In keeping with the “don’t spend anything” ethic of this piece, I found some scrap 1/2” boards. Two were longer scraps of baltic birch ply, but there was only enough with the long grain for the 2 sides of each drawer. I had a stack of scraps of the same stuff but with the grain running across the width, so I cut 2 of those down for the backs. The fronts I made from scrap 1/2” construction grade ply. The drawer fronts would cover those up. The bottoms are 1/8” hardboard from a single scrap piece – my last – which was just large enough to cut out both pieces. I love using up scrap entirely!
Here are exciting time-lapse videos of the glue-ups (I don’t know why I felt like filming these):
I let them dry overnight.
I used a simple drawer lock joint cut with the circular saw table. I’ve never made one before, and couldn’t figure out a really simply way – something like routing pins and tails simultaneously. I just had to take careful measurements for the groove that fits over the rabbet, but it came out incredibly flush on all joints.
The cheaper ply on the front faces in the next image will have drawer fronts over them to hide them. The only scrap left for the backs had the grain running the wrong way, but I kind of like it. At the very least, it doesn’t bother me, and I don’t think anyone except someone very familiar with drawer construction would even notice. They’ll be somewhat hidden in the back of the drawers.
There was a slight discrepancy – perhaps as much as an 1/8” – between the left and right drawer holes in the face frame (must have gotten my center stile a little to one side) so these drawers are not identical. They each leave about the same clearance on both sides when put in the proper hole. More on that in the next post on drawer slides.
The drawer fronts are to be inset walnut cut from the same board so the grain flows across. Here they are, cut to size with the handle holes drilled. The walnut was from scrap I had in my wood shed.
Here are the backs. I actually love the deep coloring on the left, and the knot at the right, but after careful consideration, I decided the knot would compete way too much with the drawer handle, and the even look of the other sides won me over. At least I have this picture to remember the backs, as they’ll be glued to the drawers and never seen again.
The handles I bought as possible handles for a cabinet I built a year ago, but went with other ones instead. These two – the only two in this style – have been floating around the shop ever since waiting for a home. I think they look very nice on the dark walnut boards. And that’s still no new money spent on the rolling lathe stand. It’s still all been scrap.
I think I’ll save the drawer slides for another post, because they’re rather involved.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator