Monday, August 1, 2011


In the last post I had designed and created the three drawer compartments. Since then I have cut the parts for the individual drawers and begun the process of dovetailing the fronts to the sides of the drawers. Fitting of the drawers into their respective compartments can be a time-consuming process. Instead, by carefully measuring the parts to more precisely fit the compartments, much of the final fitting is reduced. This is my approach, I mark and measure precisely and then lay out the dovetails.

In this case I went a step further by creating a test joint using similar components as the actual drawers. I do this for a couple of reasons. One is to determine the best dovetail placement and spacing and secondly to prepare the two marking gauges and the divider I use to mark and create the dovetails. The dovetails are of the half-blind type, referring to the fact that the tails are hidden or set back in the pins. This type of dovetail hides the joint from the drawer front face and is more elegant than through dovetails.

Creating dovetails is an enjoyable process and a few precision tools are involved: different sizes of chisels, a fine dovetail saw, marking tools, a small block plane, etc. In one case, a drawer has a small lip overhanging the drawer divider so there is more of a challenge with this particular one.
There is little to no margin for error as the joints need to be perfectly fit.
The pin marking need to be offset from the bottom by the width of the overhang or lip. I make most of the adjustments of the dovetail joints within the hidden part of the joint.In the photo you can see one complete drawer, a smaller test drawer and the components of another drawer being prepared.

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