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Thread: Prep before building drawers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    6,448

    Prep before building drawers

    I was planning to next post with the completed Harlequin Side table, however it has been two steps forward and one back. Selecting the drawer fronts .. well, I've cut and recut them a few times, and only now satisfied with the result. It is no small deal each time since a drawer front has to be fitted into a recess that is shaped like a parallelogram. And if the fit is not good enough ... well, a few would-be drawer fronts were discarded.


    What parts are needed? Well, the drawer sides are 1/4" thick - too thin for grooves, so there will be slips to support the drawer bottom.


    The drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak, which I use frequently, as it is a light wood that allows the drawer fronts to be shown to their best, and it is available quarter sawn. The drawer back will also be Tassie Oak.


    The drawer bottoms are solid wood and 1/4" thick. Rather than use Tasmanian Oak, I thought I would add a little life with Tasmanian Blue Gum. It is quite similar is texture and tone (although the photos here do not show this), but has more figure.


    Enough here for 8 drawers ...





    Drawer sides and drawer fronts ...





    Great sander ... Mirka Ceros ...





    These will be the drawer bottoms. The board in the centre is the Hard Maple case back ...





    Do you think anyone will notice that the drawer bottoms run sequentially?





    The making of the drawer slips may have some interest. I used Tasmanian Blue Gum (because it links to the drawer bottoms). This is quite interlocked and any planing with a plough to form either grooves or beads would be expected to end unhappily, with much tearout. I have posted this tip before: add a 15 degree backbevel to all plough blades to create a high 60 degree cutting angle.


    The 3/16" beads were ploughed with the Veritas Combination Plane ...





    Brilliant finish ...





    ... and a 1/8" groove for the rebate in the drawer bottom was ploughed by the Veritas Small Plow ...





    Again, tearout free ...








    This is a mock up of the intersection of the drawer front (back), drawer side into drawer slip and against a drawer side ...





    Note that the drawer front is straight/flat at this stage but, once dovetailed, they will be shaped to curve along the bow front of the case.


    These are the timbers I have chosen for the drawer fronts. This is what gives the side table the harlequin name. Three timbers: Black Walnut, a pink Jarrah, and figured Hard Maple. Keep in mind that there is no finish at this stage ...








    Next time hopefully with everything completed.


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    South West Ontario
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    I doubt anyone will notice the sequential drawer bottoms as they all look so unique now they are cut. The drawer fronts are clearly more substantial than the rest of the drawer, this makes them front heavy. This is more challenging to fit to avoid droop. Itís good that the drawers are quite deep but when almost fully extended even more challenging. Any solution to this?
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Australia
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    Blue Gum tends to have many internal stresses and drying difficulties, and also has a large amount of movement in service, which excludes it from being used in applications where stability is important.
    https://www.wood-database.com/blue-gum/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    Thanks Stewie. Good point. I am aware of this. I have been testing the boards I have, and they have proven to be very stable. Coming off the bandsaw it was apparent that they may prove to be docile. No internal stresses showed when stickered over a month. In any event, they are only used for the drawer bottoms, and run cross-grain, which makes movement even less likely.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    I doubt anyone will notice the sequential drawer bottoms as they all look so unique now they are cut. The drawer fronts are clearly more substantial than the rest of the drawer, this makes them front heavy. This is more challenging to fit to avoid droop. It’s good that the drawers are quite deep but when almost fully extended even more challenging. Any solution to this?
    Hi William

    The drawer fronts are in their pre-carved state. At this stage they are parallelograms to fit the bow front of the chest/table. Once dovetailed, waste will be removed from the front and back when creating the curve. Also, they are thicker than needed - just to be certain that they are not too thin. The drawer fronts should end up about 3/4" thick, perhaps a smidgeon less. The drawer backs are 1/2" thick.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  6. #6
    Hi Derek,

    I like your choice of colors for the drawer fronts-a well-balanced tension between symmetry of the openings and asymmetry of the tones.

    I'm curious about the drawer slips and can't quite picture how the slips connect to the sides and bottoms and how those connections relate to the bead. I presume they are glued to the sides?

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Chris, the slips are glued to the sides. Here is a picture from another build ...



    The bead in the slip adds definition ...



    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 07-10-2019 at 8:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    The inner drawer bead is a really classy feature. You do it very well Derek. Look forward to the rest of the build.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Neat work, Derek. The project is coming along well.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  10. #10
    Derek,

    Thanks for the clarification and I agree the bead is a nice touch.

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

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