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By AndyT
#1197329
After thinking some more about how to arrange the bits that the drawer runs on, I've found yet another option.

I was wondering about the front-to-back pieces which stop the drawer drooping when open. They are called "kickers", which I had forgotten in my earlier post. This diagram is from the useful book by Bill Hylton, "Illustrated Cabinetmaking" and shows a single central kicker, which can be anchored by tenons in a groove.

side_table_construction.jpg


Now, I know I should have decided all this stuff by now, and I thought I had, but I wonder if I should use this method?

Having got as far as sorting out a picture and thinking some more, I think I won't. The single kicker would be acting just on the top edge of the back of the drawer; a kicker on either side, working on the long top edges of the drawer sides would be smoother.
They would still have the advantage of helping to stiffen the top, and could be fixed to allow for movement like giant buttons. I think that's what I will do, but comments or examples are of course welcome.
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By AndyT
#1197627
And so the construction hurtles along at breakneck speed and it's time for another update.

I have been cutting the joints to connect the upper front rail to the legs. Conventionally, this has dovetails into the tops of the legs to tie the two front legs together. Often, the rail is relatively wide and has extra dovetails into the side aprons, but that's not the case here.
First job was to saw the spare wood off the ends of the legs. I sawed slightly away from the line so that I can plane the tops flush after it's all glued up.
Second job was to mark out the tail parts.
Third job was to mark them out again, with the piece of wood the right way round. There's no point spending time choosing a piece with the best grain pattern on it if you are just going to hide it on the inside. That's why you can see two sets of marks here. :oops:

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Fortunately I spotted it in time and managed to saw on the right lines.

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Have you ever noticed how video demonstrations and instructions on books about how to cut joints only ever use nice short pieces of wood? When you come to mark out and cut a joint on the end of a leg, things get a bit more challenging. I could do the side cuts ok with the wood clamped at an angle in the vice, like this

Image

and do what I could to saw some of the wood away but there's very little room here. When it came to paring, what would have been a cut down onto the bench became a forward facing horizontal cut. What you can't see is that I'm kneeling on the floor to do this - fortunately I have a nice soft mat and the walnut is lovely stuff to work with. Soft to cut but strong enough to support itself without being crushed like pine can so easily be.

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What doesn't show here is that I cut away half of the thickness of the wood on the dovetail itself, so that it doesn't interfere with the top of the tenon. In this photo you can see a spot of light where the two sockets are just beginning to overlap. Working with skinny little bits of wood like this does need some careful planning and the time I spent doing a full-size drawing was very useful, even if I do depart from it a bit.

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Here it is assembled - the tail is central on the leg which is why it was offset on the rail. Not too pretty in the close-up photo but ok for a joint which will be hidden for its whole life.

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There's one at the other end too, which will show up in a later instalment, so don't go away! :wink:
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By custard
#1197649
AndyT wrote:Having got as far as sorting out a picture and thinking some more, I think I won't. The single kicker would be acting just on the top edge of the back of the drawer; a kicker on either side, working on the long top edges of the drawer sides would be smoother.
They would still have the advantage of helping to stiffen the top, and could be fixed to allow for movement like giant buttons. I think that's what I will do, but comments or examples are of course welcome.


What isn't spelled out in the Bill Hylton diagram is that a central kicker only works with that particular design of drawer, a classic English drawer will generally have the back piece about 1/4" shallower than the sides, in order to allow the air to better evacuate in a piston fit drawer.

How an individual furniture maker chooses to put a drawer together is all about personal preference, but here's two photos showing how I usually go about sizing the drawer back. As you can see a central kicker wouldn't work here,

Drawer-Construction-04.jpg


Drawer-Slip-Layout-03.jpg
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By custard
#1197655
AndyT wrote:Not too pretty in the close-up photo but ok for a joint which will be hidden for its whole life.


More important than being gap free is that the joint is flush with the top of the leg, and that requirement you've fulfilled perfectly! Incidentally, if you plan on screwing through this component directly into the top (which is what I normally do, leaving the buttons to soak up movement at the back and sides) then make sure you drill and countersink before assembly, it''s a pig countersinking afterwards!
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By AndyT
#1197658
Thanks Custard. My drawer here will resemble the ones in my little chest of drawers, so should be close to the one in your picture (in a dim light!)

I've done some more looking at measured drawings of old pieces and lots of them don't have a front to back kicker at all, just rails side to side at front and back. I know this is only a small drawer but I don't want it to drop down or knock against an edge, especially as it's underneath a bit of an overhang.

On our old dressing table (as seen in this thread about damage to the top) I find that there is a full length kicker, but ingeniously it's attached to the central divider and one piece of wood serves both top drawers. Not a design I can copy here, but it does confirm that it helps the drawers work nicely.

I can't see any reason not to simply glue suitable strips to the side aprons, taking care to make sure that the openings are square and parallel.
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By AndyT
#1197661
custard wrote:
AndyT wrote:Not too pretty in the close-up photo but ok for a joint which will be hidden for its whole life.


More important than being gap free is that the joint is flush with the top of the leg, and that requirement you've fulfilled perfectly! Incidentally, if you plan on screwing through this component directly into the top (which is what I normally do, leaving the buttons to soak up movement at the back and sides) then make sure you drill and countersink before assembly, it''s a pig countersinking afterwards!


Thanks for the reminder - I was slowly coming down in favour of that. How many buttons would you use? I was thinking of two at the back and two each side, with two screws through the cross rail at the front. Probably overkill on such a small piece but there is room, and there is not much thickness for the screws to go into.
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By custard
#1197664
AndyT wrote:
custard wrote:
AndyT wrote:Not too pretty in the close-up photo but ok for a joint which will be hidden for its whole life.


More important than being gap free is that the joint is flush with the top of the leg, and that requirement you've fulfilled perfectly! Incidentally, if you plan on screwing through this component directly into the top (which is what I normally do, leaving the buttons to soak up movement at the back and sides) then make sure you drill and countersink before assembly, it''s a pig countersinking afterwards!


Thanks for the reminder - I was slowly coming down in favour of that. How many buttons would you use? I was thinking of two at the back and two each side, with two screws through the cross rail at the front. Probably overkill on such a small piece but there is room, and there is not much thickness for the screws to go into.


Yes, that's what I'd use too, I try and get them well into the corners and fairly close up against the legs, that way it holds the top flat against any cupping. Incidentally, after several years tops almost always cup upwards at the corners/edges, no matter which direction the grain is orientated. You'll see exactly the same thing on decking as well. There's various explanations for this but the more you look at real world examples the more you see it's almost always the case.

Here's a side table where I've gone for just one central button in each side, but there are also corner blocks that are screwed through directly into the tops with "pivoting" screws to allow some movement, again this is to ensure the top stays flat.

Tiger-Oak-Table-3.jpg
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By AndyT
#1197771
undergroundhunter wrote:Coming along nicely AndyT, I was thinking about making a pair of these to use as bedside tables only the other day.

matt


Thanks. I suggest you go for it - I'm really enjoying this build.
One of the many advantages is that you get all the interesting processes to do, but you don't have to fill your workshop with big heavy lumps of expensive timber and keep moving them out of the way. The parts for this project sit tidily on the tablesaw!
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By custard
#1198328
AndyT wrote:I know I should have decided all this stuff by now


Have you decided on the drawer stop arrangement?

Traditional drawer stops, with an L shaped profile that sit in mortices cut into the lower drawer rail, ie something like this,

Drawer,-stop-blocks.jpg


might need a lower drawer rail that's wider than the leg thickness in this particular build; but they have the advantages of great precision, stability over time, and taking no space from the length of the drawer. However, if you go this route the mortices must be cut before assembly, as you won't be able to access the lower drawer rail after the glue-up.

Just a thought.
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By AndyT
#1198335
That's a really helpful thought, Custard.
Not thinking about this before now means I have a lower rail which is only 1/8" wider than the drawer front, but I reckon I can design something suitable and strong enough while I can still get at the rail properly.
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By custard
#1198352
It's not critical, there are plenty of other options.

Small blocks glued and screwed onto the drawer runners, blocks glued onto the inside of the apron rail opposite the drawer front so the drawer buts up against them, a couple of screws in that same apron rail that do the same job.

They all work, and furthermore they permit different styles of drawer boxes. It's just that, at least IMO, nothing else speaks of quality in quite the same way as traditional morticed-in drawer stops.