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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Detail of the Half Blind Dovetails and Drawer Bottom Grain Direction

I had some requests for more detail on the half blind dovetails since I kind of skimmed over that in the last video.

Here they are marked out on the drawer front.  I traced them from the tails on the drawer side.


I put an x on the area that needs to be removed.  If I don't I forget and chop out the wrong thing.  It also helps me to remember which is the waste side of the cut.
You want to leave the line and cut on the waste side of the line.  Also because they are half blind and there is a lip you have to angle the saw steep. So you will cut into the drawer below the line of the drawer side.

Here it is after cutting.  If you look close you see the lines are still marked on top and there are saw lines way past the point were the side will stop.  My finger if pointing to the line where the drawer side will stop.


Now we have to chop out the waste.  Very carefully..  These are the dovetails that everyone sees in the front of the drawer so you want them to look good.


Check to make sure they are square to the back and bottom or the side won't fit correctly.


If you are careful the side should just fit right in but it should be tight.  I use a block to bang them home.  If they are too tight, then you can pare a little of the material off of the tails to make them fit.  Always start from the inside of the piece so that the outside is the tightest.


There is a good fit. No gaps.  If the side is proud then the cutouts can be deepened until the side is flush, if the pins are proud these can be planed flush when fitting the drawer in the case.


Good luck on your dovetails.

I also looked at the drawer bottoms today and was reminded that the grain of the drawer bottoms when made from solid wood has to run side to side since the wood expansion is across the grain.  If the grain of the drawer bottom ran front to back then when the drawer bottom expanded in high humidity  it would push out the sides of the drawer.  This could cause the drawer to stick or it could even crack the drawer.
To make the drawer bottoms big enough to be cross grain and run to the back I have to glue up two pieces then cut to size.  With the material that I have I will get two drawer bottoms for each glue up.



So I will probably glue them up tomorrow since I will probably finish the drawer frames soon and then will need the bottoms.

Here is today's video: