Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pennsylvania spice chest 4, grooves, dados and rabbets.

Before making the dados I decided to plow a groove for the back of the spice chest. I have placed the groove so it won't be visible from the outside of the chest.
Since my blade is kind of narrow, I plowed two grooves next to each other to get a width around 3/16".
With the grooves out of the way I turned my attention to the dados.

Having already marked up where the dividers should go, it was a matter of pulling myself together and start making them.

The best way I know of using only hand tools provided you haven't got a real dado plane is to place a straight batten next to your line and let that guide your saw to make a straight cut.

Once the saw cut is at the desired depth, you can remove the bulk of the waste with a chisel. Finally you can clean up the bottom of the dado with a router plane.

There isn't a whole lot more to say about making the dados, except that it all went pretty much like planned.

Back when I made the "cabinet with many drawers" I didn't know that it was a good idea to set the door in a rabbet to make a bit of a clearance to help sliding the drawers out.
But being almost two years wiser, I figured that this would be a fine project to test out that theory.  So I found my moving filister and set to work.
I had to stop the rabbet at the top of the panels, so I even had a chance to try it out with the blade mounted in the forward position. It worked pretty well on one of the sides, and not quite so well on the other , But that was due to the grain orientation. A bit of sanding helped on the surface, so I consider it a success.

Set up for handmade dados.


  1. If I understood you correctly, you are anchored in a fjord near a small town. Can you go into the town or as you stuck on the ship 24/7? If not, that would drive me crazy.

    1. Hi Andy

      We are moored alongside a small pier near a village. So I can go to the village center which is a crossroad where there is a grocery shop, a hairdresser and a place to buy knitting supplies, all in the same building. Oh and they also work as the post office.
      The building right next to the ship is a home center, but it is based on supplying cabin owners, so it is all building supplies, but it is better than nothing.

      I have been to the shop once or twice, but staying on board doesn't really bother me much.

      The ship is sufficiently large, so it doesn't feel cramped in any way. That off course helps a lot when you are required to stay on board.

      The link will show the exact position of our vessel.
      On the left side of the screen there will be a small Norwegian flag and it will say TROMS ARTEMIS with blue letters. if you click on the blue letters, there will be a bit more information on the ship.


    2. I got seasick looking at some of the pictures of your ship in heavy seas. In one, the bow was completely out of the water. Bet your dovetails aren't too good when this happens.

    3. :-)
      When the weather turns too bad, I usually take a break from woodworking.
      The ships that one should pity the most are those called "stand by vessels".
      They are a lot smaller than our ship, like maybe half the length. They have to stay near the oil rig 24/7-365 No matter how crappy the weather is.
      Their job is to quickly deploy a rescue boat if someone falls into the water from the rig. It also means that they can never go to port.

      When the weather gets so bad that there is no possibility for us to work, we are usually sent to port in order to utilize the time for transport. But still it can get pretty rough before that is the case.

  2. Jonas, I looked at the "cabinet with many drawers" that you linked to. That thing is really nice and the drawer fronts are beautiful! I wasn't sure what you meant about setting the door for your current project in a rabbet - does that move the hinges away from the opening so the drawers can slide without hitting the hinges?


  3. Hi Matt

    Thanks for the nice words on the "cabinet with many drawers"
    I am a bit unimaginative when it comes to naming furniture :-)

    You are correct about the rabbet / opening idea.

    On the CWMD, I have to open the door 100% fully to remove the lower drawer. And it still needs a bit of wiggling to pass the hinge.

    This will be my first time in doing the rabbet for a cabinet door, but I think that even though it is a fairly shallow rabbet, say maybe 3/32" it will still get the hinge out of the way.
    The rabbet on the lock side will help to receive the door, so that it won't close more than intended. Theoretically both will help act as dust seals as well, though that wasn't the reason I made them. It is just an extra bonus.