Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pilot ladder cabinet 8, drawer with half blind dovetails

Before attaching the face frame to the carcase, I smoothed the divider between the cabinet part and the drawer part, and i also smoothed the shelf that divides the cabinet in two.
Both these two panels were slid into their mortises, and the face frame was then glued onto the carcase.

Yesterday I began making a drawer for the lower part of the cabinet.
I crosscut a piece to the desired length plus a bit more, and reduced the thickness by planing.
When I was satisfied with the thickness of the piece, I squared the ends off, and cut it to the correct length.
The piece was held in position in the opening, and I marked the height of it with a pencil.
One of the advantages of not having mounted the back panel is the possibility to do stuff like that.

The drawer front was then ripped to the correct height, and the sawed surface smoothed too.

I had made some stock ready for the sides, by resawing it, so I just had to work it a bit with a plane to make it ready for some joinery. One piece would yield enough material to make both sides, so I left the piece in full length for the moment.
Luckily the wood had remained very stable, so it was a matter of very little work to get it like I wanted it.

Out here (just like in the real world), grooving comes before dovetailing. So the Record No 50 was outfitted with a grooving iron. I paid close attention to the grain orientation of the sides and the front.
I mounted the wood using a clamp, and made some really nice grooves.
Once I had the grooves planed, I cut the sides to the correct length.

Before stopping for the day I marked out the tails on the sides, and that was about it for yesterday.

Today I have made the half blind dovetails for the front and the sides, and now I just needed a small break before making a back to the drawer as well.
I have already glued up a panel for the drawer bottom, and it should be a quick job to attach it after the drawer has been glued up.

Half blind dovetails pressed in halfway.

Setup for grooving.


  1. It's impressive seeing what you come up with for workholding. I may try that next time I groove a board. And nice looking 'tails.

    1. Hi Jeff

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      I have quite a lot of experience in shipboard workholding after all this time :-)
      I suppose that I should have put a small block of wood under the clamp, but the rubber/plastic protections work OK on this hard wood.

      I like to be able to present a nice picture of some not so gappy dovetails once in a while. And these were quite alright, so a quick picture to show off :-)


  2. wow, doesn't your plowplane have a set of short arms? That setup looks unwieldy. Great account of an interesting build.

    1. Hi, Thansk for commenting.

      I haven't got a set of short arms for the plane, so it always look like a crashed bicycle whenever I use it :-)

      I suppose that I could make a set of short arms, but I don't really use the plane that much, so I am reluctant to spending the time to do it.

      I am astonished over the difference between working soft pine/spruce compared to this pilot ladder mystery wood. Especially the planing part is a huge difference.
      But it is nice with a challenge once in a while.