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. : – )
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 --