Oxbow chest continued

Let’s pick up from where we left off. I had milled and cut all the parts to size, cutout and shaped the blades. If you noticed, I did not bead the case sides. The reason for this is, I want to route the dovetails into the case side for the blades first. This reduces the chance of tearing out the beads on the case.

The case sides, already cut to size, are taken to the bench. I then use my layout stick to transfer the locations of the blades to the case sides. In the photo the top of the chest is to the left. As you can see, I draw the top, center and bottom lines of the blades onto the case side. I extend the top line all the way across the case side but I only extend the center and bottom lines of the blade across a few inches. The reason for this is, my drawer runner (the piece that the drawer actually sits upon) is going to be 1/16″ to 1/8″ thinner than the drawer blade. This helps reduce the chances of a drawer expanding during humid times and binding on the case structure. Since my router jig works off the center line of the space I am routing, I only need the blade center line marked a few inches (my blade will only be about 3″ wide overall when I’m done). I then mark off the thickness of my drawer runner and find the center of that dimension and extend that line across the entire case side except for the first couple of inches. It may not be noticeable in the photo because my center lines are offset by only 1/16″.

Hopefully, you’re still with me. Now that my layout is complete, I set up my router and fence to route the blade dovetails. As you can see, I have a fence clamped to the case side (the piece of white tile board is my spacer that is exactly cut to one half my router base dimension). I’ve used my spacer to set the fence in place off my blade center line. I begin with using a straight router bit that is slightly smaller than the smallest dimension of my dovetail bit. I set that just slightly less than the depth to which I will make my dovetail. Run the router against the fence and cut a dado into the case side a little further than the width of the blade.

If you have a second router, set up your dovetail bit to the depth you need and route using the same fence setting. Release the fence and move to the next blade. Repeat this process until you have all the case portion of the blade dovetails cut. As you can see in the photo, I did not route a dovetail for the bottom blade. More about that in another segment.

Once I have the dovetail sockets routed in both sides, I move on to the dadoes for the drawer runners. As you can see in the picture of the routed case side, the center lines that cross the side are slightly off the center of the sockets. This, as I mentioned before, is to accommodate the difference in thickness between the blade and the runner. On this piece, I made the blades 13/16″ and the runners 11/16″. So, I turn the case side around and use the same centering spacer to clamp my fence in the proper position. With my router outfitted with an 11/16″ straight bit, I route the dadoes up and slightly into the dovetail sockets for the blades but not all the way through the case.

Once you have all the dadoes routed, head to the tablesaw and rabbet out the back of the case sides for the backboards of the chest. The rabbet is 5/8″ wide and half the thickness of the case side.

The last step in this post is to head back over to the router table and bead the front edge of the case sides. The case only has a bead on the inside edge of the case side so, you’ll have to set up an unaltered flush trim bit and trim off the bead on the outside edge of the case side. Make sure you do not route off the bead where the dovetailed sockets passes through. You’ll be very dissapointed if you do (and you’re chest will end up a little shallower than orginally planned). Next time, we’ll get the case together and fit the blades.

As always, if you have questions or comments, make sure you post them. The easiest way to keep on top of this project is to subscribe to the RSS feed (it’s that little “subscribe” logo in the top right corner of the page). If you really want to get a handle on making a project of this complexity, let me know and I’ll consider putting together a class. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

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7 thoughts on “Oxbow chest continued

  1. Chuck
    thanks for another great part to this project. I got a little lost with the layout off sets for the blades and drawer runners but was able to follow when i saw the picture below were the dovetails were routed out and gave it some thought what your trying to do. Could you show use a pitcure of the beading profile you did in the last step. I think that will help me understand why you need to set up a flush trim bit to remove the bead. I think but can”t tell that the bit is putting 2 beads on the edge at the same time. I have never seen a doulbe beeding bit with space in the middle. Is this another custom router bit made on the green wheel? It would also be great to see a picture of the side after the drawer runner dados were routed in the side. The blog is good but have you giving any thinking to making the picture were we can click on them and they will increase in size so we can see more detail if there is something we want to look at? Chuck you also metioned that you maybe doing a class. Is this something that would be open to all students even if we haven’t taken the basic classes first? I look forward to the next post thanks and keep up the good work. thanks

  2. daddy-O,

    I’m glad you stuck with the routing the case side part of the post. I knew it wasn’t the easiest thing to follow but I did my best. I’ll keep working on and, hopefully, you’ll keep wading your way through. If you get lost and have questions, let me know. I’ll do my best to clarify.

    The picture thing is something I am trying to work on. All my pics are very large coming off the camera but I try to bring them down to a reasonably small size for the blog posts. The pics I think are necessary to see larger, I made larger in the post. I’m working on the “click for a larger version” thing. It will help out a lot on those photos of layouts, like the case side in this project.

    The Fundamentals classes I offer are primarily a suggestion for someone who has some experience and confidence in their woodworking skills. For someone who has no previous experience, they’re worth their weight in gold. For those with more experience, I say if you have the time it can only help but it shouldn’t limit your ability to join in a class. So, to answer your question, as far as you are concerned, you’re welcome to join in on most of my classes. If you have a skill that’s lacking (such as cutting dovetails by hand or using a hand plane), I suggest you take at least a Fundamentals 1 class and then move on to bigger and better projects.

    Watch for the next post later this week (I’m going to attempt to post at least every Sunday and Thursday morning for a while).

  3. Chuck,

    Good post there , Buddy.

    Like Daddy-O I was a little confused about the 1/16″offset but I think I now understand. That’s half of the difference of the drawer slides at 11/16 and the blades at 13/16 of an inch. That will result in the blades lining up flush with the drawer slides on the top. Or do I go sit in the corner with my nose in a circle on the blackboard?

    Thanks. Keep up the good work. I just love it.

    Charlie M.

  4. Charlie,

    You got it dead on. Come on out of that corner!

    I’ll try to explain things a little better next time. 🙂

  5. Hey Chuck I can’t wait til thursdays post. How ever in the last post i asked about beads can you answer that part of the question? I know i asked a lot of questions so it was easy to miss. Are Charlie and me the only people reading this post? I hope not b/c there is alot of great stuff here. I think I would take the fund 1 class but the next one is not untill aug. Do you have plans to do one before then? see yeah all on thursday. Thanks

  6. daddy-O: you and Charlie are not the only ones reading this blog. I found it today and posted it to my blog roll. I’ll be back.

    Chuck: Thanks for showing this project step by step. I hope you figure out how to allow the bigger pictures on click: it would be handy to see more detail for some of these.

  7. Rookster,

    Welcome aboard. I can also say to daddy-O and Charlie, you are not the only ones reading the blog. From my webstats, we’re getting visits from hundreds of people from all parts of the world (had someone from Tokyo, Japan and another from Paris, France checking us out for a while the other day). You are currently the primary commenters. Maybe we can shame a few of these other folks into typing up their thoughts and asking some questions.

    Thanks again to the Rookster and Texasgaloot for joining the fray. Don’t be strangers and whatever you do, don’t be silent.

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