Nakashima / Krenov Nightstand #5: Drawers and Door Part 1

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Blog entry by Matthew posted 11-05-2014 12:34 AM 1858 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Krenov Style Interior Part 5 of Nakashima / Krenov Nightstand series Part 6: Drawers and Door Part 2 »

It was one of those days in the shop…

I was sorely tempted to leave today out of this blog, but I have decided on full disclosure. I don’t want to give the impression that this project is perfect, and I will admit that this is the most challenging project I have done to date, as I intended it to be. So here goes.

I had milled up the boards for the rails and stiles of the frame and panel door, only to find them warped and twisted when I returned. I haven’t had this issue in the past with the Sapele or any other wood in my shop, as it has had lots of time to adjust to the conditions. So, I am guessing that there were some internal stresses at play, or, due to a recent cold spell with some rain.

So, moving forward, I milled some new pieces, only to ruin one by cutting it a hair too short, and another to the router base slipping as I cut the groove for the panel. With frustrations reaching a boiling point, I decided that fate had determined that I was not to tackle the door today.

On to the main drawer….

I milled up the pieces with no trouble (walnut for the front, and poplar for the sides. I was tempted by some birds eye maple for the sides at my local store, but couldn’t justify $60 drawer sides. So poplar it is. Still undecided on the drawer bottoms, I may use some spanish cedar I have laying around, but I’m not sure about the smell.

Now, I had planned on a “piston fit” drawer attempt.

I will not insult many of the fine craftsmen (and women) in the LJ’s community by calling my drawer a true “piston fit”, so from here on we will refer to it as and “closely inset” drawer.

The first part of fitting is to get a close or even tight fit of the drawer front.

Then get a goof fit on the drawer sides, focusing more on the fit vertically than anything else, I will trim them to length later.

I am also not concerned about the drawer back or bottom right now, I will cover those later, the true fit of the drawer is in the front and sides.

The joinery on the drawer front will be half blind dovetails, and I will admit, these are the first half blind dovetails I have ever done, didn’t even bother to practice.

If you have been reading my previous post, you may have gathered that I like tails first and to use the bandsaw for the tails, mostly because it makes for easy layout. But with the drawer sides being relatively small, I cut them by hand, and laid it out with the old eye test.

So, after fighting with the door for way too long, all I have to show for today is a drawer that doesn’t have a back or a bottom, but it does seem to be coming together, and though I won’t (or shouldn’t) call it a piston fit, there is little slop and a passably even gap on the edges.

Tomorrow the goal is to get a door done, and finish the main drawer, and then mill the stock for the internal drawers.

-- Matthew, Columbia - South Carolina ----- Jesus was a carpenter...

2 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3715 days

#1 posted 11-05-2014 04:35 AM

Looking good. I’m reading along though I haven’t commented until now.

-- Rick M,

View WoodwolfAtl's profile


39 posts in 2940 days

#2 posted 11-05-2014 11:23 PM

love that drawer! well done

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