Today was a great day in the shop! Things were definitely going well and moving along at a nice clip without problems. Tons of thanks to my wife for giving me so much time to dedicate to the project today. I’m behind on this project so I really want to put in the extra hours to get this finished and delivered. I am confident I’ll be delivering the dresser next Sunday.
The faces of the plywood used for the drawers were already finished. The tops of the drawer sides and backs are rounded over, sanded, and coated with shellac. This makes them super smooth so clothes and fingers won’t catch on them.
Here are the pictures showing today’s progress.
The drawer fronts are locked into the sides with groves, here’s a top down sketch of how they’re locked in. The grooves and roundovers were done on the router table.
Here’s what the dresser looked like at the end of the day. Eight drawers all done and installed and they pass the “can you pull it open from the corner” test.
I put a bit of shellac on the corner to satisfy my curiosity and I’m happy with how this will look when complete.
- Get the final faces for the drawers cut, trimmed out, and installed. I need to spend some time thinking about how I make sure these drawer fronts line up just perfectly with the face of the case when they are shut.
- After that, it’s sand and finish. I’ll put a sand and finish just about every night this week to build up a nice coat.
- Right before delivery I’ll install the base.
- I’ll either install the pulls on site, or email with the customer this week to finalize their position.
Tonight after spending some time with the family and putting the kiddo to bed, wifey helped me in the shop a bit. I started to plane the trim flush with the case. Here are the pictures I promised yesterday.
Here you can see the trim down the back and along the top. I’m carefully planing it flush with my Stanley Sweetheart #60 1/2 low angle block plane.
Slow, careful, shallow strokes. I am so glad I used blue painters tape to keep the squeeze out from getting out of control. I’ll need to sharpen this blade soon.
The case trimmed out. I know it looks like the top is bowed, but that is just extra trim resting on top.
Just drawers, then finishing!
Well tonight in the shop I definitely had the flow. My oldest daughter Katie was actually out in the shop helping. She had the easy jobs: rip pieces of tape, sweep, and hold things in place. The front of the dresser now has solid walnut 1/4” thick trim on all the horizontals and verticals. the pieces fit tight and look good. No pictures though, the camera was missing an SD card. I’ll take pictures when I take the tape off tomorrow or Wednesday. I plan on taking a day off this week to make progress on the drawer boxes.
- Build the drawer boxes
- Install the drawer boxes
- Cut and trim the faces for the drawers
- Install the drawer faces
- Install drawer pulls (see below)
Drawer Pull Test
I’ve decided I’m going to make a jig to install the handles, but I won’t install them until I conduct a test. The customer would like the pulls in the top corners of the drawers, and I want to make sure that’s going to work before I drill through the faces. If my test fails, I’ll contact them to see what they’d like to do. I’m confident it will work because I’m using some high quality slides, but I want to be sure. I may install the drawer pulls on site when I deliver.
I think the test will go like this:
- Use tape to create a pull in the top corner of the smallest and largest drawer
- Load the drawer with some weight
- Have my wife or daughter open and shut the drawer 20 or so times
I’m officially four weeks behind, and now I’m shooting for April 25th for delivery. I completely underestimated the complexity of the build, the amount of hand work involved, and the amount of time I’d have to dedicate to the build. Luckily, my wonderful wife has been really supportive, and the customer has been great.