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Drawers and Porter Cable dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by mikeber posted 09-15-2016 01:08 PM 272 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mikeber

9 posts in 324 days


09-15-2016 01:08 PM

Recently, I purchased a Porter Cable 12” dovetail jig. Among other things, I planned cutting half blind dovetails for a few drawers in a chest. (This topic may have been discussed in the past, but I couldn’t find an answer).
Initially, I wanted to attach slides on both sides of the drawers. However, the slides are 1/2” thick, which requires rabbets be cut on both sides of the front panels.
Q: How can I cut the half blind dovetails with the jig if there are 1/2” rabbets on both sides?
Alternately, I considered using under mount drawer slides, but with floating drawer bottoms made of 1/4” plywood, it doesn’t seem a solid solution.


6 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#1 posted 09-15-2016 01:59 PM

I have not actually done the rabbeted dovetails, but IIRC the manual describes how to do it. You don’t cut the pins and tails at the same time. The wider drawer face hides the dovetails, sort of a false half blind.

The other option is to build a square box with half blinds and then add a false front. That is what I have done in the past.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1753 posts in 602 days


#2 posted 09-15-2016 02:05 PM

I did the same thing only used dadoes to ride on rails instead of slide hardware.

I just cut the dadoes after doing the dovetails before glue up. I just left the proud portion since it didn’t interfere with anything but you can see it would be a simple matter to chisel the waste out.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1135 posts in 176 days


#3 posted 09-15-2016 02:29 PM

you could use concealed undermount drawer slides ?

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

818 posts in 384 days


#4 posted 09-15-2016 05:09 PM

mikeber,

I have a Craftsman dovetail jig for cutting half bind dovetails. I think the Craftsman and Porter Cable jigs are similar when it comes to positioning the template. It has been a while since I have cut half blind dovetails in a rabbeted drawer front, but there are bushings on my Craftsman jig and I suspect a bushing or similar spacers on the Porter Cable jig that are used to offset the template for cutting the rabbeted drawer front. The offset would have to be removed if the dovetails are also cut in the draw back. As suggested, checking the manual for rabbeted half blind dovetails should specify the proper width of the rabbet and how to set the jig for this cut.

I use Knapp and Vogt (KV) under mount drawer slides where the cabinet and drawer components are married together. This requires a ½” space from the bottom edge of the drawer sides and the underside of the drawer bottom. The draw-side of the KV slides lock into clips installed on the front lip of the drawer front and the rear of the slide slips into a hole drilled in the back of the drawer box, leaving the weight of the drawer and its contents resting on the drawer slide. I have seen no problems with ¼” drawer bottoms resting on the slides, but a ½” thick drawer bottom would add some strength. There may be other styles of under mount drawer slides that are two part slides, where the drawer part mounts to the sides of the drawer box, but I do not know.

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sawdustdad

131 posts in 349 days


#5 posted 09-15-2016 05:49 PM

I’m pretty sure all of the dovetail jigs I’ve used (craftsman, P/C and Rockler and Leigh) have instructions for rabbeted dovetails. But it’s been like 20 years since I’ve cut them. Most of my projects have flush fit drawers, and even when I do use drawer slides (cabinets for example), I use a separate drawer front. The separate front has some advantages in fitting the drawer front inside the opening, as you can move it around a little to center it even if the drawer box/slides are off a little (usually this is vertically).

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Any board cut to length has a 50% probability of being too short.

View mikeber's profile

mikeber

9 posts in 324 days


#6 posted 09-15-2016 07:11 PM

Great advise from all posters!
Yes, upon further inspection I found a section for “rabetted half blind dovetails” in the PC instruction manual.
The suggestions for using dados and the one for under mounted slides are also interesting.
On a separate note, I watched a YouTube video by someone who took a different approach: they built the entire drawer on a 3/4 birch plywood bottom which serves as foundation. The sides are then glued into rabbets at the edges. It gives the entire drawer a very solid feel.

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