Wednesday, August 15

Wednesday – Case Assembly

I started the day by trimming to size and installing the drawer rails; these are the parts in the bottom of the case that the drawer boxes will slide on, they also stiffen the case. While the glue on these was setting up a bit, I routed the base shoe moldings. I’m using what I call a double-round-over (I’m sure there is a technical name for this shape, but I have no idea what it is, the router bit case just has a number on it) on the base shoe and the underside of the top plate, so I route both while I have it in the router. Then I switched over to a plain round-over bit and routed the top edges of the top plates.

Another task that I will work on through out the day, while waiting for glue to dry for example, will be forming the stops that will go inside the drawers. These upside down U shaped pieces will spring snugly inside the drawers to hold up the tea bags when the drawer is not full. They are made from oak because it bends well but since I don’t have a steam bending box, I soak the 1/16” thick strips in hot water for a few minutes. Once they are pliable I slip one into the bending form and clamp it. After about an hour I can remove the strip and place it in a “keeper” that holds its shape while it dries completely. Once it’s dry it will pretty much hold this shape.

Next I trim and install the center dividers. These form the tunnels into which the drawers will slide. Their location is critical, so laying them out and placing them takes some time as I triple check everything. If either are off by as much as 1/32 of an inch in any direction it will cause a drawer to bind. Unlike some folks, I don’t make things easier on myself by leaving a lot of slop around the drawers. I like a nice clean fit. There has to be enough room that the drawers won’t bind in humid weather, but no more than 1/32” of gap on each side on drawers this size.

Next I cut the drawer fronts. Technically this is part of tomorrow’s work, but I’m waiting on things again, so I’ll work ahead. I put a slight round-over of the front edges. One of our hallmarks is the way we always cut drawer fronts and keep them in order so the grain pattern flows across the drawer set.

Finally I glue the top plate to the cabinet assembly and clamp it in place. This will need to sit in clamps overnight.

And that completes today’s assigned tasks. Tomorrow we build drawers.

See you then.


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