Tool Chest Refurb #10: Drawers need Runners...

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 11-24-2012 06:07 AM 2289 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: It's What's Inside that Counts, Right? Part 10 of Tool Chest Refurb series Part 11: Best Saturday Use of Mock-ups... »

Started the day’s activity concentrating effort on the sliding shelf that will separate the till section from the undivided bottom well of the chest. Glue scraping with the #82, then a check for flat with the winding stick.

One isolated area of glue residue I can’t get to. If it were tear-out, I’d have an issue. This ain’t that, but it still bugs me. So the bedrock #4C gives way to the #2.

Took the glued-up, cleaned up panel over to the chest and was surprised at what I found:

Yes, that’s the panel not reaching from one side of the chest to the other. Didn’t think to check the length of the heart pine ‘salvage’... Really thought it was long enough… So now I have to come up with a plan that ‘stretches’ the panel OR go back to start with material ID, planing, glue up, etc. etc. Yuck.

Even though the panel material is only 1/2” thick, it’s hard stuff. I decided to try breadboarding the ends, because at this point there wasn’t much to lose. I used the material cut off the width of the panel for this proof of concept exercise.

I set the blade of the table saw to cut a tab at the end of the board, and cleaned up the saw marks with the #92 shoulder plane.

The completed tab then needed a new end-piece home, and for that I used the (very dusty) tenoning jig I bought about four years ago at a woodworking show. A little fettling and I was able to find a setting that allowed me to flip the board and get a cut to match the tab.

Now that I knew what I was doing, and the result was nice and rigid, I repeated the process at each end of the real sliding shelf at the table saw (tabs and grooves) and bench (#92 and glue up).

Added sand bags to keep it straight while clamped up.

After lunch it was clear I had successfully stretched the panel and could move on with something else. :-)

The shelf rides 6” from the floor of the chest, on a pair of 1/2” x 1/2” runners. Installed those, cut the shelf to length (snuck up on said length with several trips to the RAS) and had a slider!

The drawings show a pull-up (vertical) saw till that rides inside the front wall of the chest, and is 2” deep. The shelf runners were kept 2” from the wall, and provided the reference for a mark square from the floor that sets the front limit of the remaining sidewall runners I’ll be installing.

The first runner is an L-shaped assembly of a base piece to the 7/8” thick side board.It’s glued and screwed, and building a pair of them from the milled stuff wasn’t an issue.

I cut that side board plus the 1/2” pieces that stack on top of it to their final 14” length and had a look at the end result.

I decided the resulting shelf surface for the middle drawer wasn’t beefy enough, so the pair of 1/2” boards got re-thickened the old fashioned way.

With the pieces all cut, it was time to install. The inside of the chest handles are ‘bump-outs’ to the inside surface of the chest, so I marked their location on the inside faces of the 7/8” runner boards and routed out material to prevent the clenched handle hardware from interfering anymore.

And because the same 7/8” thick runner board needed to mate fully with the inside face of the chest, and said chest was planed rough and put away wet, a flush fit was possible after I coved the 7/8” runner with the cambered #5. Some pencil lines across the inside face of the board lets me concentrate on only ‘hollowing’ the board’s area between the edges.

After planing this way, you can see only the edges of the pencil lines remain.

I predrilled all holes to include recessed headspace, then used 1” slotted screws to pull the chest insides together. The 1/2” runners under the sliding shelf were waxed prior to attaching the to the chest, and the underside of the 7/8” assy was waxed with the same sequence. I used a sheet of laminated paper to set a small but consistent gap between the shelf and the 7/8” runner board, too. Why did I have a laminated sheet of paper that handy in my shop? I don’t know, really, but it was better than using a piece of sandpaper, regular paper or cardboard / pasteboard, I decided. :-)

So at this point, I have the chest structure done and ready for sliding tills.

I’m liking what I see (even though the picture makes it appear the runners are way out of ‘level’ from left to right… they’re not, I promise! :-) ) it was a good day of progress, and I’m ready to build drawers! As always, thanks for looking!

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

10 comments so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2802 days

#1 posted 11-24-2012 09:59 AM

Nice Smitty, love the “streching” of the board !
That’s a save for sure..

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2589 days

#2 posted 11-24-2012 12:32 PM

A good read. I love following along.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2076 days

#3 posted 11-24-2012 01:01 PM

great save….with the grain that way it should slide easier back and forth.

-- Joel

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15366 posts in 2640 days

#4 posted 11-24-2012 02:22 PM

And all the work of the ‘stretch’ is hidden under the runner… Question on my mid is whether the drawer depths I’m left with are enough to be useful. If not, a mod to a two-drawer model is likely.

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

View Brad's profile


1139 posts in 2762 days

#5 posted 11-24-2012 03:57 PM

Nice post Smitty. Excellent photography. Especially like the admission of the too-short panel and how you overcame it with the breadboard solution. Believe me when I tell you that you’re not alone in such “how did that happen?” moments?

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View bhog's profile


2236 posts in 2712 days

#6 posted 11-24-2012 04:16 PM

Great stuff Smitt.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2862 days

#7 posted 11-24-2012 04:27 PM

Smitty I love the action shots of all those tools. You are the man.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15366 posts in 2640 days

#8 posted 11-24-2012 05:41 PM

Hopefully i can move the focus to the chest, with completion, vs. just playing with old tools. :-). Thanks, fellas. More to report soon.

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

View AnthonyReed's profile


9751 posts in 2462 days

#9 posted 11-25-2012 06:26 PM

Your adaptability and ability to continually muster undaunted forward progress is astounding.

Edit: Removed my question, being that it is answered in the next segment.

Thanks Smitty.

-- ~Tony

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3111 days

#10 posted 11-25-2012 09:52 PM

Looks really good.
Best thoughts,

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

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