Ralph, at Accidental Woodworker, pushed me in the direction of a captured bottom today. I had been leaning that way, but his comment tipped me over. So tonight I set about squaring up a piece of red oak. I chose 1/4″ as the final thickness since that is the smallest groove I can currently make and also to capture all of the bottom rather than just a lip. The groove will be 3/16″ in depth, allowing for 1/8″ of board and a gap of 1/16″ on each side. The bottom will float in the groove and I hope I’ve allowed enough for seasonal changes.
Once I had the bottom squared and correctly sized, I laid out the grooves on each piece measuring referencing from the top of each piece. Which reminds me, I need to visually inspect the groove on each piece to make sure they line up from piece to piece. I don’t want to repeat the mistake I made on the tool chest drawer. Below is a pic of the sides and bottom. If you look closely, you can see the groove lay out lines. Stay warm and be safe.
Tonight I fitted and trimmed the tails to the pins on my daughter’ small box. They’re ready to glue together but I haven’t decided what to do for a bottom. Thinking about a groove with a thin panel. I’ll do some research Tue and decide on something. Be safe. -Charlie
Fri night and Sat, I spent 5-6 hours off and on learning about the 3D modeling software Sketchup. I down loaded one of Bob Lang’s shop class videos on Sketchup fundamentals from Popular Woodworking magazine and worked halfway through the lessons. I watched the video for a little while, practiced what I saw, watched the video, and so on. Bob’s lessons are well done and straight forward. It’s like he’s right there beside you drinking a cup of coffee explaining how to use the program. Sketchup is very slick and powerful modeling software. I like what I’ve seen because it enables you to quickly make a 3D model of an idea that you may have and see how it will look. You can also make changes to the model and see the change without starting from square one. It requires a little investment in time, but I think it can be a very useful tool for woodworkers.
Sun afternoon, I started on a small box for my daughter. I used some scrap red oak.
Cut and dimensioned the four side pieces and then cut the tails and pins. Learned a couple of things along the way. One, I need to start the tails at their proper angle instead of vertical and then leaning over. Doing so left my tails rounded at their ends and with a gap from the pins. Two, don’t get too close to the base line with my coping saw. I tried to get as close as I could. Most of the time I was ok. But once I went to far. I bought a 3 pack of very thin blades from Sears of all places and they work great. You can turn some tight corners with them.
More tomorrow. Have a great Mon.
I’ve been a little nervous the last couple of days about fastening the runners to the chest, afraid I would screw the whole thing up at the very end. But it was wasted energy, installation went off without a hitch. And the moment of truth when I slid the drawer in??? Nothing to it.
And the fit was just fine as well.
For my first drawer, I’m very pleased with the result. I wasted no time in loading it up either.
One little draw back, you can’t pull the drawer but halfway without having to take it all of the way out, as shown in the last picture. I also planed about 1/8″ off of the door battens and lock so I can engage the lock.
Although the door would shut, it wasn’t enough to fully engage the lock. A quick and easy fix.
Tomorrow I’m going to prep the front face for finishing and order two drawer pulls. And I’ve decided to go with two Campaign Furniture style drawer pulls. The Schwarz’ new book on that furniture is due out in a couple of weeks and this style really fascinates me.
Next project up is a small box for my daughter, her birthday is Fri, 2/21. I’m also going to be spending some time familiarizing myself with Sketchup 3D. I’m building a small table for a friend and I need some decent drawings. Until next time, stay warm and be safe.
I worked on the drawer sides tonight. The runners are flush with the sides and it all fits in the chest just right. Tomorrow night I’ll attach the runners to the inside. Be safe. -Charlie
After work Tue, I stopped by one of the big box home centers here in town and purchased another piece of half inch poplar. I then ripped and cross cut a piece for the drawer back and glued it in place without any trouble. I used a simple butt joint for the side to back joinery and skipped the screws.
Maybe it’s just me, but ever since I’ve begun hand tool woodworking, I have an aversion to nails and screws in my projects. Perhaps it’s silly and or unrealistic, I don’t know. But if I can utilize a joinery technique instead of nails or screws I will. So that’s why I skipped them. However, I am going to use screws to attach the runners to the chest walls. Pay no attention to me. It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m rambling. Just look at the pretty pictures.
While the drawer was clamped up, I set about accurately locating the runners on the the chest walls.
I’ve checked my measurements three times and I think I’m correct. However, I’m going to sleep on it and recheck myself Wed evening. In this picture, the top and front edge of the runner are outlined in pencil. Tomorrow evening I need to work on the back one third of each side piece with a smoothing plane. The new back piece pushed the sides out a smidge and they need to be trimmed to fit in the chest. The runners will probably need to be planed down some as well. And then I can drill holes to mount the runners. Stay tuned, warm, and safe.
I had a great couple of days off with the Mrs. along with a surprise woodworking experience, which I’ll talk more about in a few days. Tonight I did the final smoothing of the drawer sides and checked the fit in the chest. My stomach sank.
Notice the problem? When I go to shut the false front, I’m unable to close it.
I failed to take into account the depth of the runners on the false front. I was a full inch too long after careful re-measurement. I had a couple of solutions to fix the problem and I went with the easiest basically because I’m ready to move on from this project. I marked off the new length on the sides and bottom and cut off the excess.
I thought I could reuse the back but it didn’t work out. I’ll have to get a new piece for the drawer on Tue. And I’ll join the sides and back with a butt joint with glue and screws.
Maybe some day I’ll make a new drawer with a proper side to back joinery, but for now, this drawer will work.