes. This takes a bit of fine cutting strips on a table saw and then sanding them to size or using a pocket plane etc. I have done this method before I got a router but it takes a bit of time to get the square holes to disappear.


Ron said...

Thanks for the visual... I see what you mean now. I wasn't sure I knew what you meant with the text.

This seems like a very doable way to make custom drawers with basic tools.

Ed said...

Ron - As I tried to explain in words, I knew I was butchering it up and making it even more confusing. In this case, a picture is worth probably 10,000 words.

When I learned about this jig, it has been my fall too for all things box shaped. It is such an easy jig to set up and adjust and it makes very strong and very attractive joints. I've used it to make decorative boxes for various people and some utilitarian boxes for around the house. I find myself with a leftover chunk of nice wood from a project and my mind immediately turns to making a decorative box out of what is left.

Ron said...

The picture helped a lot... I could sorta imagine what you were saying, but it's nice to see it.

I'm getting pretty stoked for a major workshop project next year. I built a long 20+' workbench a few years ago, using a whole bunch of drawers I had on hand... but they don't match, and after several years I've realized that I'd change the sizes of many of the drawers if I made them myself.

If I dismantle the thing, I can reuse all the drawer slides... so I'm starting to daydream about a nicely organized bench with lots of drawers that are sized better, and cabinets to store the bulky stuff.

Dismantling it will also let me put up insulation and drywall (or plywood) behind the bench... that would be tricky otherwise. And maybe I'll even jack the whole building up, cut the posts off, and convert to concrete piers...

Anyway, all that to say thanks for the detail, this technique for drawer-making looks very doable.

warren said...

That's pretty work! Well done! Hey, can you do a post for me? Maybe on how you do your nails or on shoes or...naw...nevermind