Penguin Tool Chest #2: Routes and Many Dovetails

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Blog entry by bobasaurus posted 10-17-2011 02:07 AM 2805 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Design and Milling Part 2 of Penguin Tool Chest series Part 3: Turquoise and Internal Dividers »

I wanted this toolchest to be fairly traditional, so I worked on the setup for wooden runners early in the build. I used a 1/2” router bit to make dados that run most of the length of the side panels, stopping 3/8” shy of the front. This involved very delicate adjustments and stop-block placements:

The dados will give extra support for the runners, and make them easier to position. I also routed a sliding dovetail for a horizontal divider, and a normal dado for the plywood bottom to the top box/shelf thing.

I made the stupid mistake of routing into not just one, but TWO of my pocket screws :(. Fortunately, the carbide MLCS bit worked like an end mill and sheared right through the heads of the screws, leaving the bit unscratched. Hopefully I’ll learn to watch my screw placements in the future.

Next I started on some of the many dovetails in this project. The sides and bottom are joined by hand-cut (with some help from the bandsaw for the tails) through-dovetails:

Next came the large half-blind dovetails for the top rails. I changed to half-blind from my initial design of through dovetails in order to hide the dado for a plywood bottom. These were also hand/bandsaw cut:

Test-fitting the dovetails give me a slightly tool-chest-looking thing:

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

4 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2645 days

#1 posted 10-18-2011 05:34 PM

Bob – very cool to see what’s a close parallel to a project I did over the summer, specifically the different ways we each went about making it (panel glue ups, joining, stopped dados, drawer assemblies, etc.)

Click for details

I’ll be following this one. Nice work so far!

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

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3592 days

#2 posted 11-06-2011 01:14 PM

Not damaging the router bit is a good thing. You could remove the pocket screws after the glue has dried or consider not using them at all as the glue joint is more than strong enough.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View bobasaurus's profile


3486 posts in 3211 days

#3 posted 11-06-2011 06:07 PM

Yeah, the glue joint is likely strong enough on it’s own. I just like the kreg jig enough that I use it even when I don’t need to. A biscuit jointer would have worked better for this application, though, if I really needed extra strength at all.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2867 days

#4 posted 12-10-2012 09:04 PM

Looking good.

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

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