Making a Penn spice cabinet using mostly hand tools. #5: Making the stopped dados for the drawer blades.

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 10-06-2011 06:27 PM 9930 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Pictoral of making the graduated drawers Part 5 of Making a Penn spice cabinet using mostly hand tools. series Part 6: Turkey for you? »

Now that all the marking on the drawer sides is done, its time to cut the stopped dado’s for the drawer blades.

As seen in the picture, these are the tools that I will be using. I am going to be using my plane stop to hold the work instead of a vice, this gives me some mobility while I am working and I can move the wood as I need. Then there is a 1/4 chisel, crosscut carcass saw, router plane with a 3/16 blade and an x-acto knife.

I use a drafting square and the knife to scribe my lines, just a few really, really light passes.

Then I use the router plane to make a very, very thin pass, just to get the shoulders defined.

I actually repeat that process one or two more times, just scribing the inside of the line and taking a really light pass with the router plane, just to get the shoulder better defined. Then once there is a shoulder, I use that shoulder as a guide for the saw.

The chisel and the knife come in handy to help get where the saw cant at the end of the dado. Once the saw cuts are deep enough, I again use the router plane to clean up all the waste. I used the depth stop to define my max depth the same on all the dado’s.

Once all the dado’s are cut, it was time for a test fit. I had top use the chisel in a few places to clean up the sides of the dado’s so the blades fit perfectly. Overall, this process only took about an an hour and a half to do all eight.

The extra space is for the figured maple. Since I only have a limited amount of figured maple, there was no way I was going to use a bunch of it for the inside of the drawer blades. So I did use a secondary wood there.

Now I will repeat the same basic process to get the vertical partitions done as well.

3 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15967 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 10-06-2011 06:32 PM

A pic of the workspace and tools to be used is a great idea.

I like the ‘first light passes with the router’ approach and will try that next time.

Thanks for posting, nice work!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3914 days

#2 posted 10-06-2011 06:40 PM

nicely going. gorgeous curls there

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View JeremyPringle's profile


321 posts in 2739 days

#3 posted 10-06-2011 06:48 PM

Smitty- you can also use a chisel. After scribing the line, use the chisel and cut on the waste side and make a v-groove. That way actually gives more of a guide/rack for the saw, as it will follow the v-groove. By using the router plane, I had to use my opposite hand on the saw plate to keep the saw flush with the shoulder. It was probably more work to do it the way that I did, but the router plane is more fun.

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