Drawer Guide System

The drawers are mounted to the table with rabbeted guide bars, Fig. 9. Making these bars is pretty easy. Mounting them takes some patience. I cut the six bars from Maple stock. A rabbet is cut on one edge, leaving a tongue that mates with the groove in the drawer sides. This tongue should be just a hair smaller (both in thickness and length) than the grooves in the drawers. Since the bars are mounted across the grain of the top, there will be problems as the top expands and contracts with...

The Dovetails

The top and legs are joined with through dovetails. The worst part about cutting these dovetails is finding a way to clamp these rather large and heavy slabs in place to make the cuts. I wound up clamping them to the workbench with pipe clamps. The actual cutting is just like any other dovetail, except there's a little problem with vibration because the slab is so wide. I might add that it took almost a full day just to cut and chop them out mostly because I didn't want to blow a cut. the pins....

Special Considerations

In times past craftsmen demonstrated their skill by concealing all signs ofjoinery. Drawer fronts, for example, were joined with half-blind dovetails so the joint could not be seen (when the drawer was closed). Through dovetails were only used to join the drawer back to the sides. But times have changed. Joinery has come out in the open. Today, through dovetails are used on drawer fronts to show off this handsome joint, and add a spot of subtle decoration. However, when through dovetails are...

Selection Of Chisels

The only other tools you need is a good set of sharp chisels, and the mallet or hammer to go with them. And here the selection process is much easier. Any chisel that can be struck with a hammer or mallet will get the job done. (Garrett Wade, Fine Tool Shop, and Woodcraft Supply all have a good selection of chisels.) We have six or seven sets of chisels around the shop. I generally choose the ones that are closest to me at the time provided, that is, they are sharp. However, in all fairness,...

An Overview Of How To Lay Out The Cuts

Once you've collected the tools to do the job, it's time to start laying out the cuts. There are three basic variations on the dovetail joint through dovetail, half-blind, and mitered (or full-blind). Although much of the process is very similar for all three variations, we're limiting this article to through dovetails. Half blind dovetails (which are used mainly in drawer construction) will be covered in the next issue. And mitered dovetails won't be covered at all because they have extremely...

Step By Step

IMake sure the boards are true and the ends are square. To mark the base line of the pins, set the marking gauge to the thickness of the board for the tails. 2 Work out the details of the size and spacing of the pins on paper. Then clamp the board in a vise with the OUT face toward you and transfer the marks. 3 Set the sliding bevel to the angle you want I use 1 5 . Hold pencil on mark, slide arm up to point of pencil, and mark the angle on the end of the board. 4 The pins are the triangles...

Laying Out And Marking Tools

There are actually two sets of tools used in making dovetails. The first group is used to lay out and mark the cuts. The second group is used to do the actual cutting and fitting. lb lay out the cuts for a dovetail you'll need five tools an adjustable bevel gauge, a small try square, a steel ruler, a marking gauge, and a scribe or a sharp pencil. sliding bevel. Sliding bevels K in Fig. 1. are available at almost every hardware store. The 'arm' can be adjusted to any angle...