After dry fitting the legs and stretcher I moved on to glueing things together.
Wedges were pounded into the tenons. I never really put much thought into making thin wedges so when it came time to make some, I was at a loss. I wound up using the tapering jig on the table saw to rip thin, tapered strips to use as wedges. It was probably not the most efficient or creative way to make them. Anyone have a good way to make thin wedges?
Cutting the wedges off and sanding them smooth was also an exercise in patience. The beveled ends of the tenons suffered a little bit of round over from the sanding and I wound up adding a wedge on the top and bottom of the mortise as the tenons didn’t open up as much as I expected. All in all, though, I’m satisfied with the end result.
The legs and stretcher construction is finished. I will pull out the sprayer and give the whole thing a final coat when the drawer framing is installed.
On to the drawer framing.
Cutting the back apron and drawer framing was relatively straightforward. I started with the back apron and the front stub aprons then measured the exact lengths for the drawer supports. After those were cut, I did some math to work out the drawer size and spacing and cut the spacers to length. From there, I switched to a ¼” dado stack on the table saw and cut the mortises and tenons, checking things as I went along.
If you look closely, you can see that the fronts have a 1-1/2” x 1/2” notch in the top and bottom where they will be sandwiched between the upper and lower front apron pieces. The apron pieces are separated with a 1-1/2” tall spacer block that is secured to the stub apron piece which is the glued into the leg with a mortise and tenon. Rather than use wood screws, I plan to use the small Miller dowels to hold things together. Most of it will be hidden but I think a glued dowel will be as strong or stronger than using a wood screw.
While I had the dado stack on the table saw, I also cut the slots for the drawer slide bars. I also decided to install a walnut bottom to hide the power cords that will be run through the back of the framing. The groove extends the full length from front to back so I can move it out of the way to get to the cords then move it back in place and hide all of the cords. The drawers will extend within ½” of the spacers.
A 2” hole was drilled though the back section of each of the drawer supports for cords to run through.
As the pieces were completed, they were clamped to the base to make sure everything fits together. Once again, you can never have too many clamps.
Everything was sanded and prefinished. I like it when a plan works and things go smoothly. This was probably the easiest part of the whole project. It is always easier when you can cut things and fit them together as you go. They key is getting the sequence right so you don’t miss something and have to do it over.
The drawer framing will have to wait to be installed until the walnut plywood cut, sanded, and finished since the slots are closed on both ends. I will also need to make the slides when I make the drawer boxes. Another thing to remember: since the front aprons are only 1/2” thick, the drawer supports will need to be attached to the desk top with figure 8 connectors. Otherwise, the weight of the drawers will cause the front apron to sag.
-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"