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Cutting Drawer Bottoms Traditionally

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JoeSheffer

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Hi,

I have a pile of cedar of lebanon which is 15mm thick. I want to use it for some drawer bottoms. I don't have a band saw, and am wondering what is the traditional method of cutting draw panels or box panels?

I assume from looking at old furniture that around 6mm or around 1/4 of an inch is standard? What was the way that these kinds of panels were cut or were they generally cut, jointed and then glued into larger panels?

Regards
Joe
 

Yojevol

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I think, Joe, you have probably answered your own question in the last few words of your post. I don't know how it was done 'traditionally'. They probably did it the same way as you're going to do it - with the tools available. So what saws do you have, and what is the width of your 15mm boards?
Brian
 

woodbloke66

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JoeSheffer":1w64aog4 said:
Hi,

I have a pile of cedar of lebanon which is 15mm thick. I want to use it for some drawer bottoms. I don't have a band saw, and am wondering what is the traditional method of cutting draw panels or box panels?

I assume from looking at old furniture that around 6mm or around 1/4 of an inch is standard? What was the way that these kinds of panels were cut or were they generally cut, jointed and then glued into larger panels?

Regards
Joe
Depends on what you're doing Joe; 15mm is more than thick enough for a drawer bottom and I generally make mine around 7 or 8mm thick as there's no hard and fast rule. Even with a bandsaw, it would be tricky to re-saw a 15mm board to obtain two thinner ones. By the time they were planed you might find that they're too thin. I use a jig to glue together various bits to form the width needed and after finishing each surface the rebates along the sides and front are cut on the router table - Rob
 

AndyT

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Hi Joe

If I post a project on here, I tend to go into quite a lot of detail as I agonise over which approach to take, which tools to use and so on.
However, this does mean that when someone posts a question like yours I can easily offer an example of a method that may have worked for me.

So have a look here, for my experience deep ripping some cedar to make drawer bottoms - it really wasn't very hard and worked out well, though I did use a proper rip saw.

post946799.html

 

Blackswanwood

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AndyT":wp7khs88 said:
Hi Joe

If I post a project on here, I tend to go into quite a lot of detail as I agonise over which approach to take, which tools to use and so on.
However, this does mean that when someone posts a question like yours I can easily offer an example of a method that may have worked for me.

So have a look here, for my experience deep ripping some cedar to make drawer bottoms - it really wasn't very hard and worked out well, though I did use a proper rip saw.
Hi Andy - have you put a rebate on the piece to guide your cut?
 

AndyT

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Blackswanwood":jdtgm6su said:
Hi Andy - have you put a rebate on the piece to guide your cut?
No, but there was already a rebate there - it was some salvaged cladding. If you follow the link above the picture you can see more pictures and description.
 

Blackswanwood

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AndyT":qulngh2z said:
No, but there was already a rebate there - it was some salvaged cladding. If you follow the link above the picture you can see more pictures and description.
Got it thanks. I find rip cutting like that quite difficult and thought you had a wheeze to make it easy!
 

AndyT

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To be fair, cedar is a lot easier than other timbers. If it had been oak, I'd have soon been asking friends with bigger bandsaws.
 

woodbloke66

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Blackswanwood":1p5sicou said:
Got it thanks. I find rip cutting like that quite difficult and thought you had a wheeze to make it easy!
It's not difficult, especially in stuff like CofL which is very soft. When I used to do this sort of thing I kept on reversing the timber to saw from the other side. Relatively easy then to keep the saw on the line - Rob
 

profchris

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woodbloke66":20nxwjp7 said:
Blackswanwood":20nxwjp7 said:
Got it thanks. I find rip cutting like that quite difficult and thought you had a wheeze to make it easy!
It's not difficult, especially in stuff like CofL which is very soft. When I used to do this sort of thing I kept on reversing the timber to saw from the other side. Relatively easy then to keep the saw on the line - Rob
Two more tips:

1. The cut along the end grain must be straight, or your rip saw can wander or bind. I use a tenon saw to cut that first.

2. If you can run a 1/4 inch deep saw kerf along the line either side, that helps keep your rip saw in line.

And you can do the main cut with a panel saw, but it's twice as much work as a rip saw!
 

Blackswanwood

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Thanks - Some good tips I will try. I toyed with the idea of making a simple kerfing plane but have never got round to it.
 

profchris

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Blackswanwood":1tdwgq9q said:
Thanks - Some good tips I will try. I toyed with the idea of making a simple kerfing plane but have never got round to it.
I've clamped a tenon saw to a piece of wood (the wood acts as a fence) with a spacer between the saw and the fence. If you start the kerf cut very slowly and carefully (it tends to jump/skip) this can work.

But warning - if your board is not perfectly straight then you can end up with a curved kerf, which gives problems!

The alternative is to draw the line each side and then cut the kerf freehand with a tenon saw. Start at the end furthest away from you and gently work the kerf back to the other end. Repeat on the other side. Slow, but quite manageable.

Note that the two lines have to be parallel, so you need a line across the end grain each end and then join them up. Twist in the board makes this hard/near impossible. I plane one face flat and then mark all the lines from that.
 

Hornbeam

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If you are deep sawing material, you will loose the width of teh saw kerf, a bit of wander and then at least 1mm from each sawn face to clean up. In theory that is only 3 mm but as ageneral rule I allow 5 mm , so your 15mm Cedar will yeild 2 panels of 5 mm thickness which will be a bit thin.
 

thomashenry

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I've done similar, but to make floating panels for frame and panel doors etc. I just used a hardpoint saw or a rip saw, and ripped my wood down to approx 10mm, glued it up and planed it. It's simple enough, just lots of sawing.
 

thomashenry

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I wouldn't bother with a kerfing plane. Just press heavily with your marking guage, and saw down the scored line, flipping the stock over regularly.
 
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