Carcass

1 To make the two sides, cut tongue and groove planks slightly longer than finished size and glue and clamp them together to make boards that are slightly oversize (see Fig 12.4). From these compound boards, mark and cut out two rectangles to the final size. Mark the top, inside and front edges to indicate their position. On the inside face of both sides, carefully measure and mark the positions for the frames and the drawer runners.

2 On the inside back edges of the sides, use a rebate plane to cut a rebate 3/i6 x 3A6in (5 x 5mm) to house the plywood back.

3 Because they will be subject to high levels of wear, the drawer runners are made from hardwood; I used rectangular-sectioned ramin, which is readily available from most DIY outlets. Cut the hardwood to length and shape the runners using a rebating plane (see Fig 12.5).

FIG 12.1

Front and side view with dimensions.

305/sin (777mm)

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

FIG 12.2

Side and front sections with dimensions.

5ton (140mm)

111/i6in (42mm)

3ton (80mm)

5ton (140mm)

2in (51mm)

zzz:

Section XX (see Fig 12.1)

2in (51mm)

275/iein (694mm)

CO I

29ton (749mm)

2615/iein (684mm)

I oo

overhang

4in (102mm)

321/4in (819mm)

Section YY (see Fig 12.1)

FIG 12.3

Carcass construction.

FIG 12.4

Sash cramps are used to hold the tongue and groove planks for the sides while the glue dries.

FIG 12.5

Dimensions for drawer runners.

1/2in (12mm)

I

7/sin (22mm)

1/2in (12mm) I

— 7/sin (22mm) —

Drill and countersink the holes for the fixing screws and screw the runners to the inside faces of the sides in the marked positions. Do not glue. The screw heads should be sunk well down into the runners so that they will not interfere with the drawer movements. The runners also function as battens to hold the sides flat and help prevent warping.

4 Cut all the rails for the three frames to the required width and length and mark halving joints on the ends using a marking gauge, try square, pencil and marking knife (see page 24).

The front joints on the top frame are stopped halving joints, because the front of the frame shows in the finished chest above the drawers and the end grain of a through halving joint would look unsightly. Cut the joints with a tenon saw and glue them together, ensuring that they are set square (see Fig 12.7). A single screw will help to hold the joint.

Once dry, clean up the joints with a plane and compare the frames to make sure they are all exactly the same size. If they are not, reduce the larger ones with a plane until they are. If the joints were made carefully, any adjustments will be slight - a few passes with the plane should be enough.

Middle frame

161/8in (409mm)

-2914in (749mm)

2in (50mm)

FIG 12.6

Dimensions and joints for frames.

Corner blocks for plinth

Corner blocks for plinth

Scale 6:1

Top & bottom frame

\lVzin (38mm)

/sin mm)

Halving joint at corners

Halving joint at corners

Stopped halving joint at front corners of top frame

Stopped halving joint at front corners of top frame

FIG 12.7

A frame shortly after gluing.

FIG 12.7

A frame shortly after gluing.

FIG 12.8

The carcass ready to be fitted into the plinth.

FIG 12.8

The carcass ready to be fitted into the plinth.

5 The middle frame is slightly narrower than the top and bottom frames. This is because it should be set back from the front to allow for the drawer fronts. Fit the top and bottom frames into the carcass so that they extend to the front, above and below where the drawers will fit. Screw the frames into place but do not glue (see Fig 12.8).

6 Mark and cut out the back accurately. Getting it square is important, because when pinned and glued into the rebates in the back edge of the sides it ensures that the carcass will be square.

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