Saturday, April 26, 2008

Stickley #913 Harvey Ellis Dresser, Part 5

This week's post covers a few days, my mother is visiting and I took the week off from work to spend some time with her but there was some time for playing in the shop.
The first thing I did was to make the back panel for the dresser, I could have used one piece of plywood or I could have made it out of ship lapped boards but keeping with the two tone look of the piece I decided to go with a frame and panel. I cut the rails and stiles to length and ran a 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch groove one one side of each and a groove on each side of the center stile. I cut 1/2 inch long tenons on the sides of the stiles to fit in the grooves of the rails. A little glue and some clamps and Bob's your uncle.
Once dry and sanded I couple of coats of Danish oil to match the carcass were applied. I need access to the inside to install and adjust the drawer guides so I drilled a few countersunk screw holes in the sides and screwed the back to the carcass.
These are the fronts for the drawers cut and trimmed to size layed out and marked for position. I was lucky enough to find a wide board of curly maple long enough to get all three of the bottom drawers from. The top 6 drawers also came from one board. I used maple for the drawer sides and for the smaller drawers I went with 3/8 inch thick stock that I had resawn from 4/4 stock.

I set up the half blind dovetails on my Leigh Dovetail Jig, what you see here is the new Leigh Vacuum Router Support that attaches to the shopvac and captures most of the shavings from the router. Before when I routed dovetails with the jig I would end up standing in a pile of sawdust, I have to say that this is a very useful addition to the Leigh system.

Once all the dovetails were routed, half blind for the front and through dovetails for the rear, I cut a 1/4 inch groove around the bottom inside of the pieces. I then sized 1/4 inch birch plywood to fit inside the grooves. Once everything was sanded I glued up the drawers using blocks to distribute the force of the clamps.
Here we have all six drawers, sanded, glued and clamped standing in line like good little drawers.
The nice thing was that the dovetail jig only had to be set up once and I was able to route all six drawers, with the larger drawers each one is a different height so the jig has to be set up for each one.

Today I unclamped the drawers and planed and sanded the dovetails flush. The large benchtop belt sander made quick work of flushing the back through dovetails. I then planed each the sides of each drawer to fit.

I wanted a tight fit on the drawers so I made the front and sides full height of the openings and planed each one to fit. Once all six drawers had been fit I was left with a nice pile of very thin maple shavings. Thank goodness for sharp tools.

The end product all fit and sliding nicely, a little finish sanding and a couple of coats of natural Danish Oil and this is going to look fantastic. The drawers are all going to receive 2 inch round cherry pulls. Three more drawers and a little bit of finish and this one is done.

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

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