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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jig creation

I was watching PBS one Saturday afternoon when Scott Phillips took a trip to a jig creators workshop. The show left me with the desire to create something different (at least different for me). I had been looking at some furniture in a local "Antiques" store, trying to get ideas for future projects, and had noticed a strange joint used to hold the drawers together. It looked like little half moons with pins in them & I wondered "now how did they do that?"


Well, thanks to Scott & my personal curiosity, here's how I do it.

First I created a pattern out of 3/4" pine. I added a 3/4" forstner bit to the drill. I set up a fence so that the drill point was an 1 1/2" from the fence on my drill press. I then added a stop block to the fence about 8" from the drill point. I then created blocks of 3/4 poplar (I used poplar because I machined it with my planer & I checked the thickness with a dial caliper for accuracy) to be used as position guides. Placed a stack of the poplar blocks against the stop, set my pine template in place against the fence, and drilled the first 3/4" hole. I then removed a poplar block, slid the pine over and drilled the next hole. Continued until I had a pine board with nothing but holes. To free the 2 halves simply saw the ends off.
This gave me a template the I cut onto a piece of 1/4" plastic (in my case an old router base that I made years ago). I then attached a block of wood about 2 1/2" tall by 1" thick and the length of the plastic.
 

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Jig creation

I was watching PBS one Saturday afternoon when Scott Phillips took a trip to a jig creators workshop. The show left me with the desire to create something different (at least different for me). I had been looking at some furniture in a local "Antiques" store, trying to get ideas for future projects, and had noticed a strange joint used to hold the drawers together. It looked like little half moons with pins in them & I wondered "now how did they do that?"


Well, thanks to Scott & my personal curiosity, here's how I do it.

First I created a pattern out of 3/4" pine. I added a 3/4" forstner bit to the drill. I set up a fence so that the drill point was an 1 1/2" from the fence on my drill press. I then added a stop block to the fence about 8" from the drill point. I then created blocks of 3/4 poplar (I used poplar because I machined it with my planer & I checked the thickness with a dial caliper for accuracy) to be used as position guides. Placed a stack of the poplar blocks against the stop, set my pine template in place against the fence, and drilled the first 3/4" hole. I then removed a poplar block, slid the pine over and drilled the next hole. Continued until I had a pine board with nothing but holes. To free the 2 halves simply saw the ends off.
This gave me a template the I cut onto a piece of 1/4" plastic (in my case an old router base that I made years ago). I then attached a block of wood about 2 1/2" tall by 1" thick and the length of the plastic.
Cool joinery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Routing the drawer front

Now I have the following items.
1. Router table with a 3/4" pattern bit installed in the router.
2. Drawer front
3. Drawer sides
4. Router template/jig


Using your template and drawer side stacked, adjust the bit height so that the cut is a 1/64" too deep (if I set it flush I end up unsatisfied with the fit)

Set the template on the end of the drawer front with the best grain towards the template fence . Then center the front so that the teeth (for lack of a better term) are even, top & bottom. Then clamp in place.


Standing the template on your router table face down, run the drawer front across the bit (I have used a plunge router with the drawer front clamped upright in a vise but, I like moving the drawer front better than moving the router).
 

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Routing the drawer front

Now I have the following items.
1. Router table with a 3/4" pattern bit installed in the router.
2. Drawer front
3. Drawer sides
4. Router template/jig


Using your template and drawer side stacked, adjust the bit height so that the cut is a 1/64" too deep (if I set it flush I end up unsatisfied with the fit)

Set the template on the end of the drawer front with the best grain towards the template fence . Then center the front so that the teeth (for lack of a better term) are even, top & bottom. Then clamp in place.


Standing the template on your router table face down, run the drawer front across the bit (I have used a plunge router with the drawer front clamped upright in a vise but, I like moving the drawer front better than moving the router).
Waiting to see how you do the sides. :)
 

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Routing the drawer front

Now I have the following items.
1. Router table with a 3/4" pattern bit installed in the router.
2. Drawer front
3. Drawer sides
4. Router template/jig


Using your template and drawer side stacked, adjust the bit height so that the cut is a 1/64" too deep (if I set it flush I end up unsatisfied with the fit)

Set the template on the end of the drawer front with the best grain towards the template fence . Then center the front so that the teeth (for lack of a better term) are even, top & bottom. Then clamp in place.


Standing the template on your router table face down, run the drawer front across the bit (I have used a plunge router with the drawer front clamped upright in a vise but, I like moving the drawer front better than moving the router).
Interesting idea
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
 

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Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
Nice blog! A clear description - very easy to understand. Thanks!
 

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Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
hey thanks for the post i been wanting to make this joint for awhile now. The only way to do it was buy a very expensive jig. You look like you have it sewn up though THANKS alot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
Thanks Steve & you're welcome Ike. I like the joint too and it really is easy once you get your jig made.

P.S. My pattern bit is a little longer from tip to bearing than I needed so to keep the bearing in the jig, I added a wooden spacer to drop the drawer front from the plastic template.
 

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Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
Thanks for the tutorial… I have a piece of old oak furniture with this drawer joint. I was always impressed with it and wondered how it was made. It is the construction of fa ew pieces of our furniture that gave me the urge to try my hand at woodworking.
 

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118,619 Posts
Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
Nice Dan Really nice. super blog thanks for sharing.
 

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Draw sides

Now that the drawer front is complete, it's time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.

I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4" collar and a 1/4" drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).



Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.



Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.



I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say "How did you do that?" when they see this joint.



And I can't bring myself to tell them that it's actually easier to do than the dovetails.
An upcut spiral 1/4" router bit is a LOT safer than putting a drill bit in a router.

I was hoping for an easier method of doing the sides. :-( What about using a router similar to making box joints?

http://www.eagleamerica.com/product/v139-0202/ea_-_groove_forming

Nice job on the tutorial, though. Thanks.
 
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