Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sharpening Station Drawer Fronts

 I got my drawer fronts added today.

I pulled some 3/8 inch(ish) thick quarter sawn white oak out of my scrap bin. I'd ripped it for panels in one of my previous projects but I'd done an extremely poor job so they'd been set aside and re-milled. The were still flat enough for my purposes so I finished milling them down to about 1/4 inch thick. Then I cross cut them to length using my cross cut sled and ripped them to just wider than the drawer fronts.

I centered each drawer front by feel and aligned the false front with the bottom of the drawers, except for the bottom drawer which I let run long.

The drawers are sticking out in the above image because I haven't fit them yet.

I used the holes I drilled for the handles to hold the false fronts to the drawer boxes while the glue dried. After the glue dried I used my low angle block plane to shave the fronts down to get an even gap all around.

I was pretty happy with my construction. The top three drawers are interchangeable. The fourth drawer is the same height as the top three but unfortunately I must have changed my technique setting the runners as I needed to trim that drawer a bit shorter than the top three. No worries...  I don't see a great need to ever change the order of the drawers. I did miss getting a "good enough" centering on one of the drawers but again, if this was a non-shop project I would have taken more time.

After fitting the drawers I gave the fronts a quick sand with 120 grit sand paper in my random orbit sander softening the edges while I was at it. Then I took the drawers back to my new finishing room shared with our utilities and applied some more of the water based poly to the fronts and the drawer handles.

I didn't bother wetting the pieces and sanding them before putting the poly on them. I'll just sand the fuzz after the first coat dries. Also, I noticed as I was putting poly on the handles that I hadn't sanded them after rounding over the sharp edges. Again, I don't care. This is shop furniture and I'll sand the  worst of the fuzz off when I sand the poly.

I wanted to make more progress this weekend but I'm still happy with what I did get done. I'll get a few more coats of poly applied this week. I've got one last fitting I need to do on the drawers. One of the slides got set a little too close to the front so one of the drawers doesn't fit flush. My plan is to remove the recalcitrant drawer runner, sand the front back a little then return it to the case. So long as I am careful to not break the runner it should be fine. I'll probably put that fitting off until I go to reinstall the drawers.

Next up is the door for the right hand side and the back. The back will just be some 1/4 inch plywood, whatever I can find in my shop. Might be Baltic birch, I might have some red oak, or maybe it will just be some luan. I unfortunately ran out of the white oak board I used for the case. I fortunately have another short piece of white oak in my wood rack that I should be able to make the door out of. I'm a little disappointed I need to cut into another board. It's going over my wood "budget" a little bit but all my white oak is technically left-over wood from earlier projects so I guess it is okay. It is just opportunity cost against a future possible project.