A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (68)

Snippets and snatches, moments here and there, now and again, characterize my shop time of late. I’m still working on drawers and thought I’d share a few more pics of the process than in the previous post. Well, maybe more than a few – and I hope you like pictures of hand planing.

Step one in the process involves fitting the drawer fronts to their openings. Here, I take modestly thick shavings, around 0.002″ thick, to dimension down the fronts in a reasonable number of passes:

Drawer rear and side walls are also edge planed to remove mill marks:

Here, I’m face planing one of the drawer rear walls:

The usual futile attempt to get a decent picture of the chatoyant planed surface:

Onward it goes:

Drawer sides, assembled with their runners, and then put together with the associated drawer rear wall:

The runner entry end is chamfered by chisel:


After fitting the runner/drawer side assembly to the front, if there is any adjustment to be made it is done to the drawer runner outside edge and/or undersurface. Here, I’m taking the running surface down a few shavings:

The result I aim for is to have the runner’s undersurface sit proud of the drawer front by 0.01″ or so:


When fitting the dry-assembled drawer to the carcase opening, sometimes a little trimming is required on the end grain of the drawer front, just a shaving or two:

At this stage, I strive to get a fit whereby the drawer slides smoothly, without rattle, and the drawer front clears the opening by 0.015″ all around:

I’ll increase the clearance a little bit later on during final fitting after the drawers are glued up.

Here we have the first completed bank of 9 drawers fitted to cabinet #1:

Once the drawer has been fitted to the opening, I slide the drawer floor into position, running along the dadoes in the runners and meeting a dado on the inside face of the drawer front:


A view of the cabinet from the rear, showing the back of the drawers at full insertion:



The drawer rear walls are not arranged to have the grain running continuous across from one side to the other, though this was done, of course, for the drawer fronts. It didn’t seem worth bothering about for the rear walls as they can’t be viewed all together normally.

Another view of cabinet #1 from the front:


Back to the plane for cabinet #2:

Another type of bacon has been discovered, it would seem.

Another view:

I thought maybe a video of some planing might be of some interest:

At the end of today’s session I had all the drawer fronts fitted to cabinet #2:

All the drawer rear walls for this cabinet are also planed.

All for this round – hope you enjoyed. Next, I’ll return to my series on French cabinetry drawing, as I’ve been pecking away at that over the past week. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Post 69 is next in this series.

8 Replies to “A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (68)”

  1. Honestly, I actually like the pictures from the back better. πŸ™‚

    It's a bit of a shame that the beautiful joinery that has gone in to making those drawers will be invisible when they're in use.

  2. Well, it's the same for any joined drawer, and besides, I feel quality work is every bit as much about what you can't see as what you can see.


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