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Stub tenons join frame


Stopped chamfer on all four corner stiles

NOTE: grooves are sized to hoh 1A" plywood panels

FRONT FRAME. I started on the front frame by cutting the corner stiles (D), rails (E), upper stiles (F) and the lower stile (G) to size from stock. (The corner stiles are wider.)

GROOVES. After the frame pieces are cut to size, you can cut the centered grooves sized to hold the V4" plywood panels. Just run your pieces through the table saw, flipping them end-for-end. You might wonder about the grooves in the drawer openings, but just go ahead and cut full length grooves on all the pieces. You'll put in some filler strips later on. (But I did skip the grooves on the front lower stile.)

TENONS. Next I cut stub tenons on the rails and the inside stiles (Fig. 4a). To get a solid frame, these tenons should fit snug in the grooves, so just sneak up on them.

CLAMPED FRAME. With all the tenons cut, I sized the Va" plywood panels (H, I) and then just dry fit and clamped the whole frame.

NOTE: 3/8 All frame pieces are 3A" thick

At this point I took advantage of the clamped up frame to fit the filler strips (K) around the drawer openings (Fig. 4). Just make sure the lower stile is centered before you cut the long strips, but there's no need to glue them in yet.

Then I used the clamped frame to locate the grooves in the corner stiles that will match the tongues on the case sides (Fig. 4b). If you just turn the case on its back and lay the frame on top, you can use the tongues to mark where you want to cut the grooves. With the frame apart, it's easy to complete this.

CHAMFERS. The last thing to do before gluing up the frame is to rout the stopped chamfers, as shown in Fig. 5a. When you look closely, you'll see that the top and bottom end points of the chamfers are dif ferent. Also, the left and right sides are mirror images. Don't worry, this just means that you'll need to use a different set of "offset" reference marks on the fence for each stile (Fig. 5). After the chamfers are routed, the ends of the cuts need a little clean-up, as shown on page 23.

BACK FRAME. The back frame is the same thing all over again, except for the two lower plywood panels (f).

CASE & FRAME ASSEMBLY. When both frames are complete, they can be glued to the case. I added one frame at a time, starting with the front frame so I could clamp through the drawer openings, as shown in Fig. 6. Then when the back frame was in place, I glued in the filler strips and sanded them flush.

NOTE: Tongue and groove aligns case and frames

Filler strips glued in grooves around drawer openings

Triangular-brace blocks reinforce back feet (see Fig. 8a)

NOTE: Base frame and feet are flush with back of case

Triangular-brace blocks reinforce back feet (see Fig. 8a)

NOTE: Base frame and feet are flush with back of case


With the case completed, I turned my attention to the lower part of the chest. This just involves making and installing some spacers, the base frame, and the bracket feet.

SPACERS. The first thing you want to do is add the bottom spacers (L) that help support the base frame. They're cut from 3/4M-thick stock and then glued and screwed to the bottom divider as shown in Fig. 7b.

BASE FRAME. Now the case is ready for the base frame. There's really not much to it. But as you can see in

Figs. 7 and 7b, it does provide a solid "foundation" for the feet and adds another nice layer of detail.

To get started, I ripped blanks for the base frame front (M), sides (N), and back (0) to finished width from 3/4m stock. Then the front and two sides get "bullnosed" using a V2" round-over bit set to cut only 3/8M deep, as shown in Fig. 7a.

Now all there is to do is miter the front and two sides to fit. Figs. 7 and 7b show what you want — a 1" overhang on the front and sides and a flush fit at the back. Once this was done, it worked well for me to just glue and screw the pieces to the case one at a time, starting at the front. The back piece is added last.

BRACKET FEET. Now you can take on the "challenge" of the bracket feet. But you shouldn't be intimidated. It's not hard (see box below).

When the feet are completed, you just attach them with counterbored screws and glue. Fig. 7b shows how they fit — with the rounded part Vs" proud of the base frame.

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