I have something to get off my chest. Or rather, I have stuff that needs to go INTO a chest. Of drawers. Let’s start making sawdust and chips! In this part, the chest part of the chest of drawers.
The support table needs a chest of drawers underneath to store tools, supplies and other stuff. I considered shelves or cabinets, but in both cases one usually end up with a huge mess. The more organized among us put stuff in boxes that goes in the cabinet or onto a shelf. Then someone thought “what if we could pull the shelf out”? That’s just a very flat drawer!
Drawers it is then. I do want a small shelf directly underneath the top, because sometimes it IS a good idea to put stuff in smaller boxes that goes on a shelf. So I’ll be shelfish and get the best from both worlds. Anyway, this is a Sketchup drawing of what I have in my mind:
I had a lot of wooden shelves in the garage, which I took apart. I tossed all the frames, but the shelves was 50 by 97 cm and 2cm thick. Too good to be burned. They was painted in a sickening shade of pastel green, but that is easily remedied by slapping on some paint. And they makes for GREAT materials for this project.
As for the fronts of the drawers, I’ll get a piece of nice plywood or even solid wood so that this thing will look decent. I’m going to use self-closing bottom mount drawer slides – those with small wheels so I can remove the entire drawer if I want to. The drawer construction is going to be stupidly simple. Basically, I’ll make a shelf mounted on the drawer slides, then make a lid- and bottomless box on top. The front is just screwed on from behind. It is dead simple, fast to make and it’ll look snazzy. No dovetails, no nice joinery. but functional!
If my conscience gets the better of me, I’ll make new ones with dovetails, crow beaks, eagle feathers and unicorn horn handles. Just not this time around!
I decided to omit the back panel as it would be redundant and reduce the storage space (20 mm) for absolutely no reason.
The shelves were too short for the horizontal parts (bottom and shelf), so I made a lap joint on the table saw. I did use push sticks and common sense, so this was TOTALLY safe. It really was. The riving knife chickened out, though…
I got the table saw for free, so I might as well use it from time to time. Not exactly a fine piece of high quality tool, but it does work well enough. I own hand tools and I’m not afraid to use them! The Stanley 78 rebate plane makes quick work of any discrepancies.
Not a extremely tight fit, but for something that won’t be seen, it is good enough. Good enough is not bad. Glueup time!
I made up two panels this way. I used two sash clamps per panel, placed them on top of each other on the work bench and clamped them down using clamps and holdfasts.
The next day, I woke up with a sore throat and the sniffles. Time for the lovely Vidar-on-a-stiiiik korona test! It is the second time I’ve had to take the test, and this time it felt like the nurse intended to do a colonoscopy while she was at it. You cannot beat such level of customer service, so no complaints there.
This meant a day or two off work. Rules are rules, and if the consequences are shop time I’m all in. I cut the panels to size and checked the fit
Apart from the queasy color, this looked pretty promising. And since I’ve already become a heathen using power tools, the sins continued. I wanted to use housing dadoes to hold the shelf and the divider wall between the drawers.
I made a series of cuts with the track saw, nudging it along after every pass. I then used a chisel and the router plane to clean up the dado. This was a quick and dirty method, but it worked great. I would not do this for a fine piece of furniture as the track saw adjustment can be temperamental at the best of times.
Perfect fit on that shelf (it isn’t bottomed out yet). The chaos in the back is under control, too…
I took a photo while I was working on the housing dado for the dividing wall – as you can see, the support table is already being supportive. Pretty decent view out the windows, too! There’s a farm below the hill on which our house is built. In the distance there are some hills. Beautiful place!
I decided that the lap joint could use a bit of reinforcement to insure that the shelf won’t crack or split on me. Probably overkill, but why not? I threw the scrub plane about, glued and screwed two sticks on the underside.
All the edges was planed flush and smooth. I checked the diagonals to check for square – perfect to well within the uncertainty of measurement in my measuring tape. The dividing wall was slightly less than 1mm wider on one side. Nothing to worry about.
I then put the whole thing into its home. It was a tight fit – I had to use the Thorex persuader to get it in there. A couple of screws for good measure, and it will go nowhere.
I’m pretty happy with this – rock solid and well made. In the next part, I’ll make the drawers. I just need to get hold of some drawer slides first. First: slap some white paint on to make it bearable to look at. It does have a slight Matthias Wandel thing going on, though. Not for long, ey?
I also have some ideas for the sides of the table underneath the overhangs. Maybe a pull-out thing? Doors with tool storage behind them? We’ll see.
And built-in lights for the drawers. Maybe bluetooth? Everything is better with bluetooth…