Thursday, 3 September 2015

Bedside tables (nightstands) - Part 10e - Drawers - completion.

Once the front pin boards are completed and they mate perfectly with their corresponding side tail boards it's time to take a measurement from the table to cut the tailboards to length. I normally make the tailboard about 3/16" to 1/4" shy of the full inside length of the drawer compartment. Then while the pinboard is attached to the two side tailboards transfer the measurement to the tailboard.

Dimension measured from the table
Dimension transferred to the drawer with the front
pin board attached.

Then the tailboards are separated from the pin board and cut to length. I just do this on the tablesaw with the crosscut sled keeping the parts square to the blade.
Then proceeding exactly as before the tails were cut, transferred to the rear pin board and then the pins cut. This time they are through dovetails. This type of dovetail can also be done very easily by cutting the pins first, transferring the pins to the tailboard and then cutting the tails. It's entirely up to you which way to cut dovetails and I generally like tails first.

Rear thru dovetails complete

Once all dovetails and pins are cut lay the parts out on the bench and with a pencil (scribble) mark the position of the groove for the drawer bottom. I find this bit is essential as it's so easy to get the part the wrong way around on the router table when doing this. The drawer bottoms on these drawers are 1/4" (6mm) plywood. I used a 1/4" bit in the router table to cut the grooves. The pin boards are easy through cuts but the side tail boards need stop cuts on the rear edges. This is to ensure that the groove does not show through when the drawer is glued up. The front of each tail board can be through grooves as they are covered by the front pin board (half blind DTs).
A test dry fit

Then I cut the drawer bottoms to fit into the grooves. The grooves are 3/16" deep (on 1/2" stock) and the drawer bottoms are cut 3/32" less than the dimension from bottom of each groove to the corresponding part on the opposite side.

Drawer groove dimension 14 1/2" - 3/32"  (368mm -  2.5mm) 

The very next job to do is to remove the machining marks from the inside of the drawers. I used a random orbit sander up to 180 grit but could have just used a smoothing plane set to remove an absolute minimum.

Then all parts were glued up with Titebond II dark, the drawer bottom inserted into the grooves and the final side board pressed into place. When clamping I like to use a couple of clamping squares on the inside of the drawer, I normally place them on the front panel to the side panels (one on each side). Then at least the front/sides will be square. The rear panel to the sides can be slightly out of square to each other but it won't matter as that is not seen.
Then the drawers were placed into parallel clamps and left to setup overnight.

When removed from the clamps each drawer had their respective joints cleaned up with a combination of hand planes and sanding. Then each drawer would fit perfectly with a piston fit in each drawer aperture.

Drawers complete.

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