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Forum topic by Mark Shymanski posted 10-31-2010 06:44 AM 1357 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3713 days

10-31-2010 06:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shaping router tablesaw

A1Jim was wondering if advice given is ever really used by some of us newer woodworkers, I am here to confirm that yes indeed some of us actually use the tips and are incredibly grateful for the more experience folks who share their wisdom and experience with us!

I am slowly bumbling my way through making some cabinets (an painfully long and drawn out process that my fantastic wife is putting up with!). Part of my problem has been the very poor fit of drawer bottoms. I measure, I cut, I fit, I recut, I buy more wood….etc. Not to blame my TS because it isn’t it’s fault I can’t seem to get it into my head that the dimension for the drawer bottom is something other than the outside dimension of the drawer or the inside dimension for that matter. I intellectually know it should be the inside dimension plus twice the depth of the dado the drawer will sit in (one dado each side). Yet when I go to cut that elusive measure I get something that is considerably less than what I am supposed to get…no matter I give up on the TS method and decide to use my router in the table set up as a jointer to trim off small amounts of the drawer bottom until I get to the correct dimension!!! The router/jointer setup was recommended by several folks here and I’d read those posts and filed it away in that frightening place called my memory…and lo and behold I remembered it when I needed it and it worked exactly as described and how I hoped it would!!!! I am pumped that such a straightforward tip so greatly improved the outcome of my drawer and my confidence in finishing this project! So for all of you folks whom are posting tips and wondering if your just typing to hear your keyboard click, know that at least one LJ is raptly paying attention and is immensely grateful for the knowledge so willingly shared here!!!!

I need to figure out how to take pictures and transfer them from the various camera thingys we have here so I can post more pictures… so I could post this solutions to show you all how it worked.

Thanks again LJs!!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

17 replies so far

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3312 days

#1 posted 10-31-2010 02:40 PM

Mark, glad to hear your cabinets and drawers are going forward in a positive direction now.

I learn a ton from this site. I have or used to be pretty much only a guy with basic carpentry skills and not much confidence in anything to do with fine wworking, but I knew I really liked working with tools and having the right tools for the job.

Now with a modest investment I have learned to mill lumber, square it, and actually produce better looking work, and don’t mind trying my hand at some things that not too long ago would have been out of the question and way over my head skill wise.

It is because of all the input on forum topics and those that have skillfully answered my questions and shared their expertise and experience. I too am very grateful, as are the vendors that have upgraded my entire shop!!:)

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 3369 days

#2 posted 10-31-2010 03:02 PM

Being a newbie to woodworking, I have asked many silly questions at the loss of some self respect…LOL. I have goten a ton of info from some very experienced LJ’s that have helped me progress… I have never had any formal woodworking training, and when I tried to register fot a woodworking class at our Counties Vocational school, they did away with the class. So all I have for info is my magazines, my woodwhisper guild membership, and Lumber Jocks. Between the 3 I manage to get alittle better every project.
That being said, I am very glad I found LJ’s. I would have a lot of expensive tooth picks, if I hadn’t.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4077 days

#3 posted 10-31-2010 05:50 PM

oh boy this is an understatement…I truly dont think I would have kept going without this place…I started on a memory of my wonderful shop classes in middle school with no tools 4 years ago…and like so many other hobbies who knows if I would have dropped this one too…

now I am still going…with a shop full of tools and a little more skill—-none of which would have come without LJ’s…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View hairy's profile


2704 posts in 3532 days

#4 posted 10-31-2010 06:51 PM

It’s not only advice. I get inspired here, motivated, new ways to see the same old thing. I really get more than I give here.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3713 days

#5 posted 10-31-2010 07:03 PM

I hear you hairy, a lot more than put in from my perspective. Look at us new folks building boats, beds, and bookcases all with skills and confidence learned here (I think to truly loose self respect you’d have to not ask the questions and deal with an inferior project knowing that great help is just a few key strokes away ;-).

Thanks all for the responses, lets get building something!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2926 days

#6 posted 11-01-2010 02:24 AM

I really appreciate the ideas and solutions here as well.

I happened upon this site at a bit of a “down” time for us, this past year has been really hard on our horse business, and the information and ability to view other’s advice and projects really picked my spirits up.

Seems like it is turning around for us, but I am more linked to woodworking now than I have been in the past 10 years.

I also appreciate what is offered freely on a daily basis. :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View juanabee's profile


109 posts in 3008 days

#7 posted 11-04-2010 10:52 PM

Most of my projects have benefitted from advice I got from people on this site. It’s very profitable for a new woodworker to ask questions here. You just pose the question, and within 24 hours you have advice, links to videos, tutorials, and web sites. I have avoided some disasters by taking advice from fellow LJ’s.

I wonder if the experienced LJ’s on this site ever get tired of us newbies asking the same old questions, or when we don’t use the search engine first to find what we need.

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

View Camper's profile


232 posts in 2856 days

#8 posted 11-04-2010 11:40 PM

are you kidding?!? I would not have managed most of what I have managed(tried to at least) without the suggestions/advice from this site. I am simply grateful to all those taking the time to comment.

-- Tampa-FL

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3428 days

#9 posted 11-05-2010 01:41 AM

Huh? Wot’s a search engine?
Seriously, this is a great place to hang out and meet folks and learn a lot.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3068 days

#10 posted 11-05-2010 02:04 AM

Mark -
I’ve done several hundred drawer boxes and find that making a quick sketch can help solve your problem.

1. Measure the carcass or faceframe opening for your drawer at the front and back. if you’re using side mounted drawer glides, subtract 1” from the opening width to get the outside dimension of your drawer box. (Most glides need 1/2” and I measure front and back just in case something isn’t exactly parallel)

2. If you’re using 1/2” material for your drawer sides, subtract another inch. If you’re using something else, multiply that thickness by two, and subtract that from #1.

3. If you’re cutting dados in the drawer sides, decide how deep they will be, multiply that by two, and ADD that to #2. That will be the width you need for your drawer bottom.

For example, if your opening is 18”, and you’re using side mounted glides, #1 will be 17”.
If you’re using 1/2” material for the sides, #2 will be 16”.
If you’re cutting 1/4” deep dados, #3 will be 16-1/2” which is the width you need for your drawer bottom.

Personally, I usually cut the bottoms a bit shy (~1/16”) to give myself a little “wiggle room” in case something is a bit off.

This may sound a little complicated, but I could have made 2-3 drawer boxes in the time it took to write this. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3676 days

#11 posted 11-05-2010 02:18 AM

Glad you are getting it down to a science :-)) When I first started reading, I thought maybe you had been overdosed on Topamax too :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3713 days

#12 posted 11-05-2010 02:43 AM

Thanks Sawkerf for the description… I’ll have to set a bit and ponder what you’ve said but it seems to make sense. I understand how I am supposed to get the drawer bottoms to fit it is just that somewhere between my brain and my hands the process gets all whacked out…something I am sure Windsor Plywood is very grateful for LOL!

Yeah, TopamaxSurvivor sometimes I’m not too coherent esp when really buzzed on something or very tired, but I’m working on it :-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3676 days

#13 posted 11-05-2010 03:32 AM

I hope your basic recovery period is short than 3 years! That’s ho long it took to learn to type and write coherently again!! Of course, there are some simple things just don’t seem to click. Hopefully this is one of them.

You can always to back to A1Jim and a lot of others. I have answered questions here that I didn’t even know were going to come up ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3723 days

#14 posted 11-05-2010 03:45 AM

I have been a hobbyist woodworker for about 30 years. Every time I log onto the website, I see or read something that I learn from and will some day use while I am in the shop. Do tips really help? Every day!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3107 days

#15 posted 11-05-2010 04:04 AM

Jim, I hope you are following this post. But for you I would not have heard of Charles Neil. Not only have I learned directly from you, but indirectly as you have guided others. I assure you that you are heard, and appreciated very much. Thank you for being a part of our learning experience. Rand

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