Building a Dr. White's Chest #5: Case Legs

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 05-04-2013 12:28 PM 1989 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Face Frame Part 5 of Building a Dr. White's Chest series Part 6: Trim »

Case Legs

Watch this video to view the leg construction and track my progress on the face frame. I like legs that are cut in two planes on a tall case like Dr. White’s chest. This gives the legs a more fully formed look. I used a wider lower rail with a mortise and tenon joint at the base of the face frame rather than a narrow piece with a dovetail joint. Our vacuum floor attachment will still reach under the face of the case to suck up dust balls!

The sides of the original Dr. White’s chest are solid to the floor with the leg profile cut only in the front. I took this approach on my seven-drawer dresser. While I like the look on that case, I found that my wood floor is uneven in that spot. Shimming the case level would be simpler with only four contact points. It boils down to personal taste.

View of the front right leg. NOTE: I made the leg cuts, both curved and straight, with a Bosch jig saw.

Completed Leg Reinforcement

Watch this video to see the completed leg reinforcement. Moving can be very tough on a large case piece. It’s wise to reinforce each leg with a backer block. I made mine from 8/4 stock and trimmed it to a 45 degree angle so the block wouldn’t be visible.

Alternative Approach

An alternative means of forming the leg in the front involves gluing a strip of wood directly to the inside edge of the stile. If you’ve got plenty of wood, the stile could start out full width and trim off the 65” of excess above the foot. The mortise would then be cut into that strip.

This photo shows the alternative approach used on a wardrobe I built in 1990. I’m not sure which approach I like better…

What’s Next?

In the next blog entry, we’ll explore how to make case trim.

-- Mark, Minnesota

3 comments so far

View stefang's profile


16130 posts in 3534 days

#1 posted 05-04-2013 06:17 PM

Always fun to see your good work and explanation of the details Mark.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 05-04-2013 06:24 PM

It’s looking good. I haven’t seen this before so perhaps I need to backtrack on this blog.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View DustyMark's profile


347 posts in 2270 days

#3 posted 05-04-2013 08:30 PM

Thanks Mike and Charles. Real-time update = I fine-tuned the door installation two nights ago. I’m a children’s pastor and out of the shop for a couple of days working with kids at a weekend event.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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