Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stopped dados and runners

The shallow stopped dados turned out to be easier and quicker to create than I expected and they will definitely improve the chest.  My technique is to create a knifeline and then deepen it with a wide chisel on both sides of the dado.  Then I use my router plane to remove the rest of the waste to a uniform depth of 1/16".  I did get a painful lesson in the obvious:  it is very important to deepen the knifeline to full depth before turning to the router plane because the latter can pry out pieces from the sides of the dado if you don't.  Dumb.

I installed the front of the oak runners a uniform distance from the front edge with glue and a fixed screw.  My idea is that they will do double duty as drawer stops.  The back two screws are in elongated holes so the sides can move and the ends of the runners are shy of the rabbet for the back.  I think this will work well, but we'll see.

I decided that I would have (approximately) two 3" drawers, two 2 1/2" drawers and two 1 1/2" drawers.  The bottoms of the drawers are going to be in slips, and they will use up 1/2" of the depth.

I am still thinking about the drawer joinery.  My question is this:  Am I really going to create 6 half-blind dovetailed drawers for a tool chest?  I watched a video of Rob Cosman making one half-blind joint in seven minutes.  I am not that proficient at them and they would definitely take me a whole lot more time than that and possibly more than one try in some cases.  By the way, here are a pair of videos with some really innovative techniques for making half-blind dovetails that I ran across:

Half-blind dovetails, part 1

Half-blind dovetails, part 2

It would never have occurred to me to use a scraper and drill press this way.

Here's a thought.  I have no aversion to using quality baltic birch plywood for the drawer bottoms and there are obvious advantages to doing so.  They can be glued in solid and, in so doing, will add tremendous strength to the drawer.  On drawers this shallow, a glued-in bottom would take a lot of load off the corner joinery.  I am not sure that sides pegged in a rabbet in the front wouldn't be more than strong enough.  I admit to a vague feeling that they would be uncraftsmanlike.  A disadvantage is that this design requires making a rabbet on the edges of the undersized plywood so it will fit precisely into the groove.

What would you do?

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