Working with recycled timber #38: AKs ToolMakers Chest Drawer Making Pt 3

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 03-04-2015 08:07 AM 1498 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 37: AKs ToolMakers Chest Thicknessing Pt 2 Part 38 of Working with recycled timber series Part 39: AKs ToolMakers Chest Tweeking the joints Pt 4 »

Today saw a full day designing and making the drawers for the toolMakers Chest.

From the offcuts supplied I ripped and thicknessed lots of timber to make the frames for the nine drawers.

3 x full width and 6 x half width.

This was the plan rip stock joint it and thicknesss it rebate the frames for the drawer bases and dovetail joint them all together.

The plan worked but not completely, it did not work fully for a couple of reasons, firstly I should not have rebated the timber for the drawer bases before doing the joints.

The reason being its almost impossible to preposition each piece exactly in the middle of the Gifkins Dovetail Jig jig and,

Attempting to dovetail timber less than 40mm does not produce a nice looking joint,I think finger joints would be more applicable.

In hindsight I would consider the need for at least three pins or three tails to make a suitable joint, and as a dovetail bit is about 15mm diameter this puts a suitable joint in timber at 35mm +.

My Gifkins dovetail jig is not designed to be used with timber 40 mm width or below.

This is a picture of the rear of the Jig where I had to pack out the area between the locks to enable the clamp to hold correctly.

Looking at the front the clamp arrangment is also a bit dodgy

So I am of the belief that if you are jointing anything smaller than 40 mm that one should not consider Dovetailing as a means of jointing.

Tasks, tomorrow its a rebuild of the six small drawers, for no other reason other than that I was not completely happy with the results and cutting the rebates first up was a fail, as there was too much missalignment at assembly.

Here is all my days work.

The three full width drawers at 40mm height.

They will survive.

And a couple of shots of the six smaller drawers destined for rework.

Just goes to show after many years of wood working you can always learn something new when making projects if you try to build from concept drawings.

-- Regards Robert

3 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#1 posted 03-04-2015 03:39 PM

It certainly looks ok, though I would rather use my scroll saw for dovetails Rob. Stock thickness is not an issue nor are the dovetail sizes, and while it isn’t quite as fast as using a dovetail jig it is still pretty quick and easy if the work process is efficient.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9325 posts in 3470 days

#2 posted 03-04-2015 07:39 PM

Nice job!


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View robscastle's profile


3288 posts in 1622 days

#3 posted 03-04-2015 09:10 PM

Thanks for the replies,

After shutting up for the day I spent some time on the net looking to see it there was any workshop practices advising when Dovetails made on a jig have any material width restrictions.

There is no doubt the structural functionality along with cosmetics is improved as the amount of dovetails increases.

I didnt find anything relating to my question so I guess it comes down to experience and commonsense when, and when not to use, a particular type of joint, this going hand in hand with the facilities you have available to reproduce them.

p.s. I didnt realise it at the time but by default I have provided a good example of when to use them by capturing my Gifkins Dovetail Jig Box in the background!

-- Regards Robert

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