How would you join this project?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by NBeener posted 10-07-2009 06:12 PM 1467 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

10-07-2009 06:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dresser jointery question

Hi there!

I hope the three-page .pdf doc will open, but will put a Plan B in place, in case.


I already built the storage bench. My wife put on urethane coat #2, this morning.

She loves the piece, though, and has asked me to scale it to make a TV stand/dresser.

So I did (the graph paper sheet. 1 square = 2 inches). The layout and dimensions seem to work out just fine, and I’ve been able to manage a “cut list” from it, but …

The original is built with pocket screws. Does anybody have any recommendations about whether pocket screws are still the right way to go with a much larger version of the same thing? If not, is there a better way to join this project? Though I have limited experience with any of this stuff, I now have a router, a comprehensive set of bits, a jointer, and a PC dovetail jig. I am not afraid, although I AM dangerous ;-)[

Plan B: Here’s the original storage bench:

I simply scaled it to a 5’ high version with a total (including top and bottom panels) of 5 shelves.



-- -- Neil

20 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3542 days

#1 posted 10-07-2009 06:39 PM

Hey Neil
Al ot of people would use biscuits or even screws with plugs ,but I would dado out the sides and glue it up.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 10-07-2009 06:51 PM

Thank you, Jim.

Would you do the same (dado + glue) for the uprights, too, or does that take too much away from structural integrity?

Also (I’ve bought a big stack of ww ref books, so … I can look into this, but), I presume buying my first dado stack (pant, pant) is easier than doing this sort of thing by router (particularly when I don’t yet have a table for it)??

Thanks again!

-- -- Neil

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3542 days

#3 posted 10-07-2009 06:59 PM

Hey Neil
You will be fine grooving or rabitting out for the uprights. You can do both with a router if you have the right size bit. A good locking guide makes it easier. Many people use a dado blade in there table saw so if you wanted to buy one anyhow go for it. I like the router approach because I can see were the Dado or groove is being cut.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 10-07-2009 07:06 PM

yo with him jim !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

#5 posted 10-07-2009 07:14 PM

Many thanks to you both!

My gut tells me I will get the dado stack for the sides, and then use a router+guide for the uprights. Two new skills figgered out.

Once I get started on this thing, I’ll blog it….

-- -- Neil

View Mauritius's profile


96 posts in 3191 days

#6 posted 10-07-2009 07:26 PM

Definitely a good idea to use both the router and the dado for the sake of figuring it out. I think that knowing when to use one vs the other is a huge skill that you can really only learn through experience (I’m getting there…) Personally I’m usually more comfortable with the dado and a TS sled. I have a good router, but setting up the straight edges/guides and making sure tearout isn’t a problem leaves a lot more things that I can screw up.

If I was going to do this (and I’ve never done anything to that scale) I would probably use rabbets for the edges and biscuits for the cross pieces. I tend to pick the most fool-proof method if appearances aren’t a consideration, and you can’t get much more fool-proof than a biscuit cutter.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#7 posted 10-07-2009 08:32 PM

I agree with Jim that dado is the best way. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with that skill, I think screws and plugs would be a perfectly acceptable solution.

I cannot see your drawing, but here is an important piece of advice in case you didn’t include it in your design: Add a 3rd set of legs right in the center…. otherwise, you are quite likely to get some noticeable sagging over time once you load it up.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

#8 posted 10-07-2009 10:26 PM

Thanks, Mauritius. Thanks, Charlie.

The third leg idea is a great one. I definitely overlooked that. The thought is that we’ll use baskets, and nothing more than clothes will be in the baskets, but … better safe than sorry.

I’m generally not opposed to picking up a new tool (I presume biscuit joiners are the only practical way….), so I’ll have to look at the biscuit concept.

At this point, I’m guessing that there are quite a few right answers and that … whichever looks preferable to me (fear factor, having appropriate tools, picking up a new skill, etc.) is as good a way to decide as any.

Thanks again!

-- -- Neil

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3269 days

#9 posted 10-08-2009 12:20 AM

well it sounds like its under control…so ill leave my 2 cents in the cookie jar…what ever they said and a twist and turn here and there….if ya have any problems…get out the glue and caulk…...glad i could haelp ya out…lol…..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

#10 posted 10-08-2009 03:38 AM

Grizzman? I was shaky ‘til you chimed in :-)

Thanks, Bud!

I also just “found out about” the mysterious stopped dado. I’ll have to look into that one. Sadly, my wife saw it at the same time as me … and … liked it….

-- -- Neil

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3702 days

#11 posted 10-08-2009 04:01 AM

I think I would go with sliding dovetails.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

#12 posted 10-08-2009 04:52 AM

John: After taking five minutes to watch this Fine Woodworking video ON sliding dovetails ...
I believe I may have wet myself just a tiny bit.

While the outcome would be really elegant and nuke-proof strong … I just dunno’ if I could do what that guy just did. I’ll look at some more info on the sliding dovetail, though, and give it some thought.

Many thanks!

[EDIT: I found another site or two that make it look FAR less difficult than I thought, watching the video … ‘specially since I DID buy a P-C dovetail jig!

I panicked. What can I say? ;-)]

-- -- Neil

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3451 days

#13 posted 10-08-2009 05:45 AM

in life as in woodworking, everything sags. hehe, i just had to say it. a third leg will stop that problem. as my plummer uncle was fond of saying, everything leaks. he thought that was being cute. his wife didn’t. i can’t see your plan set but the popular woodworking plan used pocket screws, which works, but i think they would show too much for your project. just my $0.02. if you cut grooves and rabbets, be sure to account for their measurement. I have been known to cut a panel a half inch too short….., a 1/4” on each end.

ps, Mr. Ormsby suggestion would really look sweet.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3139 days

#14 posted 10-08-2009 06:06 AM

David: Thanks. On the short bench, the pocket screws won’t show at all, but … I tend to agree with you on a 5’ high project.

Very good advice on counting the grooves and rabbets in the dimensions. I’ll modify that scale drawing to account for whichever joins I go with.

I’m going to pull the manual on my P-C 4212 jig (new in box), and see whether/how it would do the sliding dovetails. Maybe….

Incidentally, I tried to re-scan my drawing. It seems much more readable now.


-- -- Neil

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3259 days

#15 posted 10-08-2009 06:21 AM

I think that if you dado them you will still want a strong back piece to keep everything from wanting to rack left to right. Actually if there is a back piece (plywood) to this, that would be where your strength would come from. You could rabbit that into the backs of the whole project for a real nice fit, then glue and brad. Sliding dovetails would be the best but I certainly could not do them well enough with my setup so I can’t recommend.

-- LAS,

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics