This new project will demonstrate the accuracy and versatility of the Dowelmax system when used to construct drawers.
ALWAYS THINK SAFETY! Drill bits can shatter during use. Always wear safety glasses when operating power tools. Always disconnect power before changing drill bits.
Table Saw: 1/ Maintain concentration! 2/ Use a Riving Blade 3/ Use push sticks or feather boards 4/ Never place hands behind blade 5/ Wear goggles
Router or Radial Arm Saw: Always follow manufacturers safety guidelines.
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The first thing to recognize in the design of making drawers is that it is advantageous to hide the laminations (plywood) and/or end grain, when using solid material. If, using a butt joint, i.e. end to face, extend the lengths of the 2 longitudinal walls, so these overlap the end grain or laminations of the transverse walls.
As with any piece of furniture, it is virtually essential to get the associated lengths of these walls identical, and further, ensure that the cross cuts are square and true.
The bottom plate creates another problem with respect to visible laminations or end grain, consequently I cut a half inch recess at each lower inner edge, into which the lower plate fits. I have also used this plate to ensure the assembly is square during the glue up and clamping process.
Place the four walls together in the required positions, and mark the reference marks. In this case I use numbers rather than check marks to denote the various reference faces and edges.
The faced plywood used is 1/2 inch thick, so in this particular case we use 1/4 inch dowels for the assembly. Face drilling is required, so we alter Dowelmax into the second configuration for that process.
As stated, the plywood is 1/2 inch thick and following the simple formula: 1/2 inch ÷2 = 1/4 inch – 3/8 inch = minus 1/8 inch. With the negative reading we therefore have to install a 1/8 inch spacer on the lower face of the reference bracket, rather than the normal process of placing the spacer between guide block and reference bracket.
Reference Dowelmax on the work piece, aligning from the top, and use guides 1, 2, 4 & 5. It should also be noted that the drill collar will have to be altered to allow 3/8 inch drill penetration into the four faces, and 1 1/8 inch penetration into the four ends.
Dry fit and lightly clamp, then carefully fashion and fit the bottom plate. When gluing and clamping, insert the bottom plate as a guide that the assembly is true and square.
The next 2 examples are exhibited on one drawer, wall thickness 5/8 inch and all four corners mitred. Again, I must emphasise the importance of getting the lengths, or various lengths, identical, and corresponding cross cuts absolutely square in order to achieve the best results.
The two rear joints of this particular example will involve “blind” doweling, whereas the two front corners will represent “exposed” dowels. Since the exposed dowels protrude at 45 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the drawer wall, once trimmed, the exposed area will be ovoid in shape.
WARNING: Errors in drill collar positioning can lead to penetration of the rear wall and/or backing piece.
The latter case of wall penetration, consequently form these drillings in the work bench vise and do not place fingers where drill penetration can occur.