Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mini Chest With Drawers - Part 4

I forgot to add pictures of my trip last weekend to Oregon.  We went to Crater Lake one day and it was tremendous.  This picture won't do it justice - I just couldn't get all of it in the shot.
Crater Lake from south rim
And one more pic.
Wizard Island in Crater Lake is a cinder cone that has its own small crater on top

With the drawer dry-assembled, I needed to level the bottom edges.  I wanted to do this before grooving the front and sides  - I was worried that the grooves would not align if I grooved the components before I leveled the bottom edges.
Leveling the bottom edges
The bottom edge was checked for twist with winding sticks and looked good after a couple of  minor corrections.  Then I checked the drawer in the opening, planed top edges and sides a little, tested again, planed a bit more and got this far in.
Test fitting
It took a bit of planing on the sides of the drawer as well as the top edges to get a better fit.
A little closer

Eventually it closed all the way, although with a smaller gap on the right side than the left.
Ahhh, that's nice!
I still worked it a bit so that it slid more freely with just a bit of friction.  With that fitted, I disassembled the drawer and added the grooves to the sides and front.
Grooving the left side
It's challenging to fix the boards for grooving.  I align the board with the edge of my bench to give me more bearing surface for the plane's fence.  Notice the clamps being used above.  I come so close to hitting the clamps with the fence rods as seen in this next pic.
Yikes!  That's a tight fit!
I made these clamps a few years ago and they consist of a long bolt, washers and a nut or knob.  The bolt goes through dog holes in the bench.

Homemade clamps
They come in handy sometimes, but I need a better solution for this type of grooving.  A sticking board might do the trick - it's on my list to make.  Anybody have other suggestions?  I've tried Sellers method of clamping the board in a bar clamp and clamping the clamp in the vise, but I don't really like that for this application.

Anyway, the grooves came out nicely aligned.
Groovy, baby
And I cut the back to size  - bottom edge goes to the top of the groove and the top edge is a little shorter than the sides.  I also angled the last 3/4" of the top edge of the sides (as in "The Woodworker") for ease of inserting the drawer into the carcase.
Back cut to final size and back of top edge of sides angled
Finally, I made a bottom panel from 1x12x3/4" pine, planing it to 3/8" thick.  The grooves that it fits in are 1/4", so I needed to raise the panel a bit.  This was done with a no. 4 smoother.
Bottom face of bottom panel - can you see that it is raised?
The top of the bottom panel looked nicer - no ugly pitch pocket.  The slot is for a screw that holds it to the drawer back.
Top of bottom panel
And here is the bottom fixed to the drawer.  The fit was really great.
Bottom panel in place
When I tried it in the opening, something wasn't right.  The screw was scraping on the bottom of the cabinet!
First test fit with bottom installed
I relieved the back of the panel to raise the screw off the cabinet bottom.  A rabbet took care of it, but I probably should have just made a shallow relief around the screw slot.  Oh well, this works.
Rabbet at back of the bottom of the bottom panel
Now it's time to build two more drawers.  And I still have to purchase or otherwise make three drawer pulls.


  1. Hi Matt,
    I like you handmade clamps. Guess I should give them a try.
    I've got the same "problem" as you. How to fix a small board for making grooves or rabbets? As you I've tried a couple of things, a hold fast, PS clamp method, bench dogs, and so on. But every time something is in the way.
    I think a sticking board will be a good solution. I've thought for a while about a board featured with inserted t-racks so that you can move the fences and the knob positions. But so many things on the project list...

    1. I love your suggestion of using T-track to make the fence adjustable. Yesterday I made myself a small sticking board to make the grooves on the last drawer and it worked great. It won't be large enough for all my needs, but it worked fine for the drawer parts. I'll be posting about it later today.