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Old 03-08-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default Utility Drawers

I (finally) whipped up a couple of kitchen drawers to replace some in my house where the bottoms had failed. These hold pots and pans and the original drawers had 1/4" bottoms. The ones pictured have 1/2" BB drawer bottoms. I used a lock miter bit for the joinery.

Every time I use this method I'm always amazed at how easy and quick they are to construct...and the finished drawer is stout, has accurate dimensions and perfectly square. Anyone else tried it? How do you make your drawers? Drawers for utility not fine furniture, that is.





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Old 03-08-2012, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

Wow - those look great, Jim. Lots of glue surface, and I love that you made the grain wrap around the drawer. Definitely overkill, since nobody will see it, but still...

I presume you did the edges on a router table? Did you capture the bottoms in the drawer frame, or leave the back open so you could slide them in and out?
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

Thanks Peter, If any grain matches up it's purely coincidence. I didn't pay any attention to the grain since these will be painted.
The bottoms are captured. I posted a tutorial on the whole process a while back on SMC is anyone's interested.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

Jim,

Partially to stir the pot a little and partially as a genuine question... what's wrong with this joint in fine furniture? We're probably talking about solid wood instead of plywood, of course. To me, I see interesting lines in the joint and, more importantly, actual interlocking joinery (I can see how it works). Don't you think both those could be important to a buyer? Traditional, no. Functional and stylish? I would say, "YES!".
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

Chris, I couldn't agree with you more. But there are a lot of purists here and when I asked the question how do others make their drawers I didn't want to start a huge debate over dovetails vs. miter joint.

I started using this joint in '96 and have yet to see a single failure. It will stand the test of time. But those who buy their furniture rather than make their furniture equate quality with dovetails.

But you don't really appreciate the beauty of this joint until you start making them. Once you get the router table set up, you can zing them out all day long. Perfect for when you have to make a run of 18 drawers for a kitchen. I think it takes longer to glue and clamp them then it does to mill the joints.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimKirkpatrick View Post
Chris, I couldn't agree with you more. But there are a lot of purists here and when I asked the question how do others make their drawers I didn't want to start a huge debate over dovetails vs. miter joint...

But those who buy their furniture rather than make their furniture equate quality with dovetails.
Who here is not a purist?

There was an article in Fine Woodworking not too long ago (within a year?) by Henrik Varju talking about rabbet joints pinned with dowels. His customers liked the unique look of the joint. I don't recall the details, but it did appear on the cover.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

To answer your question, I do whatever I feel like at the moment, or whatever the customer wants, or what seems right. So sometimes, that's as low as staples in plywood. A lot of the time, it's dovetails. There's a place I make replacement drawers for every year in batches, and all of those are just grooves. Pretty simple, and "good enough" for them, so, that's what they get.

That being said, I think lock miters are awesome. Takes a minute for me to get everything set up just right, but that is a great, strong joint, and I've used it in table bases, square legs, drawers. I find myself wishing when I use it I owned a proper shaper rather than a router table for that. A bigger bit with a lower angle of attack would make for an easier time, and in some woods, a cleaner joint.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

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Originally Posted by RWeber View Post
There's a place I make replacement drawers for every year in batches, and all of those are just grooves. Pretty simple, and "good enough" for them, so, that's what they get.
I'm sure it's not your call, but in this example, the joinery does not seem to be "good enough". Nice to have that repeat business though...
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

I would have thought that with solid wood there would be a good chance that the little tabs would split off...
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Utility Drawers

Actually, you get more tear out on plywood, Peter.
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