Dovetail drawers

  • 02 May 2017 10:31 AM
    Message # 4797413
    Rob,


    Been watching Luther making drawers and for some reason I just can't wrap my head around it. When you are making dovetails drawers how is it measured? Where are you loosing dimension? Hope you understand me and can help the mess that is going on in my head.

    Semper FI,

    Roger

  • 03 May 2017 8:15 AM
    Reply # 4811964 on 4797413

    Roger,

    Don't over think it brother. The exact measurement of the opening is the measurement of the drawer stock. If the opening is 12" wide, then the front and back is 12". If it is 12" deep, then the sides are 12". Adjust for a perfect fit. I use a combination of card scrapers and handplane to get it to fit perfectly. It's really really simple. Think about.the only exception is if you do half blinds for the drawer front. Depending on the thickness of my drawer front, I either set my tails back either an 1/8" or a 1/4". In which case, your drawer sides will either be an 1/8" or a 1/4" shorter. Understand? I think cause it is DOVETAILS, you might be overthinking it.

    Last modified: 03 May 2017 8:17 AM | Richard Blair
  • 03 May 2017 8:39 AM
    Reply # 4811982 on 4797413

    Roger,

    If you watch rob or the others, they will use the opening for the drawer to mark the drawer back then use the drawer back as a template to make the front. This is just to get that perfect gap all the way around. This compensates for any variation in the squareness or lack there of in the carcass construction. Now, if you use a rabbiting block plane like rob does, then you have to remember that when you cut that little rabbit for alignment purposes, then you will loose a little size there, so you have to account for that loss. Make sure you have your inner surface perfected before you cut your dovetails, because if you have to plane the inside after drawer assembly, you may loose some there. What I do is keep my side stock a little too think. Maybe a 1/16" at most. For instance, if I want my drawer sides to be 1/2 then I will actually make them 1/32 to 1/16 bigger. That way when I cut my rabbit, the thickness there will be 1/2". Then if I must plane the inside surface, then I have a little room there to do it. Now when you set your cutting gauge to marke the depth of the pins, do it on the edge after you cut your rabbits. That way it will compensate for itself. If you do it before. Then your tails will sit too deep into your pins. Then when you go to flush it all up, your drawer will be too small. When it comes to drawers I use what is referred to as relative dimensioning. Which is, I don't use a tape measure. That just complicates everything. Size your parts to your opening, and if you make a cut or a pass with a handplane, think about it's consequences.


  • 03 May 2017 1:23 PM
    Reply # 4812536 on 4797413

    Richard,

    Thanks for that. I do have a bad habit of over thinking things.


    Semper FI,

    Roger

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