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Misc. Shop Stuff #61: Nail (Screw) Cabinet - Turning Drawer Fronts into Drawers

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 07-05-2017 12:24 PM 1448 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 60: It Might Be, It Could Be... A Kerfing Plane? Part 61 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 62: Shapleigh Ephemera »

When we left off (last December!), the internal dividers had been set on this piece and I was debating adding the external framing that’s been completed for some time. Before getting into that discussion, I’ll pass along this update: A fellow LJ (OldFart) gifted me a block of spalted maple probably 2+ years ago that I’ve been holding onto for the right project. Good News, this is the project. After some resewing and fiddling about, Drawer Fronts came from the maple chunk.

That was in February and that’s how the cabinet (?) remained until the 4th of July holiday.

What happened that brought the piece back to working status? In a word: Material. Specifically, I came across eight short (identical) pieces of pine that led to a eureka moment… they were long enough, wide enough, and when resawn would result in sixteen drawer side blanks. Perfect for eight drawers, right? Okay, game on!

First, kerf cuts at the table saw.

Then a pass for each board at the bandsaw.

Smooth away the center waste with the venerable Stanley #4 (a workout in my uncooled shop in July!).

Then a check to confirm the fronts were beefy enough to support half blind dovetails to attach sides.

The sides aren’t perfect matches for thickness, despite my best guess at setting the fence on the table saw. No biggie, that just means marking them to fronts to ensure depth of half blinds matches each piece of side stock. All the boards were dovetailed as a single step, and gang cutting two at a time was definitely the way to go.

Oh, and the layout for the tails is done freehand by tracing both sides of a chisel in three places on the boards’ ends. Angled cuts are whatever comes of the saw. I’ve shown pics of the process in previous blogs (that are likely useless now thanks to PHOTO ‘CHUM’ BUCKET, but that’s another story). Meanwhile, here are all the tools used for dovetailing, all laid out on the benchtop.

The ‘results’ pile.

I’ve mentioned at least a few times that this kind of drawer making is one of my fave woodworking activities and it’s still true. Doing small half blinds in somewhat punky, spalted maple is it’s own kind of special activity. That said, things are about half way now on putting sides to front.

So the tasks remaining to complete drawers are apparent: four more fronts, then figure out what do do for bottoms and backs, make work that results in eight sliding drawers of the proper depth and overall fit. Gee, wonder if that will take another six months? :-) Stay tuned, and thanks for looking!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --



14 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

16750 posts in 2759 days


#1 posted 07-05-2017 12:30 PM

That’s gonna look killer Smitty! Resawing and a bunch of half blinds in a day is solid progress for sure.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

9276 posts in 2193 days


#2 posted 07-05-2017 01:03 PM

Wonderful blog and beautiful results.

Thank you Smitty.

-- ~Tony

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1648 posts in 2025 days


#3 posted 07-05-2017 05:56 PM

...go 4th and make drawers.

Looking good Smitty.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14638 posts in 2371 days


#4 posted 07-05-2017 07:14 PM

Thanks fellas, will ‘endeavor to persevere.’ :-) Yesterday was a good day, but a bunch of things to tackle before I get to the fun part of applying pulls and hanging it on the wall!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8970 posts in 2204 days


#5 posted 07-05-2017 08:01 PM

I would assume the drawers will be sub divided? Maybe even two layers by way of trays? It does look really good.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6823 posts in 2351 days


#6 posted 07-05-2017 08:02 PM

Whoa, that is looking nice? Old Fart has good wood still, lol…couldn’t resist.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8970 posts in 2204 days


#7 posted 07-05-2017 08:10 PM

Surprised you noticed Shane!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14638 posts in 2371 days


#8 posted 07-05-2017 08:12 PM


I would assume the drawers will be sub divided? Maybe even two layers by way of trays? It does look really good.

- theoldfart

Just thinking of this -given the amount of work already needed to make each drawer, period- gives me a headache. The drawers are actually quite small already, something not apparent looking at the pics. Dividers would be great, sliders too, but would the added build complexity pay off in light of the hours it’d take?

Shane, OF’s wood speaks for itself, I have nothing to add.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8970 posts in 2204 days


#9 posted 07-05-2017 08:17 PM

I’m actually very good at dreaming up work for everyone, except me of course! I didn’t quite grasp the scale, went back and looked, I see what you mean. Carry on.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

5237 posts in 2375 days


#10 posted 07-06-2017 10:33 AM

That’s going to be beautiful Smitty. I love the spalted maple and it’s a gift from a friend. I have a question for you: Did you have any areas of “punkiness” that worried you structurally? I ask because I have a good bit of the stuff that looks great but I worry it is just too punky, too spongy, too far gone.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14638 posts in 2371 days


#11 posted 07-06-2017 11:40 AM

In a word, Yo, yes. There was quite a bit of punky wood in the piece as I was resewing it. The good news is, most of it was addressed (re: removed) at that time. There are bits left, and that also entered into the thought process for half blinds vs. butts vs. rabbet joints for the drawer sides.

I’ve done four drawers via half blinds, or eight sides with three tails each for twenty four recesses in the maple. There have been two blowouts of punk that had to be glued back in after the chiseling was done.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

5237 posts in 2375 days


#12 posted 07-06-2017 03:32 PM

I don’t know if I dreamt it, read it somewhere, or actually had an original thought, but I have considered soaking the punky wood with superglue prior to processing. However, I am just not sure what this would do to blade edges. It may or may not be a good idea.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View FoundSheep's profile

FoundSheep

136 posts in 209 days


#13 posted 07-09-2017 02:28 PM

Looking very fine Smitty, the contrasts between all the woods is great.

-- -Will, FoundSheep Designs

View mafe's profile

mafe

11583 posts in 2842 days


#14 posted 07-10-2017 09:06 AM

Fantastic wood, really love the front.
Fine work there, plenty of repetition, skills will grow and grow.
Big smile,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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