A New Beginning: Design & Build from scratch... #5: A Half Step Forward, This is starting to sound like a square dance......

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Blog entry by Chris posted 08-04-2008 03:41 AM 12604 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Exploration in drawer design….

After some conversations that were sparked by my previous post I really started playing around with drawer designs. But first I finally figured out using intersect to create the apron joinery for the drawer guides.

I think it turned out pretty well… This is an exploration in furniture design and design using 3D modeling (Sketchup). Over all I’m learning alot just by prototyping in this manner.

Now for the drawer; even after some outstanding information I received on the last post I decided to move forward with a drawer in the design. If nothing else, it’s a learning opportunity.

Basic view of the drawer; The front is 18”x3”...

Left side view revealing the joinery for the back (Stopped sliding dovetails)

Rear View; The drawer bottom slides in and would be secured with a screw though the bottom into the drawer back.

Bottom View; showing the sliding dovetails for the sides into the front. These are stopped as well; I wanted to hide the joinery so I i have the sides sliding up into the apron.

Drawer slid into the desk…

I may still decide to go with drawer slide hardware instead of the guides I have designed…. W will have to wait and see.

I posted this entry then completely redesigned the drawer. It is now a little shallower and the bottom has been reinforced with two 3/8” ribs.

Dimensions: (inside) 15 1/2” x 15 3/4” x 2 1/8”
The drawer front is 18” x 3” x 3/4” with sides at 17” x 2 3/4” x 1/2” and the bottom is cut to fit Width x length @ 1/4” thick.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

4 comments so far

View Suliman Syria 's profile

Suliman Syria

424 posts in 4821 days

#1 posted 08-04-2008 02:55 PM

It is an ingenering work ,good jop CHRIS

-- Suliman , Syria, jablah ,

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4931 days

#2 posted 08-25-2008 03:31 AM

Hi Chris,

Good job on the table using Sketchup!

One thing that struck me when I saw this version of your table…I have a very similar wooden desk at home which I bought used. It has a break in the front apron for a central drawer like yours. Over the years ( it’s now probably 40 years old) the front legs have begun to splay out and there is a bow in the table top where there is considerable weight placed on the desk from sitting at and leaning on. I attribute this to the lack of support in the front apron area.

You may want to think about whether or not the apron should run all the way across and the drawer should fit into an opening. Alternatively the stiffness of your top may help to resolve this as long as the frame is pulled tight to the top. I believe this may also be a contributing factor on my desk because it looks like the top may be a (very nicely) veneered top but on a less than stiff substrate – possibly particleboard which was common in the 50’s and 60’s.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5008 days

#3 posted 08-26-2008 01:57 AM

Thanks Steve! Actually I plan on using metal z-clips all the way around; I think this should take care of this issue with the apron separating. My only issue with using and inset drawer design was the drawer would end up being so shallow as to be nearly useless. The design limitations for the aprons and drawer came from the fact that I am using stock I have on hand.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4931 days

#4 posted 08-26-2008 02:42 AM

I understand, Chris. It’s always more challenging to reuse what you already have on hand. I suppose the other thing which may help are your corner blocks which would add stiffness to the legs and help them from spreading in the way which my desk has. I believe I may have some loose mortise/tenon joints on the legs which are also contributing – though I don’t know which came first – and I may not have corner blocks. I’ll have to check when I am at home.

I wonder if the Sketchup sketchyPhysics plugin would help to model potential areas of too much flex. I’ve never really explored the plugin in that much detail.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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