Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Covid 19 week 11 - Drawer Fronts

I started this weekend by screwing the divider panel into the case. I'd originally planned to glue the divider panel in place but I decided to just add some screws to hold it in its slot. However, it isn't going to be under a lot of stress and I am worried that I may need to adjust or rebuild the drawers. At this point I can still remove the top rails and the middle divider to get larger tools into the case.

With the middle panel fixed in place I added the trim. I started with the bottom shelf trim and then added the divider trim.

I have to admit... I had enough clamps. I'll need to find something bigger to glue up so I can whinge about not having enough clamps... While waiting for the glue to dry I trimmed the top. Suffice it to say, the top is now a rectangle. I didn't bother getting a specific photo of the top. I'm planning on keeping the edges square with no profile but since I haven't put finish on it yet I could still change my mind.

The last thing I did on Saturday was pick out the boards for the shelves and drawer false fronts. Seems like this shouldn't be that big of a deal but since I decided to use hardwood for the shelves instead of plywood I have to be more frugal about waste while maintaining quality. I have just enough Sapele left to get two shelves and the three drawer fronts. I'll end up with just a couple of board feet of scrap that could maybe used on another project.

Sunday I laid out my drawer fronts on the selected board. I decided to get a picture of it because while I have paid attention to matching grain in the past I don't think I've talked about it much. The easiest way to do this for small parts is to create a template. I made mine out of some poster board that I keep for this purpose.

The template is pretty simple and quick to make but it gets me a few benefits. First, it makes it much easier to visualize what the grain is going to look like one the part has been cut free of the larger board. Second, it's easy to see when the grain is aligned how I want and it's easy to see when the template is misaligned.

Finally, the template can be used to mark out my cuts.

This Sapele is pretty straight grained so the skewing of the marks is somewhat subtle in the picture above; however, even you cannot see it, trust me...  the pieces were not parallel to the board.

After marking out the board I took it over to my band saw (technically, I pulled the band saw out of my rolling tool storage) and roughly cut the pieces to size - the board had already been flattened and thicknessed.  The ran those pieces over my jointer to clean up and straighten one edge. Finally, the pieces were cut square on my table saw.

I used some new spacers I purchased on to help me get the drawer front gaps even and to fiddle with the drawer front sizes. Basically I test-fit the drawer fronts using the spacers to judge my gaps until I was happy.

Those are a couple of the drawers pulled out on the left side of the photo. I think I had the bottom one in place while taking this photo. I attached the drawer fronts by drilling a couple of holes in the drawer front, shimmed the false front in place then with the drawer and false front in place drilled holes in the false front and added screws. I worked from the bottom up using the already in place false front to get the spacing on the next front.

This worked rather well but if I were to do this again I'd change a few things. First, I'd give myself more than a 1/16 inch gap below the bottom drawer. I'd keep the gaps around the false fronts the same though so this would allow the false front to extend slightly below the actual drawer. My top drawer actually extends a hair (1/64 inch) below the false front which is a little irritating but no one will ever notice unless they are a woodworker and looking closely. Second...  I dunno...  I'd planed a wider gap between the case and the drawers but it appears to be working. Maybe if I were to redesign this and make it again I'd make my runners 1/2 inch wide and leave an additional 1/4 inch gap to either side of the drawer.

But for now the drawers are in and have the fronts applied. I still need to sand the fronts so they're just screwed on. The false fronts are a little wobbly right now. Maybe another screw will make them solid enough. Maybe I'll just glue them on after sanding because if I have to rebuild the drawers I'll probably have to entirely rebuild them. We'll see...

Plastic "flat" shims

Broadfix Revolutionary Flat Shims -
Handi-Shim Heavy Duty Reusable Shims -

Note: I am providing links to these products because I saw them on Michael Alm's YouTube videos. I purchased these shims with my own money, I am getting no benefit from you using my Amazon links or visiting Michael Alm's you tube page other than I really like his videos and if you support him I'm more likely to get more videos.