Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stickley #913 Harvey Ellis Dresser, Part 1

Today marks the beginning of the Stickley #913 Harvey Ellis Designed 9 drawer dresser. Like the picture to the left this one is going to be constructed with a cherry carcass and curly maple drawers. I previously purchased the lumber and have had it acclimating in the shop for a couple of weeks, now its time to make some sawdust.

The first thing I wanted to do was to select the best boards for the top and the sides, I specifically looked for interesting grain patterns and lack of knots. I put together one panel just over 36 inches and 20 inches wide for the top. The two sides are seventeen inches wide and 48 inches rough, all three of these panels will be trimmed to size later.

After removing the clamps and scraping off the excess glue I ran the panels through the drum sander to remove any mismatched boards from the glue up and to flatten the panels.

The rest of the carcass parts are ripped to width and rough cut for size, I like to get all my parts together and then cut them to length. This way I can do the rough length cuts on my miter saw then do all the ripping on the table saw with a Freud Glueline Rip Blade, switch over to a crosscut blade and use my extended miter gauge to do the crosscuts.
After the panels have been cut to length I set up the dado blade and cut a 1/4 inch tongue on both side panels this will fit into a 1/4 wide by 1/2 inch deep groove in the legs.

I sanded the legs smooth then chose the two best for the front legs. Once this was done I marked the outer corners and oriented them so I could mark the spacing for the drawer rails and the locations of the grooves. It is important to keep the legs in order when you are marking them out as the layout is rather complex. I used a plunge router with a fence attachment and a 1/4 inch straight bit to cut the grooves in each leg for the side panels. This is the first step for the legs, the front legs will have mortises cut for the drawer rails and the back legs will have a groove for the back panel as well as mortises for the back of the drawer frame. Both sets of legs will be tapered on the outer sides.
After the routing I dry fit the legs onto panels, with a little of fine tuning with a shoulder plane the fit was perfect. The inside of both panels will have a series of dadoes to support the sides of the drawer frames. Once the mortises are all cut in the legs and the dadoes in the side panels I can start cutting the tenons for the drawer rails then I can start on the mortises and tenons for the drawer frames, but that has to be left for next weekend.

"It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends."

John Ruskin

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