Monday, November 14, 2011

Drawer Progress - Trying to Simplify

     Diane keeps telling me I don't need to build a masterpiece for her sewing center but hey, if you're going to do it -- do it right!  In any case though I am using some different, more streamlined techniques for the drawers.  For starters, rather than being dovetailed I thought I'd cut a rabbet on the drawer front and then use dowels for reinforcement.  Thanks to the drill press that Vince gave me, this is a fairly simple process.  Without being able to use the drill press the process would have been different.

Drawer on drill press for dowel placement.
      I would have had to use a hand held drill and be very steady and square to drill the holes.  This particular drill press has a table which can be adjusted for height quite easily.

     You can see the other drawers in the back that have been drilled already.

     Once all of the pieces were dry fit with an MDF bottom they were glued and assembled.

Nice Shavings!

     It seems that no matter how careful you are with sizing the drawer members there's usually a small amount of trimming that needs to be done with a block plane.  Here's where having a nicely sharpened tool comes in handy.

     For this application I chose to put a 3/4" wide groove in the drawer sides and make runners to guide the drawers.  As a general rule, a piece of hardwood would be used for this purpose but I broke that general rule and used pieces of 1/4" MDF!  Since the drawer space is just a bit over 5" tall I knew it would be a hassle working in there with a drill and screwdriver.  To make my life simpler I used a 1/2" piece of plywood to fill the space between the inside of the cabinet and the face frame.  My thought was that I could attach the runners to the plywood first and then attach the plywood to the cabinet -- it worked!!

Notice the pennies used to set 1/16" gap
     The first step was to locate the runner for the bottom drawer and attach it to the plywood filler piece.  Then by clamping the plywood pieces to the drawer I was able to locate the runner for the upper drawer with a small try square.  If you look close you can see my hi-tech spacers; a penny at each corner.  This gives about a 1/16" gap between the drawers which is just about right.

Plywood and Runners Installed

     Last of all was to screw the plywood into the cabinet.  A coat of wax and it works as it should!

     At this time the units are in Diane's studio.  Tomorrow we'll take the doors to a stained glass studio in town so they can cut the glass to size.  I'll take some final photo's of the entire unit after they're installed.

     Does she like it --- you bet she does.  Took us to Smashburger for dinner, that's all the payment I need.  Tried their black bean patty and it's good, highly recommended.

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