Complete the CASE & DRAWERS


This stage of building the armoire starts just like the previous — cutting all the plywood parts to final size then painting and routing the exposed edges. After the router is cleaned and put away you can lay out the shelf and divider locations with the informatio­n provided in the main drawing above.

Note that the dividers, shelves, and drawer shelves are recessed inside the case. This distance accounts for the thickness of the doors that you’ll install later. The doors will be set flush to the edges of the case. A combinatio­n of screws and pocket screws brings all the parts together.

Set up and drill all the pockets in the underside of the shelves and drawer shelves. You can attach the shelves to the dividers like you see in detail ‘b.’ Then screw the dividers to the case. Follow this with screwing the dividers to each other, as you see in detail ‘c.’ This will add rigidity to the case. Finish up this stage by screwing the drawer shelves in place with pocket screws.

THE LEGS. The base is simply two thick cherry boards that support and lift the case off the floor. As you see in the main drawing and detail ‘d’ above, the parts cross in the middle with a half lap joint, and then extend beyond the sides of the case.

There’s an easy way and a hard way to make this base.

I chose the easy way, like I’m sure you did. Let me walk you through my steps. Start by making the leg blanks extra long.

You could spend a lot of time at the table saw trying to create large notches in the tops of the legs. Let’s not do that. Instead, rip the cleat layer from the legs. Save those pieces though, later you’ll use the outer sections to make the cleats of the leg.

HALF LAPS. Take the two leg blanks over to the workbench. There, rout the half laps with a

jig that matches the angled half lap that you see in the drawings on the previous page. The half lap is deep, so you’ll need to rout it in several passes.

Here’s another tip that lets you fit the legs to the case with minimal headache. Start by temporaril­y screwing the legs together through the half laps.

Then center the legs on the base and mark the ends. Also, scribe the top of the leg where it meets the case. Over at the table saw, trim the ends of the legs. Now you can trim the cleat material to the scribe mark on the leg.

Staying with the theme of making jobs easier, I positioned and screwed the legs to the bottom of the case like you see in detail ‘e.’ Now it’s time to glue the leg cleats in place on top of the legs. After easing the edges and sanding the legs smooth, you can turn your attention to the drawers.


The four drawers for the armoire are made with cherry and plywood bottoms. The false front is Baltic birch plywood that I covered with a cherry veneer.

Start off by cutting all the pieces to size. Then cut the groove for the plywood bottom in the sides, front, and back.

RABBETS. Next up are the rabbets in the sides to hold the back. The joinery on the front edge of the sides has a different twist to it — dovetailed rabbets. These rabbets are made with a dovetail bit and your router table. Online at Woodsmith.com/255, you’ll find all the informatio­n you need to make this joinery.

After assembling the drawers, drill the holes for the dowels (detail ‘a’) and glue them in place. Attach the drawer slides to the case and the drawer. Now it’s time to make the false fronts.

FALSE FRONTS. Notice that the grain of the veneer runs vertically. Glue the veneer in place before giving the false front the same edge treatment as the case. Now center the false fronts and attach them to the drawers. With that done, it’s time to make the big doors for the armoire.

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