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• Hepplewhite Stand #9: The Drawer

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Blog entry by Ron Aylor posted 02-04-2017 08:10 PM 1646 reads 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Completed Legs and Drawbore Pins Part 9 of • Hepplewhite Stand series Part 10: Final Assembly ... Completed Stand »

 
The legs are tapered, the drawbore pins are all set … the frame is standing on its own!
 

 
With the drawer front fitted to the base …
 

 
... nice and smooth, and perfectly square (well, as perfectly square as any rectangle can be), it was on to the sides, back, and bottom pieces.
 
I decided to re-saw a 3/4 inch thick pine board to make two 1/8 inch thick slats for the drawer bottom. I kerfed the sides and ends …
 

 
... to make easy work of the re-sawing.
 

 
After a bit of work with a smoothing plane and card scraper to remove the saw marks, the 1/8 inch thick drawer bottom pieces were ready for fitting.
 

 
Now, any respectable Hepplewhite Stand demands an 18th century drawer, and this little guy is no exception! Typical drawer construction of the 18th century was thus:
 

 
The size of pins and tails varied throughout the 1700s. From almost equally distributed pins and tails to wide tails and narrow pins. The grain orientation of drawer bottoms also changed. During the first half of the century drawer bottoms ran from front to back; then, sometime in mid-century drawer bottoms started running from side to side. This change most likely came about as we became more in tune with seasonal wood movement, and tightly fitted drawers became stuck in place.
 
For this project, I have decided on dovetails as shown above, and a drawer bottom running from side to side. I start out by defining the rebate at the bottom of the drawer sides for the bottom slats and runner, creating a shoulder with the kerfing plane …
 

 
... and then smoothing everything out with a vintage rebate plane. I have to say, I’m getting a lot of mileage out of this kerfing plane (rebate saw) ... I’m so glad I added this tool to my arsenal. My rebates, dadoes, grooves, and tenon shoulders have never looked so good! See … you can teach an old dog new tricks … just give him a new toy.
 

 
I then lay out and cut the dovetails at the front and back of the drawer sides using a dovetail saw and fret saw to clean out the waste. There are through dovetails at the back of the drawer and half-blind dovetails at the front.
 

 
Now … to transfer these tails to the drawer front. The drawer side extends about 1/16 of an inch below the drawer front. Once the drawer bottom is installed and the runner glued in place, the runner and drawer side will be planed down to keep a consistent gap around the drawer front. Note the registration pin in the front groove to help line up the side rebate.
 

 
Half-blind dovetails are tricky at best … especially if cut by hand! A dovetail saw can only do so much … the pins and sockets require a lot of chisel work. As you can see the sockets are 3/8 of an inch deep and 5/8 of an inch long, leaving but 1/8 of an inch wall in the drawer font; this can be somewhat of a challenge when working with highly figured stock, like this piece of Ambrosia maple.
 

 
DAMN! It cracked …
 

 
I pray I can piece this back together, given that I already used the bottom half of the figure for the drawer rail. I have no choice but to continue, so I dry fit the drawer parts together … and YES … that’s blood! There is also a rather large gap … I’m sure that will disappear once I remove the tip of my finger!
 

 
After a Band-Aid and bowl of broccoli cheese soup (my bride insisted), I felt better and continued with the glue up.
 

 
The other side should just slip on without issue …
 

 
... and it did! I then cut one of the 1/8 inch bottom pieces to size and slid it along the side rebates into the front groove. The second bottom piece will be cut to size and butted against the first and held in place by the runners (edge glued to the remaining face of the rebate) and tacks into the bottom of the drawer back.
 
Next up, fitting the completed drawer and top. More to come … thanks for looking.
 
 
 
Hepplewhite Stand #1: What's Wrong With This Picture
Hepplewhite Stand #2: First Things First
Hepplewhite Stand #3: Lay-Out & Rough-Cut
Hepplewhite Stand #4: A Proper Edge
Hepplewhite Stand #5: Mortises - Finally!
Hepplewhite Stand #6: Frame Members Sized for Tenons
Hepplewhite Stand #7: Tapering the legs
Hepplewhite Stand #8: Completed Legs and Drawbore Pins
Hepplewhite Stand #9: The Drawer
Hepplewhite Stand #10: Final Assembly
 
 



5 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10697 posts in 2867 days


#1 posted 02-04-2017 08:24 PM

Ron, it is traditional to leave a DNA marker on ones work. It will help the 25’th century scholars identify a masters work!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1063 days


#2 posted 02-04-2017 08:31 PM


Ron, it is traditional to leave a DNA marker on ones work. It will help the 25 th century scholars identify a masters work!

- theoldfart

Thanks, Kevin … I had a feeling something was going to go wrong when I started cleaning out those sockets with a 1-1/2 inch chisel. Do you think it had something to do with the 25° bevel?

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10697 posts in 2867 days


#3 posted 02-04-2017 08:37 PM

More like some overhang with that 1 1/2” :-)

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

176 posts in 1223 days


#4 posted 02-05-2017 12:39 AM

Looks like you’re making good progress, Ron! I’m with Kevin, DNA markers are supposed to be left on your work… right?

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1063 days


#5 posted 02-05-2017 02:08 AM



Looks like you re making good progress, Ron! I m with Kevin, DNA markers are supposed to be left on your work… right?

- Dan Wolfgang

Thanks, Dan. I just hope I can salvage that unfortunate blow out. I’ll never find that many cat’s paws again!

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