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Building the Drawer

I had a couple of hours after work today and got into the workshop. Just in case there is any idea that my shop is the show piece in my reviews ...

That has been a lot of shavings to create when the temperature has been over a 100 F for the last week or so.

Anyway, onto the slips and the drawer bottom. The slips are going onto three sides. The fourth is where the panel slides in (and so screwed). The Kauri panel is a little over 5/16" thick and feels pretty stiff, so I have decided to go without a dividing muntin (there is still time to change this, so tell me if you believe otherwise).

Fitting the slips:

This Stanley mitrebox does a great job ..

.. and then the ends are shot, more to trim to length than for a finish ..

Here is the first piece inserted ..

.. and the other sides are the same as this ..

Now at this stage I ran out of time, so the drawer bottom was not sized for insertion. This is what I have (and why I write earlier that I can still add a mullon should I choose - I will next get to the workshop on the weekend).

On the other hand I did get to plane down the sides of the drawer - everyone wants to see The Dovetails! :)

For drawers I fit the front and rear faces to the drawer opening, so these dimensions must not change. The side panels are purposely a little proud and need to be planed flush to the sides.

I love it when the dovetails start to acquire a definition ..

The rear through dovetails ...

.. and the front half-blind dovetails (they are spaced to match the dovetail spacing at the top of the cabinet) ..

Discussion at Wood Central:

Bill Tilldale: What I was taught (by someone making a living making furniture) was that there is no load on the back of a drawer,and it is never seen. Its only function is to hold the sides together. Therefore, the drawer back can have few dovetails, widely spaced. Also, the drawer back is lower in height than the drawer sides so that there is no risk of it binding over time.

Andrew: The other reason that the drawer back is cut lower than the side is to give the air somewhere to go as you close/open the drawer. With the drawer well fitted, and IF the back was the same height as the front, you'd have a devil of a time opening and closing the drawer.

Regards from Perth


January 2010