Sunday, December 27, 2015

A New Kitchen part 3

The face frames are now done and behind me.  I won't touch them now until I have the cabinet boxes built.  So the next thing is to work on building the dovetail drawers.

This is a pretty simple process, most of it is automated with machinery, so I made a few videos to explain it better.

I order the drawer stock in, pre-milled to the finished sizes:  4",  6" and 8" tall x 5/8" thick.  A 1/4" x 1/4" groove for the drawer bottom is also milled into the stock.  All I need to do is to set the Tiger Stop for the proper length, and feed the stock through the Up Cut saw.  Within a few minutes I have a pile of drawer parts ready to Dovetail.

My Dovetailer is a manual machine with air hold downs, buts it's waaaaaaay faster than using a router and jig from Porter Cable.  With this I can load all four pieces of the drawer at once and route two of the four joints in one pass, then I flip the parts and do it again.  In about 20 seconds all four parts have been machined.

The drawer Sides are loaded in the front sticking up, 

The drawer Fronts & Backs are slide in from the rear of the machine. 

Thanks to Quin and his GoPro, here it is action...

About an hour later, I wound up with a pile of drawer parts that are ready to be assembled.

I next sand any fuzz off the dovetail pockets and smooth the inside surface of the drawers parts with an orbital sander before assembly.  The assembly is fairly straight forward: place glue in the pockets and beat the parts together.

Before the glue dries I then place the drawer into a pneumatic drawer clamp that presses the parts together and squares the boxes up.  While the first one is drying a bit, I assemble the next one and then remove the first box.  

Within about 20 minutes I have a stack of 15 drawers and 1 roll-out.

I let the boxes dry overnight and the next morning I use a 3"x 24" belt sander to smooth up the joints.

Once smoothed up, I use an air nozzle to clean out the joints and skim a bit of putty to fill in any chipouts or open joints.  After the putty dries, using a pneumatic random orbital sander I remove the bulk of the putty and then route the edges with an 1/8" round over bit to ease the edges and then polish them up with #180 grit paper.

Now they're ready to finish.

Letting them dry completely overnight, the next job is to cut the drawer bottoms and slide them into the boxes and secure them with screws.  For now they are done until I get the drawer slides, then I can install the release clips. 

Next comes the Doors and Drawer fronts... 

Jump to: A New Kitchen part 4


  1. Great progress, Allen. Thanks for the videos.

    The Up cut saw has improved since I had used one in the early 70's then it was manual stops. My family/dad business was living room furniture manufacturing.

    1. You're welcome Dwyane. Glad you enjoyed them.
      Ha! This is a 2001 model year Up Cut saw. By today's standards it waaaaaay behind what's out there today! That Stop is an add-on "Tiger Stop" 2005 model. Today, or current models have the cutting area completely closed off so you can get your hand anywhere near the blade. Most have those Stops built in to the saws now.
      Mines old, but it beats the heck out of a radial arm saw!!!

  2. Damn those tools are cool. Makes light work of those dovetails compared to the old-timers having to use a Tennon saw.

  3. I'd starve if I had to use a Tennon saw for the drawers!!
    You should see the CNC controlled dovetail machines Rod: