Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Drawers, dovetails and diversions

The last little while I have been focusing on constructing the drawers for my armoire.  The drawers have half blind dovetails set into the fronts and through dovetails at the back, so as you might imagine, it has been a bit time consuming.  They are reasonably large drawers so I have made them with 7mm ply to avoid saggy bottoms.

Part of the inspiration for this build came from an article in an April 2011 Fine Woodworking article by Christian Becksvoort.  In the article titled "Classic Shaker Cupboard", Becksvoort suggests a central drawer guide to keep wide drawers in line.  His idea is a grooved center strip fitted on top of a center stile with a dowel sunk into the back of the drawer to run in the groove.  I have simplified this slightly with a central runner screwed to the front and back frame rail and two lugs screwed into the drawer back to keep the drawer running true.  The central runner is set back from the front of the frame rail and doubles as the drawer stop.  Initial trials seem to suggest the arrangements work very well but I guess I need to wait to see how it holds up over the coming years before I start promoting the idea.

In the mean time I had started to turn handles from a scrap of NZ beech when my trusty, el cheapo, second hand lathe went up in a puff of smoke.   Many thanks to Mr wash fix from ebay for the replacement starter cap and the quick service.