Woodsmith

Lots of INTERIOR PARTS

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Lots of internal parts haunt the inside of the sewing cabinet — two top rails, four middle rails, two bottom rails, four drawer dividers, eleven stretchers, and fourteen drawer guides. If you lined up all these parts end to end you would realize that — you’re avoiding the task at hand,

rails for drawer dividers. You better get drilling and chopping. To complete the rails, rout the groove in the bottom rails for the plywood bottom.

DIVIDERS. Next up is making the dividers. There are three dividers for the small drawers, and one longer one between the middle drawers.

This calls for spending time at the table saw crafting the tenons and fitting them to their mortises as you go (detail ‘c’ on the previous page). This exercise warms you up for your next task — making the stretchers.

STRETCHERS. First, make the four side stretchers that have tenons offset to the inside of the cabinet (detail ‘a’). Following those parts are four lower stretchers with centered tenons (detail ‘b’). These two groups of stretchers are the same thickness. The remaining upper stretchers are thinner than their counterpar­ts (detail ‘c’).

DRAWER GUIDES. There are two sizes of drawer guides. The guides ride piggy-back on the stretchers and are glued in place after assembly. The main drawing above shows where they go. The last part you need to make before assembly is the plywood bottom. Then you can gear up to assemble the case.

ASSEMBLE THE CASE. There are 26 parts involved in the glueup for the case. So, unless you have a brainy pet octopus that loves puzzles — you’re going to need help. Also, the helper needs to be willing to do a rehearsal glueup where everything is staged and within reach.

Doing a dry run shows the weak spots in the plan and gives you an opportunit­y to iron things out. If you have your clamps pregapped, a bucket with warm water and rags close at hand, the glueup will be a breeze.

DRAWER GUIDES, PART 2. When the debris from the glueup is packed away, you can prepare the finishing touch to the interior of the cabinet — the drawer guides. Notice that the square guides sit on the outer stretchers to guide the bottom and middle drawers. The remaining guides are a little wider and are attached to the inner stretchers and side rails. With the guides in place, you need to make the back for the cabinet.

THE BACK. The back is a classic example of Shaker pragmatism. Just five poplar boards are inset to the frame of the cabinet. As you see in detail ‘d,’ the boards are joined with half-laps. Like the side panels earlier, I planed these boards to thickness from 1⁄2" stock. Then made the rabbeted edges at the table saw.

Pin nailing the back in place completed this stage of building. Now you can move on to making the drawers and the top.

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