Sunday, March 24, 2013

My least favorite woodworking task...

It's time to work on this tall cabinet - I need to hang the drawers and attach the drawer fronts. Hanging the drawers isn't difficult - I usually attach the slide member to the drawer on the lower edge of the drawer box. 

I generally use scrap pieces of plywood as spacers for attaching the slides to the cabinet. It's easiest to work from the bottom up, so that you can rest the spacer on the slide below. 

Here - three of the four drawers are hung. The drawer faces are next, and every woodworker I've ever met had their own method for attaching these fronts.  Believe it or not, it's one of my least favorite tasks in the shop. 

I need a little sustenance and a whole lot of shims. In this case, I pull out a chain full of laminate samples. And some Girl Scout cookies.

But first - I have to drill some mounting holes in each drawer box. I drill the holes, and countersink them from the inside, so the screw sits flush.

Here I've shimmed the bottom drawer face into place, checking the margins all around. Once everything is aligned, 

Add a couple of clamps  

and screw the box to the drawer face from behind.

The plastic laminate samples are a hair under 1/16 on an inch, so two of them stacked together gives me nice spacing. 

For all of my complaining - this actually went pretty smoothly, which isn't usually the case! 

The bottom two faces are in place, but when I measured the opening above those two, I found it to be ever so slightly out of square. The best thing remedy for this was to hand the top drawer face, and compensate on the second one down from the top. 

Here the top one is in place, now I need to fit the last one into place. 

I marked where the next face needed to be - first on the left side, 

then the right side. 

This last face needed to be tapered just a bit - about 1/16 on an inch taller on the right side. So - I set the jointer to make a verrrryyy small cut, and machined a slight taper into this drawer face. Once it was cut to the proper size, with the perfect margins all around, I attached it the same was as all the others - by first removing the top drawer and clamping the face against the drawer box. 

You'd be surprised how much there is left to do - I need to rout and sand these drawer faces, and then start carving them. Meanwhile, I need to figure out what sort of knob or pull I'm going to use on them. Decisions! Decisions!

All in all, hanging these drawer faces went on rather easily. It's funny - I went into the shop not looking forward to this chore, but in the end - it was a breeze. I wish every day in the shop went this way!

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