Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, Noel, Charley, CHJ

 Reply
User avatar
By woodbloke66
#1246025
One of the big problems I face when making a drawer bottom is gluing up narrow bits of Cedar of Lebanon and 'attempting' to keep them flat and level. I've had real problems with this in the past, so I developed this method of gluing up sections for a drawer bottom. The current job in the 'shop is a large unit with eight small drawers and four big ones. This is the smallest of the;

IMG_1588.jpg


...large drawers with a metre rule alongside for a size comparison.

To make the jig, I start off with piece of flat 18mm ply which is bigger all round than the drawer bottom needed. Onto the top surface goes some parcel tape (to stop glue sticking) and on;

IMG_1593.jpg


...the underside I screw a large chunk of stuff to iron out any slight bow in the ply.

At each end I then screw on a pair of battens, ensuring that the gap between them is equal. Next comes a pair of sliding wedges which need to be made fairly accurately and also another three battens;

IMG_1596.jpg


...with parcel tape on the underside.

Ideally, the CoL needs to be quarter sawn and without knots or blemishes;

IMG_1597.jpg


The material can then be cut about a mm over thickness, with one planed face against the bandsaw fence;

IMG_1598.jpg


...so that now it's possible to see the defects;

IMG_1599.jpg


These can then be removed and the sections planed a fraction over thickness, after which each edge can be shot in on the shooting board;

IMG_1600.jpg


I check to see the whole stack butts together well under moderate pressure from the wedge (using light taps from a pair of hammers). The sections are then glued;

IMG_1603.jpg


...and cramped dead flat against the plywood board;

IMG_1604.jpg


After a couple of hours, it's safe to take it out the jig and provided the Gods have been smiling, I end up with a flat, quarter sawn drawer bottom;

IMG_1605.jpg


...which only needs the barest minimum of scraping/sanding to bring it to a finished thickness. The method is a bit convoluted but provided the sequence is adhered to, the results are usually pretty good - Rob
User avatar
By AndyT
#1246036
Very nice and tidy!
I definitely don't have your level of patience, Rob. Fortunately I found some wider cedar than you did, when I was making some much smaller drawers. This is how I did the glue up and held the thin boards flat!

Image

What doesn't show is that I did have a couple of straight battens underneath, covered with the same sort of brown parcel tape, which is indeed ideal for not getting stuck.
User avatar
By woodbloke66
#1246051
AndyT wrote:Very nice and tidy!

What doesn't show is that I did have a couple of straight battens underneath, covered with the same sort of brown parcel tape, which is indeed ideal for not getting stuck.

Thanks Andy, appreciated. The CofL I bought was reasonable but not outstanding as it had a lot of knots and small blemishes in it. It is a nightmare to glue these small bits together and this is the best way I came up with. The jig took about an hour to make this morning so not a huge investment of time and energy and of course, it can be used again for other projects. Parcel tape is much underrated in the 'shop; I use loads for this sort of work, plus the fact that it has zero (in practical terms) thickness - Rob
User avatar
By custard
#1246054
Rob, I'm surprised that you're working with such narrow pieces of Cedar of Lebanon.

Quite a few timber yards stock C of L in 15mm thick boards for shingles, in the South East the best source I've found is Tylers. What's more they'll let you self select quarter sawn boards. These are truly massive pieces of timber, the boards can be ten or twelve feet long and up to four feet wide. I normally roughly cut these boards down to more manageable sizes like this,
Cedar-of-Lebanon.jpg


The boards in the photo are about two feet wide and dead on the quarter. I'll have to trim them further in width so I can pass them through my 410mm wide planer/thicknesser and take them down closer to the standard 8mm thickness I use for most drawer bottoms,
Dovetailing-88.jpg


Dovetailing-90.jpg


By starting with wide, quarter sawn boards any edge jointing is then only on two pieces to make even the deepest drawer bottom, smaller drawers can often be made from a single piece. At 8mm thick I find drawer bottoms a bit too thin for normal edge jointing, so I normally shoot the long grain edge like this,
Dovetailing-93.jpg


From then on it's all pretty straightforward. I generally use sash cramps in the normal way, with the workpiece supported on bearers like this,
Dovetailing-99.jpg


But sometimes, especially if I've got deep but narrow drawers, or for the narrow sections needed for drawers with muntins, I'll tape the edge joint like this,
Dovetailing-96.jpg


Then hinge the joint open and glue up like this,
Dovetailing-97.jpg


Before taping the other side, this relies on the stretchiness of the masking tape to provide the pressure,
Dovetailing-98.jpg


Because a drawer bottom isn't a highly stressed edge joint (after all in a traditionally made drawer it's left free to shrink and expand) I find that pretty much any method of gluing up works well enough.

Another advantage of starting with absolutely prime timber like the Tyler's Cedar of Lebanon boards, is that when drawers are side by side, or when there are muntins, you can run the grain in the drawer bottoms right across in an unbroken sweep. I guess very few clients actually notice or appreciate the effect, but I really like it so that's what I do!
Shaker-Cab-Drawers-3.jpg
User avatar
By woodbloke66
#1246065
custard wrote:Rob, I'm surprised that you're working with such narrow pieces of Cedar of Lebanon.

Quite a few timber yards stock C of L in 15mm thick boards for shingles, in the South East the best source I've found is Tylers.


Agreed, prime timber would be MUCH better and ultimately far easier to work with. However, I bought my CofL at a very 'economical' :lol: price from Paul Goulden which meant that it came with all sorts of assorted defects; hence the reason for this 'work around' jig. I've never been to Tyler's but a good pal in Andover gets all his stuff from there; definitely on my tuit list to visit.

I was using that stretchy masking tape method yesterday for gluing the bandsawn veneers for the back panels on this job before they went in into the airbag for pressing; works a treat - Rob