7 Drawer Dresser, Joinery Process Begun

Joinery on Case Parts

Now that I have milled a fair amount of wood down to size I have turned my attention to the joinery of the case. I am going to make the frame and panels which comprise the sides and the back. The first step is to cut the parts to size and then I started by cutting the grooves and the tenons. I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am using machines to do this. In fact the table saw makes quick work of cutting tenons!

Cutting tenons with the table saw

The mortiser makes quick work of cutting square holes in wood too! This reminds me of what one of my students said after cutting all the mortises in his end table during class. He said “You can row a boat across the ocean but there are faster ways to get there!” I am a firm believer in learning the skills of hand mortising, especially if you only have a few to cut or maybe even some angled mortises. But when you are trying to make a living at this sometimes it is necessary to use faster methods!

Mortising the legs

I use my rabbet block plane to fit the tenons and then mark all the mating tenons to their mortises while you are fitting them.

Fitting the tenons

I then did the joinery on the front frame. I did double tenons on the narrow dividers. Here is the whole frame dry fit together without the panels.

7 drawer dresser whole frame dry fit together

Whole frame dry fit together

In the next post you will see how I cut the panels and glue up the frames.

Frank Strazza

2 Responses to 7 Drawer Dresser, Joinery Process Begun

  1. Gary Cook October 31, 2014 at 3:37 AM #

    Hi Frank,

    I’m really enjoying reading about this build and the pics are great. My next project is a long sideboard in the same framed style. However, I’m very unsure of the correct joints and proper way of piecing it together. Ideally I would have a framed carcase, then the lower 2/3 of the sideboard would be split into four doors going horizontally across the sideboard. Above each cupboard would be a small drawer. I think I have the main m&t frame in my head and the ends would have rebated panels, so that’s fine. Where I’m most confused is the ‘inner lining’ construction, ie how the inside bottom of the cabinet sits in the lower frame? I know I can run a rail through where drawers will sit and cut that in grooves into frame, with central dividers also allowing me to cut in rails for the drawer guides. Would you have any basic plan available anywhere so I can get my noodle round the other bits?

    Thanks Frank, look forward to next instalment.

    • Frank Strazza November 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM #

      Hi Gary,

      It sounds like you are on the right track. I would make a frame and panel configuration for the drawers to run on and then put dividers dadoed into the upper and lower frames, just make sure the dados are very shallow so you don’t weaken the frames. I don’t have any particular plans available. other than ones that I have drawn up. Sketchup is a great tool for working out all the interior construction joinery before cutting any wood.

      Good luck,