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Building a brace till #22: Starting to finish the drawer fronts

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 01-09-2022 05:38 PM 708 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Cutting Drawer Fronts to Size Part 22 of Building a brace till series Part 23: Shellacking the drawer fronts »

This morning I started finishing the drawer fronts. It will probably be at least a two-day process.

First up was trimming the height of the bottom row. Pretty easy to mark, just reach around behind and use the bottom of the carcasse to make pencil marks at each end of a drawer front, and then connect the dots.

After sawing them off, I started on each drawer. For each, as I pulled it, I first marked which side was up on the back.

Then I planed the front as smooth as I could with my small smoother. It needs some tuning for dealing with the interlocked grain of elm, so I couldn’t get a surface I liked just from the plane.

Depending on the board, I used 60, 120 and 220 grit sanding blocks as needed. I also used a block plane and 60 grit on the end grain of a couple pieces where there were nubbins left at the end of the saw cut.

And finally, I fixed any cracks from behind with some CA glue. It’s not a strong fix, but these will be glued to the drawer boxes, so there shouldn’t be any great need for strength.

Here’s one done, finished with a coat of linseed oil.

And completed.

I had hoped to glue in the drawer fronts yet this morning, but that was when I was planning to finish with shellac only. After getting the surfaces ready, I decided oil and then shellac would look better. And there were enough small cracks and bug tracks that I decided against grain-filling.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



11 comments so far

View Eric's profile

Eric

2819 posts in 1204 days


#1 posted 01-09-2022 07:19 PM

That is looking really nice Dave. The grain across the front is really popping. I like you sanding blocks and the way you have them labeled for the grit too. I need to make a few of those myself, I like to use blocks with sanding, more so to take the corners off a bit.

-- Eric, building the dream

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#2 posted 01-09-2022 07:26 PM

Thanks, Eric. The sanding blocks were by Poohbaah and I use them a lot. Using a sharpie to label the sandpaper when I put it into the block saves me confusion down the road: “is this worn out 120, or 220?” ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Eric's profile

Eric

2819 posts in 1204 days


#3 posted 01-09-2022 07:32 PM

I hear ya on the grits, when I cut if the pieces I use, I try to get a piece with the grit stamped on the back.

-- Eric, building the dream

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3400 posts in 3521 days


#4 posted 01-09-2022 08:53 PM

The drawer fronts are looking good. Got any ideas for decorating the fronts?, like chamfering the front edges, or maybe adding a bead molding around each front. All your work so far has been for function, now you can have some fun with embellishments. Maybe even carve the fronts with designs or names for the contents.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#5 posted 01-09-2022 09:07 PM

I’ve been thinking I might just leave them plain and flat, Tom. It looks kinda neat having it look like one large board, but maybe a bead around each… hmm…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

823 posts in 2365 days


#6 posted 01-09-2022 10:49 PM

Looking good Dave, liking the elm.
Not entirely sure how a bead will look with the 2 split drawers, I’d be tempted to see how it looks with whatever handles you are going with first.

I’m too lazy to write the grit on the paper each time I change it, that’s why all my sanding blocks look different – that’s my story and I’m sticking with it ;)

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#7 posted 01-09-2022 11:51 PM

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it more, and I’ll just finish them with shellac tomorrow and get the hardware on, and then if I decide they need tarting up, I can do that later.

I was too lazy to write numbers on the paper, but I put a sharpie on a piece of string on my sandpaper shelves and now I manage to use it most of the time.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27231 posts in 4436 days


#8 posted 01-10-2022 04:04 AM

Nice progress!!.............Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#9 posted 01-10-2022 01:14 PM

Thanks, Jim!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10909 posts in 3374 days


#10 posted 01-10-2022 04:29 PM

Coming along as smooth as your sanding. Interesting you glue on the fronts. I use DF tape to hold while I insert two screws in case I need to change the face. I wonder which way is the woodworker way. Anyway?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#11 posted 01-10-2022 05:18 PM

Thanks, Dave. I was originally planning to peg them with dowels, but I think an unbroken face will look better. I could just attach them with the drawer pulls, but I think they’ll last better if I glue them on. I’ll be using hot hide glue, so if I later need to take them apart, I can with steam.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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