Small walnut side table with drawer

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AndyT

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That's an interesting thought.
I've just watched this video https://youtu.be/5BiPbLjDT3I which includes a bit of joint adjustment at 8.45 in.
Maybe I need to experiment on a similar joint before trying to shift the drawer, but I like the idea of not taking it all to bits.
 

deema

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Place a cramp across the drawer edges with v block made of wood. Apply a little pressure. Warm up the joints with a heat gun or preferably a steamer being vary careful not to burn the wood if your using a heat gun. The drawer will pull into the correct shape fairly easily. You should be able to pull it with the clamp almost square. Don’t what ever you do pull it square initially as when the glue gives it will pull it too far. As you warm up each joint and it gives, check it with a square. I’d warm up the outside in case it gets a little too warm and you can then plane off the slightly discoloured wood / plane it up if you raise the grain with the steamer.

I would not use hot water.

The other alternative if it’s small enough is pop it in the oven at 90 degrees for about 20 minutes.
 

custard

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AndyT":79moow5y said:
So what to do?

As far as I can see, I have three choices.

1) Dismantle the drawer and assemble it again, properly.
2) Plane the sides and fit the drawer as well as I can. The sides won't be the same thickness along their length, but I will find out how bad it looks.
3) Start again on a new drawer.

It's not as bad as it looks.

The real killer with drawer boxes is when they're in wind, in other words if you lay it on a flat surface two corners are high and it rocks on the other two corners. There's really nothing you can do about that except start again.

Your drawer is no where near as problematic. I'd start with option 2. Because of the (sensible) construction method that you've followed you already know that you'll have to plane down the drawer sides, that in itself will go a long way to fixing the problem by planing the front half of the left hand drawer sides and barely touching the back half.

Sure, the drawer might be a touch rattly when fully extended, but in truth the fit of a drawer tends to be judged more when it's closed or nearly closed.

So, I'd plane first and there's every chance you'll get away with it.

Good luck!
 

custard

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One other thing, fitting the drawer bottom snug tends to pull the drawer back into square. You can't count on that to correct gross errors, but it should gain you another 1/16". That in conjunction with some careful planing will probably mean you're free and clear.

There is a school of drawer making that prefers for the drawer cavity to be slightly narrower at the front than the back, and for the drawer to be a whisker wider at the back, this means the drawer tightens up as it's opened and signals for the user not to pull the drawer right out. Obviously that construction won't now be possible with your drawer, but IMO it's not that big a deal. Alan Peters was a proponent of having drawers that tighten as they're opened, but interestingly the Barnsley workshop, where he trained, don't follow this practise, and Barnsley drawers and drawer cavities are dead square throughout.
 

Bm101

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Reading with interest Andy. Great thread as always when you do a WIP. Fascinating and educational for a beginner like me, both your posts and the answers to your questions from other members. I've already learnt a huge amount reading it. Thanks again for taking the time to so thoroughly document your progress and your honesty in your warts'n'all approach. =D> Wish I could offer advice on the drawer but obviously I can't. (Knowing sfa doesn't help lets face it). Just felt I wanted to post to show my appreciation.
Keep on keeping on. (hammer)
Regards as always,
Chris
 

AndyT

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As it happens, my pile of useful bits of wood includes some bits of oak and ash, about the same size as drawer sides, with practice dovetails cut.
I've glued them together with the same hide glue. I hope to find time tomorrow to try softening them and learn if I can straighten the drawer before I plane it.
I'll take photos and report back.
 

mr edd

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Hi Andy T
Thanks for taking the time to do this W.I.P, enjoying following it and good luck with the drawer, i'm sure it will turn out fine in the end.

Cheers Edd
 

AndyT

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Ok, here are the results of my first go at reversing joints in liquid hide glue.
Short version - Success!

Here's the first test piece. A pair of practice through dovetails in some thin ash. I deliberately glued these up crooked like this:

not_square_test1.jpg


First off, I tried a hair dryer. It's rated at 1000W and has served us well in regular use since the early 80s.

hairdrier1.jpg


I played this on the inside and outside of the joint for about four minutes.

hairdrier2.jpg


It didn't have any effect, not even softening some surplus glue on the outside of the joint. Not good.

I do have a more powerful hot air gun but I really don't want to scorch anything or set the workshop on fire, so I thought I would try an iron instead. Some of the casing is broken, so it has been replaced, but I kept it in case I ever get round to trying some veneering. I filled up the steam tank, but just used it dry for the first attempt, with the temperature set to cottons (high).

iron1.jpg


After a couple of minutes holding the iron against each of the outside faces, I could feel the glue soften. I pulled the joint into square and let it set again. Result:

square_test1.jpg


Encouraged by that, I had a go on the other test piece, this time with the steam turned on. This definitely helped, quickly changing this

not_square_test2.jpg


into this

square_test2.jpg


Feeling encouraged by this, I set to on the drawer.

drawer_ironing.jpg


This took longer, naturally, but after about four minutes of working round the joints in turn, I could feel the glue beginning to soften. I pulled at the sides by hand and pressed the drawer down onto the bench corner to corner. This got it nearly right. I went round a second time, giving it a bit more time and a bit more steam. I also used the clamp that I had got ready, though I don't think I really needed it.

nearly.jpg


And here's the result, with a proper M&W engineer's square standing inside. You can see a little bit of light, but it's a great deal better than it was before and I can now look forward to getting on with this build. As far as I can see there is no damage to the wood at all - and if there is, it will get planed off anyway.

square_left.jpg


square_right.jpg


I think this has been an interesting little diversion. I hope it helps other people discover this excellent, forgiving glue.

And many thanks for your encouragement! I've said it before, but I find the input of experienced and thoughtful woodworkers invaluable at times like this. :)
 

Bm101

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Thinking outside the box.
And inside the box.
And about the angles of the box.
And how to rearrange the box altogether.
Blue sky, pushing the envelope, hotdesking, Office Speak loving, seminar conference calling types are going to love this stuff Andy.
It's a goldmine.
I'd imagine so at least.

I tried working in an office for a short while in the far distant. I was sent on a time keeping course. I patiently explained to my boss that I didn't need to go 'cos I was never late. He sighed and told me to keep an open mind.
On the day I arrived at company Haitch Q and sat in this little room with the others. There was a tiny tray of biscuits on the table.
Tried making small talk with the lady to my right mostly along the lines of 'Christ. What a load of old bo*****s eh?! Bloody time keeping course! What will they waste their money on next?'
'Quite' she said and gave me a cold dead smile. 'A complete waste of everybody's time.'
Then she shuffled her papers, stood up and welcomed everybody to the time keeping course she was running that day.

*Ohhhh ffs .... #-o


Like your style Mr T.
 

Sheffield Tony

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IIRC you mentioned in another thread how not many people post "mistakes". What a shame, a mistake and more importantly what worked to put it right is well worth sharing. Much better result than planing, and a lot easier than fully dismantling or starting again !

You can crack on and finish it now :wink:
 

StraightOffTheArk

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Thanks for posting all this, it's very inspiring - I now have a burning desire to make a small table that we don't really have space for, and a new appreciation of the qualities of hide glue, which I suspect I would need to make a somewhat greater use of than your own noble self.
 

AndyT

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Buoyed up by my success with straightening the wonky drawer, I was pleased to see a day of dreary drizzle outside, so it was time to get back to the workshop.

First job was to clean up the cedar bottom. From this

drawer_bottom02.jpg


through this

drawer_bottom03.jpg


to this

drawer_bottom04.jpg


was fairly straightforward. It's something less than ¼" thick. The exact thickness doesn't matter as I will make it fit later.

Before the bottom can go in place, the drawer needs to fit the frame. In one way, this is simple - you "just" plane away the surplus wood until it fits. This is the trad way to hold a drawer to work on it, and I don't know a better one.

side_planing.jpg


There was a lot of that to do, and plenty of offering the drawer up to see if it would go in. Once it would go in, there was more planing to do, to get it to slide in easily. What makes it hard is that you can't easily be sure what the cause of any resistance is, at least, I can't. So you could be planing the edges of the drawer sides, reducing their height, when you ought to be planing their faces, reducing the drawer's width.

Anyhow, when it finally does this, it all feels worthwhile.

fitted1.jpg


In my case, the time taken was about an hour, but that's ok, I quite like planing. :)

Here's a closer view, of the dovetails and the drawer in place, just to let me feel happy for a bit longer.

dovetails_planed.jpg


fitted2.jpg


After a short break for lunch, it was time to get back to the bottom. I looked back at what I posted when I made my little chest of drawers, to remind myself how to do this, but it was a bit light on details, so I took more photos of this stage. I think this is the same as I did on the earlier project.

First step was to plane the front edge straight, line the drawer up with the bottom, and mark the overall size of the inside.

drawer_bottom05.jpg


That's not the size the bottom will be, but the lines are where the outside edges of the slips will be. So I lined up a slip with the pencil line

drawer_bottom06.jpg


rested a steel ruler up against the other side

drawer_bottom07.jpg


and made a knife cut along it

drawer_bottom08.jpg


drawer_bottom09.jpg


This line will be the shoulder of a rebate. The overall depth of the rebate is ⅛", so I marked across ⅛" and cut another line.

drawer_bottom10.jpg


This is the edge of the bottom, so the next step was to saw up to it

drawer_bottom11.jpg


To mark the depth down for the rebate, I like to use this sharp-screw-in-a-block gauge, which is nice and positive for fiddly little things

drawer_bottom12.jpg


To make the rebate I just split the wood off with a broad chisel

drawer_bottom13.jpg


and trimmed it with a paring chisel and a little bullnose rebate plane

drawer_bottom14.jpg


And here it is, fitted in to one of the slips.

drawer_bottom15.jpg


I then repeated this on the other side.

The ends of the slips need little stub tenons, which fit into a groove on the back of the drawer front, like this

slip_tenon.jpg


slip.jpg


That may look a bit rough, as I find it hard to measure things at this scale, so I deliberately sawed oversize then pared back with a chisel until it fitted.

The front edge of the bottom needs a rebate on the other face, which lines up with the stub tenons on the slips and fits into the same groove on the drawer front. Again, I just marked a line and planed by eye and by offering up, until it fitted.

Then, having established that it would all fit, I sanded the insides of the drawers while it was easy to get at them and also the slips themselves. Then it was out with the glue and the clamps and leave it all for another day.

slips_glued.jpg


Nearly there - I still need to level and smooth the table top, then sort out the finishing.
 

thetyreman

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that cedar bottom for the drawer is amazing, looks good enough to be a guitar top, where did you get it?
 

AndyT

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thetyreman":jaab79af said:
that cedar bottom for the drawer is amazing, looks good enough to be a guitar top, where did you get it?

It is lovely, isn't it? I found it in a skip!

It started out looking like shiplap cladding

IMG_3462_zpsa58e062a.jpg


but I deep ripped it like this

IMG_3451_zpsdcf68c93.jpg


See here for the full story
post946799.html#p946799
 

AndyT

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Racers":28g7w7zh said:
Nice Preston bullnose plane!

Pete

Absolutely essential for this job! I couldn't have managed without it, honest. :---)
 

deema

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I’m showing my ignorance I know, but if I don’t ask I won’t ever learn. I’ve never been sure what exactly drawer slips are for? Ive always assumed they are to reduce wear and increase the life expectancy of the piece.....but I may be completely off track. The drawers I’ve had to repair it’s always been the runners that have worn badly and needed to be lined that are a real pain. The drawers have always been very easy to repair by normally disassembling (to avoid damaging the front and also the hide glue has usually given up the ghost and needs regluing), cutting / planing the bottom true and parallel with the top and adding a new piece. I’ve always wondered why drawer runners have not evolved to allow them to be replaced fairly easily. There may be an easy way to line them, just I’ve never thought / read / or found it.
 
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