Divider Rails Are Grooved For Splines

Splines connect the

His ( ply : dividers. The same spacer used t< \ the doveta s for the divider ra used here. ■

panel just like a door so it wouldn't bind. At the same time. I kept the fit of the panel very snug mi it wouldn't be obvious. Just in case it was a little roo snug, I drilled a small access hole through the front ledger strip, so a short length of wn.-dia. rod could be used to push the false bottom up from below.

Kickers tie case together and prevent top drawer from dropping The kickers had to be cut before 1 could cut the divider panels to their finished height. I attached the kickcrs to the top rails with large dovetails. I cut the slots with a router, ■ i p ur of spacers j one lor each side ol thi simi lar to the one Id used for the divider rails. IV. au the top front rail is flu with i he back of the front leg, there's no leg edge for the spacer. To get around this, I just set a -ui.-thick block against the inside of the frame instead.

I cut the kickers to length, notched their shoulder locations on the table saw and checked to set that tin length was right. Then I transferred the dovetail layout fr»m the slots in the top rails, cut the dovetails In hand and fitted them to the slots.

Divider panels fit between divider rails and kickers I measured and cut the divider panels to fit between the kickers and divider rails. The kicker and the top of the panel were grooved for the same .-in.-wide spline I used on the panel bottom. Mv first spa* 11 o huts tfu in liiu with the panel and divider rail. But because the router base runs into the rear top rail. I couldn't finish this cut with the kicker in tin carcase. So I used the router table,

I clamped the divider panels in place ver-ticallv to the kickers and dividi i rails to check the drawer openings. I made sure they were parallel from Iront to back. Any slight adjusting can be done bv cutting the grooves in the panel a bit wider so the plywood can be moved, shimming the spline to one side or the other. Once Id positioned

THE CASE IS BUILT. With the two end assemblies connected and the case divided into its three main sections, the carcase is ready for doors and drawers (left). The case includes two hidden compartments (above).

the dividers exactly where 1 wanted them, I clamped them in place and pencil-marked their positions. Then I laid out the remaining knile-hinge mortises.

t nfortunately, I had glued in the rail splines to make it easier to lit the dividers. This prevented the muter base from riding the rails to nun the mortises lor the knife hinges. After shrieking with disgust over mv lack of foresight. I realized there was a simple way to correct this problem that was actually an improvement. I made a little platform out of some -m.-thick medium-density fiberboard MDF . clamping it in place around each mortise location. These boards were just higher than the spline and provided the router base with solid support.

Making and Fitting the Back

Mie back of this sideboard was fitted with a frame-and-panel back. The top and bottom rear rails were rabbeted to receive the panel. Radier than rabbeting the legs and weakening them, I glued strips to the rear legs to provide support tor the back. II bv some fluke of nature, the opening tor the back is not perfectly square, cut your rails and stiles to the largest dimension and trim the franit aid r it 's glued up.

For ease of construction. i used stub tenons tor this frame. I made the mortises for these tenons slightly deeper than the panel grooves, though, so the center stiles wouldn't be ' ird to locate during glue-up. Be sure when gluing up that the end stiles line up flush or arc ¡list proud of the rail ends. Again, it s easier to plane long grain than end gram I he panels were sanded and finished before gluing. Atter the glue had cured, I pinned all the joints with »-in. dowels and drilled countersunk holes hir the screvvs that hold the back in place.

Then I lit the traame to its opening and rabbeted it so u would be flush with the top and bottom rails. Once fit. the back was set aside in a safe place.

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