My last post had me preparing the individual panels which comprise the drawer case. After hand planing and scraping the surfaces I temporarily assembled the panels and confirmed that the drawer case is perfectly square. More importantly, the dado grooves (dadoes) are perfectly lined up in the horizontal plane for each level of drawer. I return to all the checking and re-checking of measurements I performed before creating the dadoes to assure these dadoes would line up correctly. It is also important to have the individual panels perfectly square.
At this point I glued and clamped the panels together. A short time later, the clamps are removed and the fitting of the drawer dividers begins...
In the photo, the horizontal dividers are composed of a leading part of cherry and the back part is alder. I'm using alder as a secondary wood in this application. The drawer dividers are utilitarian for the most part except for the leading edge which needs to be consistent with the other panels comprising the drawer case. I've set the edge between the cherry and alder significantly behind the leading edge of the drawer case to be practically unnoticeable. The seam between the cherry and alder is also lightly hand planed and scraped prior to assembly.
I test fit the assemble drawer case into the main armoire case. This is a great example of a case within a case. The drawer case will be pinned to the main case at the bottom, but the remainder of the drawer case will not be attached to the main case. This was another design consideration on my part. I have much more freedom in the design and execution of the drawer case if it is built independently of the main case. In a earlier post I might have mentioned that I'm designing the drawers so they can be individually removed and set onto the drawer case, much like a silver chest design.
In the next few days I will begin assembling and preparing the wood to be used for the drawers, of which there are eight. The drawer front will be half-blind dovetailed to the drawer sides and the drawer back rabbeted and pinned in with a lower groove for the drawer bottom panel. I'll be using a contrasting wood to the cherry drawer fronts. I'm also going to work at getting the graphics of the drawer fronts both continuous and in harmony, this involves quartersawn pieces of cherry. Initially, I will lay out the dovetails both to be aesthetically pleasing and in scale with the drawer pieces. In my next post, I hope to have a dovetail layout I've decided on. It has been a while since I sat at my bench and made dovetail joints, I'm looking forward to this..