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By AndyT
#949283
Pete Maddex wrote:Nicely done Andy, good work and write up.

Are you dadoing the frames into the sides?

Pete


Thanks Pete. Yes, I've been chewing over options for the construction and I have also done a second full size drawing.

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That's probably not very clear - it's all in pencil so I can revise it! It's a sort of composite plan and section view, and also shows the variations for the top rails and runners (on the left side only).

The rails (the bits that go side to side and show underneath the drawer fronts) will be fixed by tenoning into the solid sides. I did an experiment for this, in some similarly sized oddments, making a barefaced through tenon:

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This held so well that I have decided that through tenons are not needed, which is just as well, as this was pretty scruffy. I reckon that tenons about 3/8" long into 3/4" thick sides will be enough. At the top, the rails will be lap dovetailed into the sides. At top and bottom there will be extra rails at the back, to which the back panel will be fixed. They get fixed to the ends of the runners on longer mortice and tenon joints, left dry.

Thinking about the runners (the bits that go front to back to support the drawer sides) I have two choices. One is to stub tenon and glue them to the rails at the front, and slot screw to the carcase sides at the rear. The other is to have the stub tenons and the slotted screw but also cut housings (aka dadoes) and have the runners fit into them. The theory is that the long grain runners must not be glued to the sides, which must be free to move with the seasons.

Now, I'm pretty confident that the seasonal variation in our bedroom is pretty small. It's certainly nothing like the extremes of the American continent with its cold, dry winters and hot, humid summers. But I rather enjoy cutting housings, so I think I will include them. They aren't needed for strength, as these drawers will only be holding a few light bits and pieces, but they should make it much easier to get everything located properly during assembly. The housings will be cut with the sides flat on the bench, but the runners don't get fitted until after the rails have been glued into the carcase sides. Pushing them into housings will be much more positive than just relying on a screw at the back for positioning. The housings don't need to be deep - I reckon 1/8" will be plenty in this oak.

One further thought about construction. This project actually needs very little measurement!

I was going to make a rod, just as an exercise in doing so, but I can't see the need. The one defining dimension for the width is the length between shoulders on the rails, ie the internal distance between the sides. This will be 11 1/2". All I need to do is to stack up the rails and mark that 11 1/2" dimension on them all at the same time. It's important that all the rails are effectively the same length but it's not too important what that length actually is, as long as the rough cut wood is long enough.

The two carcase sides are a matched pair - so I'll mark the positions for the rails on both together. I can step them out with dividers, set at about 3 1/4", but it won't matter if that is a bit more or less.

The drawer fronts and sides will be planed to fit each opening once the carcase is built.

The top will be an inch bigger than the base, all round, so will be defined by the finished size of the base.

And so, with that lovely confidence that comes at the start of any project, where nothing has yet gone wrong, it's time to get back to planing!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:01, edited 1 time in total.
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By Pete Maddex
#949287
Runners in dados with a shallow dovetail on the front to hold the sides together, either cut into the runner (tricky) or a separate piece.

That would look nice, and be even more work!

Pete
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By AndyT
#949292
Pete Maddex wrote:Runners in dados with a shallow dovetail on the front to hold the sides together, either cut into the runner (tricky) or a separate piece.

That would look nice, and be even more work!

Pete


Hmm... do you mean something like this?

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The end of the rail is a tapered sliding dovetail, the same depth as the housing that the rail goes into, which is simply square for the rest of its length. The rail ends would drop into the wide housings, then slide forward to tighten up and draw the carcase sides together. It could work and could be fun, but I think I would have to go a bit deeper than 1/8", even in oak. Then again, it might be simpler than lots of little stopped mortices...

Of course, it would only "look nice" during construction - once the job is done, it would look exactly the same!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:01, edited 1 time in total.
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By Pete Maddex
#949298
I was thinking of deeper dovetails that the dados, probably easer to plant on a strip of wood to the front of the dust frame.

Have a look here from 2:15 onwards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDDeC0Q ... KW1cdmWWCC

Pete
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By AndyT
#949307
Oh, I see what you mean. Although the Doucette and Wolf stuff is, to judge from their videos, beautifully made, I would not want to follow their lead and expose the joints. It's just a personal preference, each to his own etc, but I rather like joints to be hidden, whether or not I can manage to make them good enough for display. I've done other pieces - some in the same room - where lapped dovetails are only visible to the spiders, and sliding dovetails are visible only in my w-i-p photos - but I know they are there!
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By devonwoody
#949465
Joining in to watch, but I did three of these around ten years ago but the easy way with soft wood from 30 year old rafters and pleased to say mine are still in working order and in daily use.
Tops I used any off cuts 30mm wide by 18mm thick random lengths.
By Gerard Scanlan
#949567
Hi Andy this is a really good WIP. Recycling bits and bobs and all the extra bother and design constraints this causes makes this piece all the more interesting.
Carry on the good work and please continue to ignore all the power tool fanatics.
Gerard
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By AndyT
#949569
I think the best way to decide on the most practical joint is to try both options out, so it's back to some bits of scrap for an experiment.

This is the tapered sliding dovetail:

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First I just cut down straight, then I used an angled guide block to undercut at a 1:6 angle:

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On the other part, I cut it straight but a bit 'blunter' on the triangle, then pared back at the same 1:6 angle. I can't tell from the photo if this was before or after the angled trimming, it was so slight.

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This worked ok but did not feel very strong, even though I made the housing 3/8" deep instead of the planned 1/8".

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Here it is with a runner in place behind it.

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For the tenon option, the bits looked like this - the rail has one side longer than the other, by the depth of the housing, which in this case was just 1/8". The tenon was 3/8" long.

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And here it is assembled:

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(Ignore the holes - they are not part of the design.)

What you can't see in the pictures is that the tenoned version felt usefully strong, even without glue, whereas the sliding dovetail really did not have enough wood to hold properly. The M&T was also much easier to mark out and cut. The project would probably be ok without the tenons - as Pete suggested - so I could leave them out, or compromise and just put tenons on the bottom rail, not the intermediate ones.

On the other hand, that could make assembly a little bit harder - having the tenons means that everything is self-supporting, so I would not be struggling to get several ends lined up, with all of them falling over at a touch.

I think I will go for tenons - but please do all feel free to chip in with ideas or suggestions along the way. Often, even if I sound like I know what I am doing, I will just be thinking aloud, and I've not made anything quite like this before!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:02, edited 1 time in total.
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By AndyT
#949781
Now that most of the planning is done, it's back to the salvaged wood that will be the drawer fronts. These

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came out of a skip years ago but now they can have their time in the spotlight. I hope that tasteless people will continue to chuck out nice old oak, as long as they do it where a thrifty woodworker can find it again!

These bits are better than they look.

First, I ripped them into strips. And I did that job on my little Burgess 3-wheel bandsaw. I could have done it by hand, but I've just bought some new Tuffsaws blades for it, and it's working perfectly. I like woodworking by hand but I don't have any religious principles against power tools. In this case, it was the best way to get strips which would have been usable straight from the saw, if this was that sort of project. But it's not, so I planed one edge of each as a face edge, planed about an 1/8" off one side, then gauged to 5/8" and planed the other side. As with the rails and runners, I used an old Preston wooden jack for the bulk, followed by a Stanley no 5 1/2 to ensure straightness, finishing up with a no 4.

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Here you see the finished drawer fronts showing how they were on the two boards originally

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and here they are in the order I shall use them:

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I'm really pleased by several things here:

- Hand planing on this small scale is really no big deal, but it's nice to see it getting quicker and easier with the repetition. (I suspect that if I had a planer/thicknesser I would get trouble with snipe - and I can't afford to waste much at the ends of these small pieces. Also, one board was thinner than the other so I was only taking about 3/16" off overall.)

- Although the wood looked manky and not the same colour, it's cleaned up really nicely, to what looks like the same colour and similar grain pattern.

- Stopping and sharpening does not take long but makes a huge difference on this moderately hard oak.

- Old furniture often has really nice wood in it!
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:02, edited 1 time in total.
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By Sheffield Tony
#949857
I'm watching this with interest Andy. I am making a small bookcase from Oak and also with hand tools. I weighed the options of housings and stub tenons, or through tenons wedged with walnut as a feature, or a dovetailed approach. I went for dovetails - I'm currently cutting lapped dovetails to join the sides to the top, and plan to try sliding dovetails for the shelves.

I like how nicely your reclaimed wood has worked out. Looks great, and there's nothing like a few decades of seasoning for stability !
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By No skills
#949872
Coming along well!

As somebody that's a bit of a wood salvager I feel a bit of a fraud after reading this today, theres a small round restaurant table (looks to be oak) that came back in a unit this week - its in the skip at the moment. I might have to pop in the weekend and rescue #36 to keep a clear conscience :oops:

Keep up the good work.