Dresser: Internals

Before glueing the outer case together, I had a few things to prepare. I wanted the back of the dresser to be closed with a panel in a routed groove. I needed internal structure separating the drawers from the cabinet. And, I had a few things in mind for the internals of the cabinet.

The starting point was the back panel. The location of the groove would define where other internal components would align. I used a straight bit in my router, with a fence attached to the base to cut the groove.

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The only tricky bit was that the groove aligned with the half-pin on the top and bottom edges of the sides of the case. I needed to be careful not to route all the way through the end of that pin, or the groove would be visible on the corner. But, I also needed to route a little ways into the pin, to account for the depth of the groove in the overlapping portion of the top and bottom of the case.

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With the groove in place, I could align the internal structure that separates the drawers from the cabinet. That was a shelf about a third of the way from the bottom, and a wall about a third of the way from the right. I used blind mortises and tenons, as a strong yet simple solution.

I cut the tenons first, using a dovetail saw to cut the shoulders, then a coping saw to rough out waste, and finally a chisel to clean up. This is basically the same process I used for my dovetails. You might even call it a 0º dovetail.

I then transferred the dimensions of my tenons onto the boards to be mortised. A forstner bit made quick work of most of the mortise waste. The same chisel technique I used to clean up the hinge mortises on my box project worked well for cleaning up these mortises as well.

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With all pieces fitting together, I moved on to the extra features of the cabinet. I’m going to set it up for one or two movable shelves, plus some small internal drawers. The space for the internal drawers is defined by one fixed shelf. I’m making that shelf about half the thickness of the rest of the pieces of the dresser. It does not span a large space, and will not need to support a great deal of weight. To make the shelf, I resawed some of the inch-plus scraps I’ve accumulated, resulting in just under half an inch of thickness.

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I transferred the fixed shelf’s dimensions to the facing sides of the right side of the case and the internal wall, and then made a groove for it with my router. I also routed grooves for runners on which the drawers that will fit underneath the shelf can run.

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Finally, I made a template and drilled holes for shelf support pins every two inches along those same faces. I’ll come back and make the adjustable shelves later, once I have more scrap that is large enough for them.

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The only remaining internal work is the drawer and cabinet hardware. It would be nice to do that while everything is open and easy to access, but I think most of these spaces won’t be too hard to reach into, and alignment will probably be better when everything is together.

Author: Bryan

I'm the creator of Symbology (http://appsto.re/us/9r6Icb.i), BeerRiot (http://beerriot.com/), lots of homebrew, some furniture, and other things. There's more about me at http://beerriot.com/bryan.html