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Wall Hung Tool Cabinet #16: The Gang of Three (Drawers)

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 678 days ago 1761 reads 0 times favorited 53 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Material Prep for Panel Doors - With #48 Video Part 16 of Wall Hung Tool Cabinet series Part 17: Tambour Door Install w/ Video »

Wow, long time between installments here (about four months, give or take) so I must get all four of you on-lookers up to speed. :-) The last solid activity on The Wall Hung centered on the two large, upper cabinet door panels along with the grooving of the door frame pieces. There was even a video produced that featured the #48 T&G plane in action, the height of frivolity. From those heady days, there began a long period of malaise regarding the Wall Hung. I had to re-shingle a house and three out buildings due to a hailstorm, and a certain legacy Tool Chest hit the shop floor requiring immediate attention. My eyes turned away from this project; it was left to collect dust.

The cabinet was out of sight (not really, as it’s sitting on my assy bench…) but not out of mind. At one point I milled up poplar from the donor hoosier cabinet to use as drawer fronts within the Rack of Three found inside the main cabinet.

Milling, btw, meant running a long piece through the gauntlet of coarse, medium fine as in jack, jointer and smoothing planes. What emerged was pretty nice, and has effected a decision on the cabinet’s interior: I won’t paint these drawers as originally planned as there’s a steak of grain color running across each of them. A nice touch, I figure. Anyway, I also scavenged and cut to length six pieces of pine ‘stuff’ to use as drawer sides. They each have a drawer-bottom dado already milled in them, saving me that step.

I’ll join the sides to drawer fronts with half-blind dovetails. You’ve seen me do this many times, so I won’t bore anyone with extended commentary. But I will point out what’s become my preferred method of marking dovetails to cut on smaller stock…

These drawers are only 3” high, so there’s not a lot gonna happen with the number of tails to fit in the space. I’ve seen tail layout with dividers, but I haven’t internalized those (easy!, I’m told) steps at this point. What I have done is learned to mark tails using various chisel widths. In other words, for this stuff I picked a 5/8” chisel (Chinese junk, four pictures below is said 5/8” chisel, FWIW… Remind me to search out a 5/8” Everlasting for the beater set…) and marked it as the center tail. A pair of pics show cuts of a drawer pair and all tail cuts made with a clear size difference of middle tail and two side tails being evident.

The side tails were marked using a 3/8” chisel to divide the spaces left on either side of the center tail and marked lines that would finish the layout. I cut the tails freehand; no dovetail marker in my immediate future. Maybe someday, if I starting building fine furniture… Anyway, without further delay, some pictures cutting waste, sawing and chopping pins and final fitting associated with building three-sided drawers.

And three sided drawers started coming together!

Backs are more scavenged poplar for the center, and rough-cut pine for the outside drawers, and ride in a simple dado cut into the side pieces cut with the Goodell-Pratt miter saw. I don’t know much about Goodell-Pratt tools first-hand, but what I’ve seen leads me to believe their tools are to woodworking precision what Starrett is to machinists. Anyway, a bit of fettling got the saw set at the right depth and a simple stop block made the cuts repeatable. Cut one side of the dado on all six pieces, moved the block for another set of cuts that defined the dado at a width matching my back material, then removed the insides with the #271.

With the dados cut, I did one final pass with the mitre saw to cut each drawer side to final length. Why this sequence? I’ve run into a number of instances where the material to the sides of a dado split out while cutting close to the end of the piece. By leaving excess in place, up front, there was no problem. Cuts were easy enough.

But Smitty, you say, How did you cut the dados in the faces of each drawer? Ah, you caught me… I used the table saw, okay? Thought about using the #45, but it’s too much iron. I have a #50 that would perhaps be ideal, but I have need of a second rod before it’s useable. So at the TS I set the fence and made a pair of rip cuts, then did cleanup with chisel. That method made the most sense to me, so it’s what I did. Thanks for asking! Oh, and no pictures. : – )

Moving on.

I have a habit of using Masonite for drawer bottoms, and I’m using it here too. Three sides of each bottom were cut via RAS, each piece was set into a dry-fit drawer, then marked for cut-off of the excess. I’ll hit a small nail through each bottom and into the back (pre-drilling first!) when all is glued up and fit.

No pictures of the actual gluing, sorry, because the phone went inside for a charge. You do get a bonus pic of ‘drawers in clamps’ though! The half-blinds pulled in nice and snug with a single Jorgey applied to each drawer; the backs were coaxed into final position with a bar clamp across the lot of them. All were checked for square before and after clamping with the 6” Craftsman combination square. No issues.

Added bonus was the grain pattern across the faces of the drawers, as mentioned in the opener.

I trimmed the sides by clamping each drawer in the leg vise and taking passes with the #62. I an really liking the niche that tool fills: a heavy, handled, low-angle block plane. Perfect for endgrain applications like this, and it’s length is good when it comes to dressing sides and ends overall.

Fitting complete, I dropped some scrap into the drawer cubbies and took the final picture of this installment. I’ll nail the bottoms and think what pulls to use sometime soon, but for now this is enough. As always, comments welcomed and thanks for looking!

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



53 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11149 posts in 1464 days


#1 posted 678 days ago

Smitty the close up shots of the joinery was a thrill.
Glad to see you are back at what you love. I always have the feel I am standing in a shop about 1910 and the smell of the wood stove is in the air.
A wonderful blog, thank you for your inspiration. Keep up the good work.
I hope all is well with the repairs.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5285 posts in 1222 days


#2 posted 678 days ago

Like a phoenix from the fire, the hoosier rises back. Glad to see some progress, I still look forward, as I imagine you do, to see this bad boy stocked and installed. I may find some inspiration/motivation in it. Thanks for the update, waiting…impatiently I might add, for future installments.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#3 posted 678 days ago

Thank you, Super and Shane, for the encouragement. I’ll say there’s additional progress being made, so hope springs eternal that this project will reach critical mass in 2012. We’ll see. :-)

I will say that tool layout is the most intimidating part of this whole thing. Don’t know exactly how I’ll do any of it, but it’ll be fun to figure it all out.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#4 posted 678 days ago

Robert, thanks very much for stopping by and sharing your insight re: the FansEdge Promo Code. You ‘da man!

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

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4785 posts in 1247 days


#5 posted 678 days ago

I think FansEdge is a new type of dovetail jig. If they have a promo going on, I am all in.

The continuous grain flowing across the drawers fronts is great. Thanks for the update.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#6 posted 678 days ago

Gotta getcher snap-back hat goin’ on…

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

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4785 posts in 1247 days


#7 posted 678 days ago

Don’t be stupid and use it. :^)

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

541 posts in 1123 days


#8 posted 678 days ago

We we wondering what was happening with this project, but in the mean time we had a lot of pleasure looking to the chest rehab.

As always very informative.
I admire the recycling : not only the rough material but also making best use of already existing grooves.

good lesson for me: the extra length for the dados.
trick : one clamp for 3 drawers

It seems you use the 271 for removing all the waste from the dado. Is there a reason for not taking first the bulk of it with a chisel?

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Don W's profile

Don W

14821 posts in 1192 days


#9 posted 678 days ago

this is great. Thanks for taking us along. The shops getting cool up here. Time to get some stove pipe.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#10 posted 678 days ago

Sylvain – Answer for the #271 would have to control of cut (width and depth). I did one pass to all sides, lowered the iron once, and made the final cut. Cleaning dados is just something I use a router plane for, without fail.

Fired up my heater a bit too, last weekend, Don! Cold is coming!

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

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6798 posts in 1775 days


#11 posted 678 days ago

Another great blog with great pictures, thanks for posting Smitty. Can’t wait to see the end product.

That continuous grain on the drawers is going to look really nice but how will that contrast with the rest of the painted cabinet?

I like the creative camping there too!

Boooo, no #45 action shots! Booo…. I just got mine and have had fun cutting some grooves with it. It works great. Don’t be a 45 hater!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#12 posted 678 days ago

Well, right now there’s no paint inside the cabinet at all, so the drawer grain revelation makes it altogether unlikely. The outside carcase ‘sides’ are painted, but the front is cherry with a bit of oak (the tambour, specifically) and that will not be painted either. I think it’ll be an attractive piece, actually.

Hey, I’m on record (note the lower case ‘r’) as being a huge proponent of the #45 multiplane! This drawer stock is daintier than any I’ve worked with before, so in this case I really feel the #50 would have been ideal. Looking forward to getting first-hand experience with it so I’ll know for myself. But definitely not a hater, Maur. You actually inspired me to try cutting some 3/4” dados with it last week… I was foiled by a less-than-perfect nicker hone, but that’s another story. When I do settle on a method, it’s most likely going to involve sawing the sides of the dado and removiing waste via router plane. Because I prep and surface the edges and faces of boards with planes until they’re right, dado cutters set at specific dimensions get in the way a bit.

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

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1494 posts in 896 days


#13 posted 677 days ago

...got my ’Smitty Fix’ on this mornin’ ...gonna’ be a Great day.

...puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step, headed for the shop.

Another Great Blog Smitty, thanks for sharing.

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 Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6798 posts in 1775 days


#14 posted 677 days ago

I’m sure it will look great Smitty.

Just breaking your balls a little Smitty, you cant be a hater if you own one. I havent tried cutting dado’s yet but it does seem like a lot can go wrong. But Mos makes it look doable.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9758 posts in 1242 days


#15 posted 677 days ago

In that case, Maur, I’ll ask you to cut some dados halfway deep along 3/8” stock and let me know how it goes. I’ll follow your lead! lol

Ball busting aside -

I haven’t endeared myself to working thin stock with the multiplane at this point. If I had a sticking board, maybe. Combine thin with short (side pieces were maybe 8” long?) and it’s less likely a dado task leads me to think, “I’ll grab the #45!” :-)

Len, I hope you’re having a great afternoon in your shop! Thanks for stopping by!

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

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