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Thread: Drawer divider not square

  1. #1
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    Drawer divider not square

    I am about to make the drawers for a cabinet and have not yet cut the drawer fronts.

    Which is the better fix if one drawer divider (not yet glued in place) isnít quite square? Cut the drawer front and back to fit the opening at a slight angle or make the drawer square (and slightly oversized on the corner that isnít square) and then plane the whole side after glue up to fit? The case is already glued up, so I canít really re-do the dovetail for the divider.

    Hopefully the photos show the problem.

    98730DA3-263E-4ADE-B4FC-5929A472DF24.jpg

    5DFF995B-4DC0-43FD-A534-709C0084315B.jpg

  2. #2
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    Picture one looks really out of square. Picture two looks just a wee bit out of square.

    I don't think that I could build a drawer to fit that hole, so I would fit the drawer after I made it since it looks to be off just a wee bit.

    That said, i assume that the divider itself cannot be redone such that the divider itself is square yet still fits into the space for it. No? OK, just asking!

    I have modified more than one drawer that was close but needed some minor shaping to fit well. Hand planes, belt sander, etc.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Andrew - picture two just looks a little off. Your drawer vertical drawer dividers ( dovetailed ) seem attached to a vertical divider that runs to the back of the cabinet. They do not have to be. If your vertical drawer dividers ( dovetailed ) were just 3/4 inch thick, you could cut your drawer fronts to the slightly trapezoidal shape, and the remainder of the drawer is cut square.

  4. #4
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    Not sure why you can’t redo the dove tail. Can you simply pare the sliding dove tail wall so that the divider is square and then glue in a wedge to fill the gap?

  5. #5
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    If you can fix the divider it will probably look better in the long run.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    If I were to find something like this in one of my own builds, Iíd plan to rebuild or at least adjust the divider such that the offending dovetail ends up slightly offset so that the divider sits square (as long as the offset is small enough to be hard to notice). Perhaps the pare and shim strategy Joe mentioned, on the divider tail itself rather than in the case.

  7. #7
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    Todd, you can fix it by offsetting the divider or fitting the drawer face. It looks like it¬ís 1/16 or less. If you fix by shaping the face and of course the back of the drawer to match the drawer will work just fine. It all depends on your ¬ďBug factor¬Ē. I don¬ít believe anyone would notice unless you told them the drawer face was fitted. If however it¬ís going to give you great consternation for the rest of your life then fix the divider by shimming or offsetting the divider to make it square. If as you say the divider is not glued in then I would fix the divider. First decide what you will accept 1/32, 1/64, 1/128 you will have to hold the other drawers to the same standard😳

  8. #8
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    I think I will try to fix the dividers. I measured this morning and they are both off by the same amount. Not sure how I could have been staring at this thing for months and fitting the dividers without noticing they’re not square.

  9. #9
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    Todd, if the drawers are not made, then simply make a wider divider, one where the existing dovetail can be included inside the new wider one. Call it a design decision And no one will know.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Todd, if the drawers are not made, then simply make a wider divider, one where the existing dovetail can be included inside the new wider one. Call it a design decision And no one will know.
    I thought about this approach after signing off last night. Over size your dividers laying them out so they fit your grooves. Then use a square to mark a line you can plane or saw to to get them to width you want.

  11. #11
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    Does this sound like the perfect justification for a pair of side rabbit planes?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Zucker View Post
    Does this sound like the perfect justification for a pair of side rabbit planes?
    My pair of side rabbet planes get used often enough they have already earned their justification. One of my biggest regrets about selling tools is selling my Stanley #79 double rabbet plane.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
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    Todd,

    How "perfect" does the justification have to be to get a pair of side rabbet planes? In my view, "reasonable" justification, is good enough!

    Stew

  14. #14
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    I like that thinking—reasonable justification, especially given that I was able to widen the dadoes with a chisel and no longer have an urgent need for the side rabbit planes. I have been setting the bar for new tool purchases much too high.


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