This weekend I continue the Stickley #913 Harvey Ellis Designed 9 drawer dresser. This is the hard part, making the "bones" for the carcass. Cutting the dado's and sliding dovetails in the sides for the front and back drawer rails and the side drawer guides. The thickness of the cherry is 13/16th's of an inch so I couldn't cut the dado's with a 3/4 inch router bit, so what I decided to do was to attach a 3/4 inch outer diameter guide bushing and use a 1/2 inch mortising router bit. I then made a template by ripping two pieces of 1/2 inch plywood 4 inches wide, placing a piece of 1/2 inch MDF that I had ripped to 1 1/16th inch between them, squaring them up and screwing them to two pieces of jointed 1x3 scrap. I then used the MDF pieces to create stops by screwing them to the one by. I set the depth on the router to 1/8th of an inch and cut the stopped dado's that will house the side drawer guides. I then dropped the depth to 1/4 of an inch and routed out a relief so that I could slide in the stopped sliding dovetail joints on the front drawer rails. I then switched to my other router set up with the same size router guide and a 1/2 inch wide dovetail router bit, moved the MDF stop so that the bit stopped 1/2 inch from the front and removed the back stop. I routed the front as a stopped sliding dovetail and the back as a sliding dovetail both 1/4 inch deep.
I then put the same dovetail bit into the router table and used some cut off stock to dial in the width of the dovetail. I then cut dovetails on the ends of the front drawer rails and fit them in place. Once the front was all dry fit included the small drawer rails and the vertical divider ( not easy) I took a break and mowed the grass cause sometimes you just need to walk away from the shop or you just know you are going to make a mistake.
Sunday afternoon I cut the dovetails on the back drawer rails and fit them in place. I also cut the side drawer guides and middle drawer guides and formed the tenons on them. I marked the placement of the mortises so that when I take this puzzle apart I will know where to place them. I have numbered each piece and marked the same numbers on the inside of the joints so that each hand fitted piece will go back in the same location. The tenons on the side drawer runners will be glued into the front drawer guide rails and not glued into the back drawer guide rails to allow them to move with the sides. When I take the carcass apart next I will also cut a rabbet into the back of the legs to hold the back panel. The front arched apron will be mortised into the front legs and the legs will be tapered. All parts will be sanded prior to glue up. Hopefully, next weekend the carcass will be complete and them I can start on the drawers, did i mention that there are nine drawers...... NINE....