Boring Tools Till – Starting on Drawers

Dec 28, 2021

Nineteen months ago I said I needed to get started on the drawers for my brace till soon.

Till with braces filling the shelf above, and bits in most of the cubbie-holes which will be getting drawers

I guess it was finally soon!

I had resawed a bunch of pine down to about ¼ inch. First up was cutting it to size and flattening it. When I'm flattening a board, I will often mark the high bits or areas that need work with a pencil, then plane away the pencil marks, and re-check the board.

thin pine board in inset vise, with a transitional plane next to it; there is also a pencil

Then I laid out the tails on a pair of boards. I do tails-first because I can gang-saw two boards worth of tails at once. When working in thin boards like this, that helps give me more area as a flat reference surface, plus cuts the sawing in half for the tails.

two boards held in a face vise, with marks for three dovetails on the boards

Cut the tails, sawing out the waste with a small bow-saw, then flattening the bottom of the tails with a rasp or float.

three dovetails cut in two boards held in a face vise, with sawdust near the boards

Laid out the pins on a single board. Note that I mark each of the tail boards first, then once the pin board fits, I mark the matching pin board. This has saved me from getting a joint backwards or mismatching the joints. If I were more uniform in sawing my dovetails, it might not matter as much, but there is enough variation where the boards will usually only fit one way.

Transferring from the tail board to a pin board. The tail board has a "1" visible inside one of the tails, which will be matched to the pin board once it has been sawed and fit

I also transfer the thickness of each end of the tail board to the proper end of the pin board that will fit with it. Since the boards are hand-resawn and hand-planed, they are seldom all the same thickness, and sometimes even vary in thickness from one end to the other.

Transferring the thickness of the tail board to the pin board

Cut the pins. And remember to mark the waste before cutting out the wrong bits.

Pin board with the waste marked with X

Then remove the waste with a bow saw.

Removing the waste with a bow-saw

And remove the waste from the ends using a backsaw, which makes it easier to get a flat cut.

Remove the waste from outside the pins using a back saw

And then test-fit the corner.

The corner being test-fit. Looks close enough that it will glue up well

Then I marked where the grooves for the bottom will go before I got something worng. Having the grooves on the bottom of the drawer on one side, and on the top on the other doesn't make for a terribly useful drawer.

Marking the grooves where the bottom of the drawer will fit

And got a little groovy.

Board held down to the work bench with two screws and a couple boards, in preparation for cutting the groove with a plough plane

After cutting out a piece of ¼ inch plywood to fit in the bottom of the box, I test fit everything, and glued together the first box. This one will fit in the lower right drawer slot, and will contain my set of long brad-point auger bits (I think). The drawer fronts and handles go on after all seven boxes are done. I'll also put in runners on the sides of the cubbies to hold the drawers level. But next up, is building six more drawers and then fitting out something to hold the bits in place in each of them.

I'll try to remember to show the setup for the combination plane and how I mark the size of the drawer bottom when I'm doing one of the next drawers. I think I may also need to put some slips under the bottom in some of the drawers, as I can only cut about a ⅛ inch deep groove for the bottom, which may not hold great if I've got heavy stuff in the drawer.

Stay tuned!

Contents #woodworking #storage #drawer #build

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