Harvey Ellis Nightstand #3: Rails

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Blog entry by DBrown52 posted 03-23-2015 02:33 PM 1785 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Legs Part 3 of Harvey Ellis Nightstand series Part 4: Panels and Assembly »

Sorry for the delay, life got in the way for awhile… The next step was to make all of the rails.

First, there are three “top” rails for the sides and rear. They have haunched tenons to fit the vertical leg mortises. They also have grooves to receive the side panels, which I cut on two passes on the table saw.

Second, there are four “bottom” rails (one for each side), three of which are arched. With just two of the arches the same size, I didn’t bother with a template and pattern router bit. I simply cut the arch with a saber saw and sanded to the line with a spindle sander. All except the front also have grooves for the side panels.

Third, there are six “divider” rails on the front and rear that get laid on their side between the drawers. Their tenons are accepted into the horizontal mortises on the legs. After some time at the table saw, I have a whole bunch ready to go.

Finally, there is one “dovetail” rail that lays on its side above the top drawer. It’s a half-lap joint, so I hog out the lap with a tenon jig. With just a thin lap, it’s pretty easy to cut the dovetail with a handsaw.

The work is a bit fussy and requires some sneak-ups and chisel work for me to get it right, but there’s only two to make. Fortunately, these get covered by the top and dovetails don’t have to be perfect to resist pulling apart. Let’s keep these ugly gaps between you and me.

The joints that show came out nice and tight however.

In a mockup, things appear to be staying square and coplanar. All the mortise and tenon joints take time, but they really help with assembly.

After cutting the arches and tapering the legs, it’s nice to finally see what this is actually going to look like. I feel like I’m getting close and it’s coming out as I envisioned.

Thanks for reading. Soon, I’ll get the side panels made and carcass completely assembled.


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