Monday, March 19, 2012

Making Drawers



After figuring out where I screwed up, this is the top drawer all clamped up.

Making drawers for my cabinets turned out to be a bit of an adventure. After you watch enough shows on woodworking, you get this strange sense of being able to do it because the guy on TV makes it look really easy. I kind of forgot a few things:
  • I'm not Norm from the New Yankee Workshop.
  • Those TV shows have editors.
  • Experience comes from making mistakes.
So, armed with the false sense of confidence that I could actually do this with very little difficulty, I started to work on the drawers. There were a few pluses -- 1/2" plywood is much lighter and easier to handle than 3/4" plywood, and the cutting of the wood was relatively easy and fast since it's a lot of repetition.

Of course, that leads to the minuses. The first was the realization that undersized plywood screws with measurements. My new dado set comes with the 3/32" chipper to get the groove closer to the right size, but then came the setting up of my dado head so I could get the cuts right. That took a LONG time. I think I might have taken upwards of an hour getting the dado set up  and making tons of test cuts. Then I learned the hard way that a "slip fit" is looser than I thought it should be...when I broke one of my drawer sides during assembly. Thankfully, it was only on one drawer, so I made the appropriate adjustments for the other two drawer
It's always nice when the drawer doesn't give you any drama.
As luck would have it, I also learned that I need to be more precise when cutting my bottom panels. My first drawer was slightly off, so I kind of forced it all together. The second drawer, strangely enough, went together with no problems at all. The third drawer took me two days to build since I had to recut the bottom panel. Turns out it was 1/16" off.

Strangely enough, the easiest part of all this work was mounting the drawers into the cabinet itself. I read through the instructions pretty carefully, and I got the drawers sized properly. Installing was a snap, and now I have some good drawers to put things in to keep stuff organized.

Next up on the list of things is to build the actual drawer fronts for the cabinet, make the top for the cabinet, and then work on the parts for the left cabinet. I'm thinking of making a pair of smaller drawers and then a larger pull-out for my bigger tools. This project is taking me a bit longer than I expected, but at least I'll have my tools organized, and I'll have a bench that I can assemble things on so I won't have to use my table saw as a table.
Yay...it all fits.
Got to use it for some storage...