Drawer Assembly and Fitting

I did three glue-ups of the dovetail joints for each of the three drawers. So, nine glue-ups later, I had the drawer boxes assembled. This was followed by some clean-up with a block plane to make the joints flush with the drawer sides and backs.

Here's a close-up shot of the half-blind dovetails where the maple sides meet the mahogany drawer fronts. I'll do one final pass over the drawer sides and backs with a smoothing plane after the drawers are fitted to the drawer pockets.

In the meantime, on the shaper, I cut grooves along the drawer sides that will mate up with the runners to be mounted to the insides of the drawer pockets. The stopped end of the cut near the drawer front will serve as a drawer stop, so I'm squaring up the end of the cut with a chisel to receive a small leather pad.

A close-up of the final pass against the chopping block.

The runners are being made from the same maple material as the drawer sides. This is a hard material that planes to a very, very smooth finished surface. My expectation is for an equally smooth drawer action as it is pulled in and out of the pocket. It is important that the bearing surfaces on the drawer and the runner are kept free of any wax or other "remedy" for a sticky drawer. Wax may be an expedient solution, however, it is not a complete solution and the drawer will still bind. There is a better way. If any stickiness occurs in the future, it will likely be because of seasonal wood movement, the precision of which cannot be predicted. So, if the drawer motion ever does become sticky, it is best to remedy it with a few light passes of a hand plane instead. This is a quick, simple procedure that will provide the needed clearance and allow the drawer to move freely, once again, in all seasons.

The tongue on the back of the runner fits into a groove cut in the side of the drawer pocket to provide strength and stability when the drawer is in the open position. The photo below shows the runner fitted into the groove. Brass screws will be used to secure the runner after the final fitting is completed. Also, the length of the runner will be adjusted during the fitting process so that the drawer stops in the correct closed position.

The drawer fitting has begun. I've fine tuned the heights of the runners to fit the drawer grooves using my wooden jointer plane as shown in the photo below.

Tomorrow I'll continue working on the width of the runners which will control the side-to-side motion of the drawer; giving just enough freedom to move freely in and out, but limiting it to minimize side-to-side rattle.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig