Machinist Toolbox #7: Draw me a Draw

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 12-23-2010 12:54 AM 7000 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Wet Fit Part 7 of Machinist Toolbox series Part 8: Not Yet Finished, but It's Finished »

What do you know, I was able to use the last 3 days for some extra shop time!

As planned, I cut the drawers parts on day 1 (not a full day, but it did happen on the first day). On day 2 I was able to build the drawers and glue them up. The plan was to use half blind dovetails for the solid maple fronts. I must say, making these many dovetails at such a small scale was exhausting (but good practice)! the joints improved from one drawer to the next, not all perfect, but considering the scale, the fact it was my first dealing with halfblinds, and the shear amount of those I think I fared well:

Once the drawers were dry, I was able to work on the fit today. they were pretty much on the money, with just slight need to trim off the front/backs pins. Low angle block plane really worked great for this. At first I clamped the drawers sideways on the bench, but that didn’t seem to give me enough stability:

Then I remembered I can really pull out that vise exactly for this purpose. holding the drawer this way was great and made work real simple:

Finishing off the drawers, I scraped it off which led me to wonder. I noticed some folks do not create a burr on their scrapers, but just use a file to ‘set them up’. from my experience that will scrape nice dust. but with a burr on the scraper it gets some pretty thin and unique shavings:

Does anyone have input on this? do you just file your scraper? does it create shavings? or just dust/particles?

Anyways, I chose maple for the drawer fronts so that it’ll blend nicely with the maple veneer I chose for the fronts that I had lying around. I also installed the slides for the 2 large drawers (accidently overrouted the drawer side and blew out the front of the drawer which needs some fixing), and drilled 1” diameter holes for the pulls which I’ll put later on.

All in all, almost done and done with the build and it all fits nicely together:

Yes, the box is already finished, but the drawers fronts are not yet and I’ll discuss the finishing on a post all by itself.

time to get some rest!

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

16 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 01:03 AM

Absolutely wonderful.
Thanks for sharing, it is looking fantastic.
I would be so proud if I had made it.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4091 days

#2 posted 12-23-2010 01:03 AM


Fantastic progress. Great looking dovetails !

FWIW … I remember looking through a FWW article about preparing card scrapers. They favor a slight burr, and say that the result is fine, wispy shavings, not sawdust.

Rest well deserved. Great job !

-- -- Neil

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4381 days

#3 posted 12-23-2010 01:05 AM

yowzer! what a billion tiny little tails they are! what sort of saw did you use for these little guys? I bet the little razor-type dealies would be perfect for this. anyway, they are way better than what i could manage and should hold together very well.

todd clipinger posted a video about how he only files scrapers and uses a random orbiter to finish sand. I tried his method: it’s quick n dirty and did resutl in shavings, not just dust, but the surface was definitely not finish ready. since you are fine with rolling the burr to get a sharp edge and are not using power tools to finish the surface, i’d just stick with it. That said, I tend to get better results with my #4 plane and only use the scraper for tricky/tight spots. maybe my scraper setup is not good enough. what’s your experience with that?

View PurpLev's profile


8601 posts in 4566 days

#4 posted 12-23-2010 01:33 AM


Aaron, I use a japanese dozuki (is there any other type of dozuki?!? lol). As for the scraper goes, If I can get by with the #4 I will, but sometimes I get milling marks even from my #4 and instead of worrying about it I just go over it with a scraper to clean it off. the surface after scraping is glass smooth with a shine. If I’ll sand that surface it WILL make it look less attractive – I tried. I now only sand between coats of finish (with this project oddly different for a reason, but I’ll discuss that later)

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

View ChuckV's profile


3337 posts in 4444 days

#5 posted 12-23-2010 01:40 AM

Yikes – that is a lot of great dovetail work. You should be very happy with your progress.

I do keep a burr on my scrapers. I find it to be an amazing and satisfy-to-use tool.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4112 days

#6 posted 12-23-2010 02:01 AM

Really nice work. You must have a lot of patience for all those.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4032 days

#7 posted 12-23-2010 02:23 AM

thank´s for sharing and it starts to look real good .-)

a burr is made here :-)

looking forward tothe next installment

Merry Chrismess

View Marc5's profile


304 posts in 4259 days

#8 posted 12-23-2010 02:23 AM

You made yourself a very nice tool box. It is nice to see the hand cut dovetails. Good Job!

-- Marc

View mafe's profile


12685 posts in 4006 days

#9 posted 12-23-2010 02:38 AM

My ohh, thought you said you had no time…
Fantastic to see the wise on the workbench like that.
Best thoughts and a marry christmas,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3904 days

#10 posted 12-23-2010 03:35 AM

The figure on the maple is striking. Your patience and hard work, especially with the hand cut dovetails has paid off. Looking forward to seeing the final chapters of this project!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4897 days

#11 posted 12-23-2010 03:36 AM

Hi Sharon;

It’s looking beautiful!

I always put a burr on my scrapers. I love the fine shavings it will produce.

Again, your box looks really good.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View PurpLev's profile


8601 posts in 4566 days

#12 posted 12-23-2010 04:55 AM

Thanks everyone! (now back to rest)

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

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

509 posts in 4047 days

#13 posted 12-23-2010 06:15 AM

All I can say is Beautiful

-- Dale, Ohio

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4349 days

#14 posted 12-23-2010 01:50 PM

WOW! What a beautiful tool box!
You have really outdone yourself on this one!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1614 posts in 4482 days

#15 posted 12-23-2010 06:05 PM

Coming along fine Sharon, this is going to be a great tool box for years to come. The drawer fronts look superb.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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