The sides panels are joined with the bottom panel by dovetails. I always cut my dovetails by hand, that's what I learned first, that's what I always do. Do not like the complicated router's dovetail jigs. Too expensive and complicated for nothing.
All you need to be able to do, is :
- Cut to a straight line, straight down or to an angle. with an appropriate dovetail saw.
- And pare down to a line, with a chisel and/or a knife.
That is it!!
A good dovetail saw can come in various makes and forms, but, preferably, it is set for a rip cut (the way we cut the joint is a rip cut, except for the two end cuts who are crosscut)
A kind of back saw is also preferable, since we need the rigidity to cut straight.
A Japanese Dozuki would be preferable to a Ryoba per example, same as a back saw of any size or shape would be good as long as sized to the job at hand. From a small razor saw to a big Sash saw, but not a handsaw, too floppy. And yes, it can be done, but why not use the right tool??
Tails as cut from LN small dovetail saw and Knew Concept fret saw.
As I warm up, I cut closer to the baseline.
Why this extra step? Because removing most of the waste with the fret saw means
less wear on your chisel or knife 's edges.
Then I cut roughly half-way down on one side, progressively back toward my baseline.
The last cut is no more than a hand paring cut.
At this point, flip board over and finish on that side, cutting through.
And that's what you get. And you can see my chisel's edge is starting to crumble.
Normally, I'll push thru until it was getting hard to cut by hand pressure. But now, I don't have to, I can just turn around and use my new sharpening station! :-)
Being set up and accessible, I have no excuse for not stopping and
touching up my edges. I only have two tools, a chisel and a knife, to worry about
German Carving knife No 8.
With a small chisel I can cut both part of the dovetail and the knife gives me
a large broad surface.
My final hand cut dovetails. In end grain soft pine, with sharpish tools :-)
Not that it really mattered, you do not see that part on the finish joinery,
but you sure get a better glue bond...
I got my dovetails done and now I need to figure where my two back rails will go.
But before, I must address a small previous joinery boo boo. The first dado for the two drawer dividers I cut, is too deep by a 1/4 in. I was too focused on hitting the right width on my adjustable stacked dado set that I forgot to check the depth before I did the first cut, oups!
No problem, coincidentally, I just happened to have ripped some long pieces at 1/4 in thick of the right width :-)
I will glue a piece in the bottom of the dado. Yes, technically it is a cross grain connection, but I don't expect it to give me trouble, and I can always put screws to re-enforce the connection, if warranted. But until proven otherwise, I'll go "sans screws" :-)
Confirming I have the right thickness.
Yes, 1/2 inch centered, is the results.
Using a small hardwood caul to ensure even pressure across.
While that is cooking, time to draw the side profile in order to determined the back rail mortises.
Their locations is critical to be able to hold my saw kerf's boards (2) which would help secured the saw's plates. I also want to give the overall look part a design consideration.
So before proceeding with cutting my mortises, I must trace the profile with my template.
Profile against the partially assembled saw till.
It will only becomes a template once cut out. Must get around...
Next part, we would be starting the mortises
Bob, off to make template...