A Square Deal (26)

Post 26 in a series describing the design and construction of a pair of bubinga tables for a client on the west coast.


The recent drawing and cutting focus on the side table has been the drawer support rails. Due to their location, meeting the posts at the same place where a pair of half through-tenons are located, the joinery between the parts wasn’t at all straightforward. In the end, it is really only a pair of stub tenons, mechi-hozo, however they were tricky to make and took many steps.

When done, I brought the camera out to show the initial assembly sequence. Here you can see that the drawer support rail lies directly alongside the stretcher:

Another corner at the same moment:



Almost there:


Though not too apparent in the above picture, the drawer support rails are fitted with a little end float at the abutments against the stretchers, in case the stretchers swell from humidity. Gotta leave a little room here and there.

The drawer support rail is designed to accept a couple of lignum vitae strips, one horizontal and one vertical, upon which the drawer itself will run. Hence the housing you can see on the post in the above photo. These strips will be attached with countersunk stainless machine screws allowing for easy adjustment and repair, though in truth, with the drawer itself also having lignum vitae runners, the chance of the parts ever wearing out is close to zero. Really, it will never wear out. And if I am wrong about that, given that the rear cabinet panel is to be demountable, changing out the wear strips should still be a simple task in the year 2314.

A view of the overall assembly:

Another view:

Looking from the underside, the view reveals an opening between the drawer support rail and the stretcher:

The opening is to allow for the crosswise fixing pin for the stretcher in that location, so if it needs to be driven out so that the cabinet can be taken apart, it will have a space into which it can be driven. Thus the design does not hinder repair-ability.

So as to be clear, here’s an illustrated view of the inside of that slot with the pin fitted in place:

Also the drawer support rail was sized and positioned so as to clear the other stetcher fixing pin:

The pins have yet to be fitted as I’m waiting on a 5mm hollow chisel mortise bit coming from Japan. Should be here later this week I expect.

One step remains with the drawer support tails and that is to mechanically tie them to the stretchers, which will be accomplished using a 3″ piece of spline. I’ll tackle that tomorrow, along with a few other things I imagine. Lots of little steps gets you to the goal.

All for now – thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. On to post 27.

3 thoughts on “A Square Deal (26)

  1. Fantastic joinery in this project. I'm really enjoying following this build. The joinery is especially impressive given the fact that there is no compression factor in the wood you are working with.

  2. Greg,

    It is a pleasure to learn that you've been enjoying this build. The other thing about bubinga, besides being hard and having minimal compressibility, is it has a slightly sticky surface quality. Though it sometimes gets called 'African Rosewood' it's not so stone like and slick in reality and when the parts get fitted together, there are some interesting sound effects.


  3. CHRIS;
    Looking good! In the last picture TOGETHER there is a 45 cut in the support rail and the other pictures there isn't any 45. Why is this? Just quisitive. Can't wait for more!

Anything to add?