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Underbench Cabinet: Before the Drawers




It seems so straight forward: build the case, insert drawer frames and dividers, and build the drawers.



Each step actually requires planning ahead. The devil lies is in the details. These are some of the details we take for granted …



Step one is to plane the fronts of the rails and dividers, and fill in any chips with tinted epoxy.



Even gluing up requires a strategy when the case includes blind sliding dovetails: glue these first.



The benefit of liquid hide glue is extended open time and repairability. I hope that I do not have to make any repairs, but I could do with the open time as it is 40° Celsius today (that's 104° Fahrenheit). I like a small spatula for placing glue where it needs to go.







Glue the first set of blind sliding dovetails, and then the other set …





Finally glue in the other dividers …





Lastly, add the drawer guides. These are just glued in. The spring clamps centre them.





Once all this is dry, we start to prepare the drawer cases. Each one of these needs to be square at the sides and parallel all the way through.

The planes I find helpful are these: a rebate jack, a rebate block plane, and a low shoulder plane …





For each drawer case there is a drawer-sized insert, generally of MDF or ply. A couple of cross lines aids in determining whether the drawer will be square to the sides.

The "drawer" here does not enter more than an inch or so …





A straight edge along the side reveals that there is a bow …





The block plane takes this down ..





... tested with the insert. Looking better …





A little more planing ... and the insert moves tightly, but smoothly all the way back-and-forth …





Every drawer case is dealt with this way ...

Square edge ..





Planing ..





Square and insert …









Square and parallel and square …





Every drawer case is tuned this way.

Now we are one step away from making drawers 



Regards from Perth

Derek





January 2021