A new way to make a tried and true joint.
9 n woodworking it's easy to get into JL a rut. But often there's a reason. You tend to stick with what works.
That's why, when I have to build drawers for a project, more often than not I'll return to the trusted locking rabbet joint for the joinery. It makes a strong drawer and I've always liked the way it looks.
A dado blade on the table saw has generally been my tool of choice to cut this joint. But recently I came across a new way to make this joint — with a drawer lock router bit. Its clever design allows you to cut both halves of the joint with a single bit. And I found that it works pretty well.
the setup. The key to using one of these bits is the setup. After you have the bit installed in the router table, the first step is to adjust it to the right height. In order for the joint to be a tight fit, this is pretty important. The cutting height of the bit is given by the manufacturer (mine was %") and it will only work right when it is set at this particular height.
Once you've zeroed in on the correct height, you won't have to change it. Both halves of the joint can be cut using this same setting. The trick is in how you hold the different pieces as you rout the joint front and back. First you want to make the cut on your front and back drawer pieces. These pieces are routed flat as shown in Fig. 1. Just set the fence to rout the ends to a depth that matches the thickness of the sides, as shown in Fig. la. You can prevent chipout with a backer board.
the sides. Now all you have to do is rout a matching cut in the drawer sides. But this is a little different. Don't change the height of the bit but move the fence forward so that only the "tongue" of the bit will cut (Fig. 2a). Now you'll cut the sides with the pieces standing on end.
Just hold the side tightly against the fence and make a shallow pass (Fig. 2). Again, using a backer board is a good idea. You'll want to sneak up on the depth of the cut, testing the fit as you go. When the side fits flush with the end of the drawer front, you're joint is done.ES
- Position fence so depth of cut equals thickness of sides
Thickness of drawer sides
Fence set so only tongue of bit exposed
Backer board n / Hold drawer side / vertically against fence to make cut
NOTE: Don't change / height of bit to cut sides j
Fence set so only tongue of bit exposed
Occasionally a design calls for a drawer with a lipped front as shown in the near photo at left. Kitchen cabinets and some furniture styles often call for this treatment. And the drawer lock bit will easily accommodate it. It's simply a matter of making a deeper cut in the drawer front. A couple of passes will be necessary.
Three Beautiful Boxes
The main item you'll need when making make one (or all three) of the boxes featured in this issue is the special bowl and tray router bit.
The bit that I used (photo at right) came from Whiteside Machine Co. (1376B). Other companies offer similar bits. Just be sure that the one you purchase has a bearing on the shank for template routing.
You really won't need a lot of supplies to build any of the three tables from the article starting on page 22.
hanger bolts .The 5/i6" x 4" hanger bolts with nuts and washers are what hold it all together. If you can't find this size of hanger bolt locally, they can be ordered special items. Each one of the unique boxes requires a special item or two.
jewelry box. For the jewelry box (page 10), I ordered the four brass feet (10147), as well as the Suede-Tex supplies from Rockier. You'll need a bag of fibers (73080) and a can of adhesive (73130). An inexpensive "mini-flocker" is also available (28035).
secret box. You can purchase the rare earth magnets (99K31.01), the magnet cups (99K32.51), and special washers (99K32.61) from Lee Valley. The paduak lumber can be ordered from Rockier.
valet box. All you need for the valet box on page 16 are two 5/8n-dia. brass knobs. Rockier carries this item (68627).
in packages of ten (HB-3140) from McFeely's. This is where I also purchased the handy hanger bolt driver (HB-3199).
turned legs. I decided against turning my own legs. It was much easier to purchase them through Rockier. The legs are very
The drawer lock bit that I tried out was made by Amana (55387). It also comes in a W shank (55386). Several other manufacturers make similar bits and sources are listed in the column at right.
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There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.