My Coronavirus response

JimD

Jim
Senior User
A week ago yesterday I was a bit down. My church had canceled the Sunday service and also my volunteer activities for Monday. So I went and bought some softwood at HD to make a dresser for my kids. The bed and other furniture in that room is all softwood. I was going to buy 12 foot 1x10s or 1x12s, figuring they would be better but the 8 footers were really nice so I bought 5 of those. This is what I have done so far (it is upside down and lacks a top and drawers at the moment). I also decided it was a good opportunity to use my Domino more. So all the horizontal and vertical dividers are put together with 6mm x 40 mm tenons I made of scraps. They are joined to the ends with tenons of the same size and with screws and glue. That means I fastened long grain to cross grain so I may get some cracking of that joint. But I will apply finish to both sides of the ends and hope for the best. I put on the first coat of shellac a few minutes ago and hope to get the top glued up later today. But I will put on another coat of shellac first. I have 2 of the 1x12s left which will make the top and at least a start on the drawers. The internal frames are largely other scraps I had hanging around I wanted to use up. The bottom is totally that sort of wood. The legs are from a piece of wood the loaders at McKittrick Lumber threw in to keep some maple from sliding out of my trailer. It was almost black but cleaned up nicely with a few trips through the planner and was the 1 3/4 thickness I needed. The front and side stretchers are from some softwood that covers the walls in my great room. The back stretcher came out of a closet we took down. For me it is an enjoyable way to keep busy.
 

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Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Nice 'isolated' work Jim.
What's the drawer plan?

I think I will end up being able to tackle and maybe finish some of those projects on my list too. Time will tell 'how isolated' I need to be, and for how long.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I'm thinking of using dominos for the drawers too. I keep a router set up with a dovetail bit and can move the jig to the bench in a couple minutes. So dovetails would be easy and is what I normally do. But I have a scrap of 1/2 birch (non baltic) plywood I could use and it wouldn't take dovetails well. If I do dominos, I am thinking I will use 5mm ones and insert them from the outside of a clamped or pinned together drawer. The fronts will be softwood to match the dresser. If I use the plywood on some of the drawers I will rabbet the softwood front. First drawers could be Wednesday.

Something that will only be used infrequently, when the kids visit, seems like a good chance to try out new things. And reducing the scrap I have hanging around is always a good thing.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Jim
I try to choose my own projects as opportunities to try something new, so I like your thinking. I also enjoy the challenge of using existing materials, or re-purposing materials.
On drawer construction, just be sure that this will be a box that will hold together. Larger dresser drawers aren't exactly like kitchen drawers, but it amazed me how simply constructed boxes (stapled or tacked together) held up to daily use for over 50 years before we eventually re-modelled our kitchen. I did have to re-affix the cheap-o center guides a time or two, but never the drawer boxes themselves. Again, these were kitchen drawers much smaller boxes, and so the racking and loading effects, as well as the relative dimensions, were different that on a dresser drawer.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
Thanks for sharing Jim! Yours is a very inspirational post for the season we're in. I'm sure it will be a very nice addition.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Thanks for your compliments. I got the second coat of shellac on at lunch time and just moved the base and got the top glued up. I think I will let it dry overnight which pushes the drawers to Thursday, probably. I plan to finish the top with Osmo for more protection. So that will take several days - to do 2 coats on each side. I think I will put it in the dining room when I finish it. I can cover the table with cardboard. I'll post more pictures when I get significantly further along. I am curious about domino drawers, I've never done them.
 

TENdriver

New User
TENdriver
Wow, looks great!

I am a big proponent of using carefully chosen pieces of home center wood to build useful furniture.

Thanks for sharing.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I cut the top to size today, sanded it, and have one coat of Osmo on the bottom. If it is dry enough I will put another coat on shortly so maybe it can be done tomorrow. I also built my first two domino drawers today. It went pretty well, I copied an idea I saw on youtube of using a dovetail jig to hold the parts in alignment to make the hole in the side and either the front or back at the same time. I took the template guide off my HF dovetail jig and also the travel limit bar and it held the pieces nicely. The two smallest drawers are together waiting for the glue to dry so I can sand the little bit of domino sticking out off (that was deliberate). Late in the day I got enough plywood to finish all the drawers (fronts of softwood, sides, back, and bottom plywood).

I don't think that domino drawers save much time versus my normal half blind dovetails EXCEPT that they work well in plywood which saves a lot of stock preparation and some money. I've been planing softwood down to 1/2 for sides and backs which takes time. A sheet of 1/2 sandeply was only $35. Birch was $45. 32 bd ft of softwood would be about $96. The plywood is ready to cut up once I get it home. The softwood would have to be run through the thickness planner. So by avoiding the need to prepare the stock, it will save time.

One drawback is the domino drawers need clamped and my dovetails typically do not. Not every joint gets clamped but some of them need it to get pulled together. That will slow down my assembly. Dovetails normally for me is just squirt a bit of glue on them, bang them together and check for square. Ocassionally I have to put one clamp on to square a drawer. But I could put together 9 with dovetails in an hour or so. It's looking like I will have to do 2 or 3 dominos and then wait for glue to dry so I will have enough clamps.

I plan to post more pictures tomorrow, once I have the first couple drawers sanded, possibly with a coat of shellac on them. I should get all the drawers cut out and most of them assembled.
 

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