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By AndyT
#956407
Thanks Terry, and everyone else for the positive and encouraging comments. They really do help keep me going on this project.

A bit more progress. I've adjusted the length of the rails at the back, in line with CheshireChappie's reminder that it's good to have the rear of a chest of drawers slightly wider than the front. This meant planing down a bit more oak and cutting some new rails. Here I am measuring the new piece against the old, making it about 1/8" longer (though looking back, he said about 1/16" - I hope I get away with this. :oops: )

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A "Moxon" vice (or rather, a Coates vice) makes little cuts easy without stooping:

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followed by a little chiselling

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When I did an overall drawing, I drew the top runners sitting in a rebate between front and rear rails. I'm not sure that the rebate is really needed, but it might help keep everything square, so I decided to go ahead and include it, even though it's stopped at both ends.

First some chiselling, to define the line,

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then a little planing

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Some people would say this was a totally gratuitous excuse to show you this lovely little Preston 1366 bullnose plane; I'd say it was exactly the sort of work it was designed for. :lol:

The idea here is that the runner is mortice + tenoned + glued to the front rail but left dry on the rear one, with a longer mortice, and cut a little shy of the full length. Thus the sides can expand and contract if they want to.

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I'm just pleased that the new dovetails fit a bit better than the first wonky one did.

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Maybe that's because I am being a little bit more careful with getting things straight and true. I think it's just because this project is forcing me to practise more, on techniques I've not used much before.

For example, when cutting the extra rail I took the trouble to use winding sticks to make sure there was no twist.

Here, you can see that there is some:

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Those nice hardwood winding sticks came in a mixed box of tools. I already had these - which are actually two bits of old shower curtain rail.

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They are straighter, but harder to photograph clearly - I deleted lots pictures worse than this one - but I hope you can see that now the work is reasonably straight.

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Finally, here's a dry run of the whole thing, though with only the top and bottom frames installed. I think it's always nice to see something that is starting to look like a piece of furniture, rather than a kit of parts, though there is still some long way to go.

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Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:05, edited 1 time in total.
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By Jacob
#956412
Cheshirechappie wrote:I'm enjoying this one. Really good use of recovered timber.

I'm sure you know this dodge, Andy, but just thought I'd mention that it's worth making the back of the carcase a teensy bit wider than the front - about a bare 1/16" or so. That can make drawer fitting much easier - if by some mischance the carcase ends up wider at the front than the back, there's no way to fit the drawers without a nasty gap between drawer fronts and carcase sides. It seemed timely to mention it now as you're getting to that stage of carcase construction.

Really? Perhaps a bit of a myth IMHO.
Doesn't make sense anyway - making it wider at the back isn't going to stop you making it too wide at the front if you are prone that way.
And if you can work to 1/16" accurately you are not likely to make the carcase too wide in the first place. If you can't manage it then it's pot luck - you'd better make all your drawers over-size and fit them one by one.
The way to make sure they fit is to work strictly from a rod with everything on, including your chosen clearance gaps. Then you can even make all your drawers in advance, knowing that they will fit. If you aren't confident about precision you reduce the clearance allowance and expect to have to fit drawers instead of just slotting them in.
By Cheshirechappie
#956425
Jacob wrote:
Cheshirechappie wrote:I'm enjoying this one. Really good use of recovered timber.

I'm sure you know this dodge, Andy, but just thought I'd mention that it's worth making the back of the carcase a teensy bit wider than the front - about a bare 1/16" or so. That can make drawer fitting much easier - if by some mischance the carcase ends up wider at the front than the back, there's no way to fit the drawers without a nasty gap between drawer fronts and carcase sides. It seemed timely to mention it now as you're getting to that stage of carcase construction.

Really? Perhaps a bit of a myth IMHO.
Doesn't make sense anyway - making it wider at the back isn't going to stop you making it too wide at the front if you are prone that way.
And if you can work to 1/16" accurately you are not likely to make the carcase too wide in the first place. If you can't manage it then it's pot luck - you'd better make all your drawers over-size and fit them one by one.
The way to make sure they fit is to work strictly from a rod with everything on, including your chosen clearance gaps. Then you can even make all your drawers in advance, knowing that they will fit. If you aren't confident about precision you reduce the clearance allowance and expect to have to fit drawers instead of just slotting them in.


I really can't remember where I picked this little dodge up, because it was decades ago. The other thing in it's favour is that if a drawer is going to be tight anywhere, it'll be at the front opening; if the drawer back fits through the front opening (which it has to in order to get it in at all!) it will be guaranteed to have a clearance between the sides of the carcase at the back. Thus, drawer fitting is easier - plane it so that the drawer box remains parallel and fits nicely at the front where it's visible, and you know there won't be any binding problems further back.

If you want to get REALLY 'Flash Harry' with the drawer fit, make the drawer boxes a very close fit between the opening and the drawer back, so that as the drawer is opened, it gradually becomes tighter in the guides. I rather suspect that's a risky trick though, since any swelling of the drawer box with seasonal movement could leave the drawer stuck firmly shut!
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By AndyT
#956428
This is one place you might have read it, CC - Wells and Hooper, Modern cabinetwork, furniture & fitments, 1921.

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I did do some reading round before embarking on this project and am pretty sure that I saw others recommending it too.
By Cheshirechappie
#956432
That's not where I first saw it, but it does show that the method has been around a long time. I note Wells and Hooper suggest slightly thinning the drawer runners to the back as well, so that'll avoid any up-down binding problems.

Cunning, them ole boys!
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By Jacob
#956435
"Good ideas" get written up in books and mags but some of them aren't so good - but they get repeated and hang around forever. Go viral in fact!
I think this is one of them. Doesn't make any sense.
If you can construct the thing very accurately with a tiny 1/16" taper you are skilled enough to do it straight without any taper. It's not difficult to get them spot on if you use a rod.
If a drawer turns out too tight at the back you just plane a bit off towards the back, effectively tapering it. Ditto the front (though reducing the taper this time).
That idea of them deliberately having them tighten as they are withdrawn makes even less sense - how would you get them in to start with? The slightest shift in humidity and they'd stick. Anyway it's the complete opposite of the previous suggestion! Are they both right? Best to strike a happy medium and ignore them both.

It's a pity there's no way of spring cleaning and getting rid of bad ideas from the written work of the centuries - they never die. Though personally I dumped a load of mags some years ago and haven't read one since!

Cunning, them ole boys!
Too cunning by half! Cunning ideas sell books (not to mention gadgets) whether or not they are any good.

Nice chest of drawers BTW. Nice to see old wood being used up it's a really good idea.

Possibly the most viral "good idea" is the one about DTs needing to be 1/8 or 1/6 gradient according to hard/soft wood. Completely insane but it won't ever go away :shock: .
Could make a book "1000 Cr&p Woodwork Ideas to Avoid" hmm. Half the book would be about sharpening. :lol:
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By bugbear
#956535
AndyT wrote:then a little planing

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Some people would say this was a totally gratuitous excuse to show you this lovely little Preston 1366 bullnose plane; I'd say it was exactly the sort of work it was designed for. :lol:


Very nice!

BugBear
By Owl
#956632
Damn, I hadn't looked at the date on this thread so was disappointed when I reached the last post on page 5 and it came to a sudden stop (hammer)
A very fascinating read Andy =D> looking forward to more.

As I have mentioned before, I am not a woodworker so I can't really comment on what is a correct way of doing things, however what Jacob says about it not making any sense to have it wider at the back etc makes sense to me ..... or have I got it wrong #-o
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By n0legs
#956667
Owl wrote: to have it wider at the back etc makes sense to me ..... or have I got it wrong #-o


Andrew Pitts gives a good description.
From 3 minutes on, simple and clear :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcuTS2TXGg4
User avatar
By Jacob
#956687
n0legs wrote:
Owl wrote: to have it wider at the back etc makes sense to me ..... or have I got it wrong #-o


Andrew Pitts gives a good description.
From 3 minutes on, simple and clear :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcuTS2TXGg4

God he was boring! Had a watch about 3 minutes - I could see no logic at all. In any case it looked a very odd bit of modern furniture.
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By n0legs
#956749
Jacob wrote:God he was boring! Had a watch about 3 minutes - I could see no logic at all. In any case it looked a very odd bit of modern furniture.


Boring? Well maybe a little.
Logic? I think that's there plain as day.
Odd modern furniture? The customer is always right.
Do you now accept that a good idea has been heard of by others, who use said good idea to very good and possibly very profitable effect?
Don't worry Jacob, you don't need to answer that :wink:
User avatar
By Jacob
#956780
n0legs wrote:...The customer is always right...
Not a good business model. You should know better what the customer wants/needs, and sell them something they didn't even know they wanted. Customer is always wrong is a good starting point.
By Wizard9999
#956794
Jacob wrote:
n0legs wrote:...The customer is always right...
Not a good business model. You should know better what the customer wants/needs, and sell them something they didn't even know they wanted. Customer is always wrong is a good starting point.


Having read the rest of the thread how did I know that would be the answer, rofl.
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By AndyT
#956833
I find this discussion about how to fit drawers really interesting, but to leave room for plenty more discussion without derailing this thread I've started a fresh topic in General Woodworking.

Making and fitting drawers is still some long way off on this project, so we will all have to wait and see if my first attempt has worked or not.

The bottom drawer is a few inches off the floor, for clearance, so there needs to be a little toe-piece to fill in the gap. This is actually an offcut I picked up at Richard Arnold's great charity fundraiser day last June - thanks Richard - I'll be back for some more this year!

It's not too good on this side, but that won't show so it's a good use of a second quality piece of wood.

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The front will be fine.

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It can fit into two little grooves on the sides.
I find it really hard to see knife or pencil lines along the grain on this oak; they merge into the general open pattern of the grain. Going over the surface with a white crayon helped a bit, better than it shows on this photo.

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A little more chiselling and routing is all that is needed

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Before assembling the carcase, I cut down the intermediate drawer runners, so that they can be held by screws at the back.

Marking:

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Cutting down:

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Cutting across:

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Separated:

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These all need a slotted hole for a screw:

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This picture shows more dry fitting and drilling of pilot holes for the screws:

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followed by a steel screw to form a suitable hole for the soft brass screws which I will use, as it's oak:

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I took these down a little deeper than needed, just to be on the safe side.
Last edited by AndyT on 29 Jul 2017, 11:06, edited 1 time in total.