Desk drawer unit

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: medium TIME TO MAKE: 30 hours

This desk drawer unit was made to complement the desk. It is the same width as the drawer in the desk and it will normally be positioned under the drawer. However, because it is on castors it can be pulled forwards and the top used as an extra surface on which to place papers and books.

The size of the drawers reflects the items they are intended to hold. The bottom drawer is the deepest and is just the right size for floppy disks, while the shallower drawers are intended for pens, paper, envelopes and all the usual home office bits and pieces. The depth of the unit is governed by the distance between the front of the desk and the rail at the back, as it is intended to be pushed under the desk.

CUTTING

LIST 1

CARCASS

Sides (2)

Pre-jointed pine board

17H x 15 x Hin (441 x 381 x 18mm)

Top (1)

Pre-jointed pine board

16^ x 15 x Hin (409 x 381 x 18mm)

Based)

Pre-jointed pine board

16b x 15 x Hin (409x381 x 18mm)

Drawer runners (6)

Hardwood

14 x b x 7/iein (356 x 12 x 10mm)

Back (1)

Plywood

16% x 15H x V4in (416 x 384 x 6mm)

ALSO REQUIRED:

Castors (4), two that lock

BOTTOM DRAWER

Sides (2)

Plywood

14b x 6 x 7/iein (359 x 152 x 10mm)

Front (1)

Plywood

13H x 6 x 7/iein (349 x 152 x 10mm)

Back (1)

Plywood

13H x 6 x 7/iein (349 x 152 x 10mm)

False front (1)

Pre-jointed pine board

16b x 6H x Hin (409 x 174 x 18mm)

Base(1)

Plywood

13H x 13H x bin (349 x 340 x 6mm)

Handle (1)

Pine

16b x 1H x bin (409 x 34 x 12mm)

MIDDLE DRAWER

Sides (2)

Plywood

14H x 5 x 7/i6in (359 x 127 x 10mm)

Front (1)

Plywood

13H x 5 x Vin (349 x 127 x 10mm)

Back (1)

Plywood

13H x 5 x 7/iein (349 x 127 x 10mm)

False front (1)

Pre-jointed pine board

16b x 5b x Hin (409 x 133 x 18mm)

Based)

Plywood

13% x 13H x V4in (349 x 340 x 6mm)

Handle (1)

Pine

16b x 1% x bin (409 x 34 x 12mm)

TOP DRAWER

Sides (2)

Plywood

14b x 3H x 7/i6in (359 x 89 x 10mm)

Front (1)

Plywood

13H x 3H x bein (349 x 89 x 10mm)

Back (1)

Plywood

13% x 3H x bein (349 x 89 x 10mm)

False front (1)

Pine

16b x 4b x Hin (409 x 108 x 18mm)

Base (1)

Plywood

13H x 13% x bin (349 x 340 x 6mm)

Handle (1)

Pine

16b x 1H x bin (409 x 34 x 12mm)

FIG 16.1

Front and side views with dimensions. "

CONSTRUCTION

CARCASS

1 Make the carcass using wide boards. I made up some boards by edge jointing tongue and groove planks, although pre-jointed boards would be equally acceptable. Make the four wide boards for the four sides slightly longer than required and then trim the ends to the correct length, ensuring that they are exactly square.

2 Box joints were chosen for the corners, although dovetails would be just as good (see page 17). The number of pins used in a box joint is optional, but it is usual to make the protruding pins equal in width to the gaps in between.

Because all the pins and gaps are equal in width, you can 'walk' a pair of dividers across the width of the wood to divide it into an equal number of parts at both ends of each side. Use a

FIG 16.1

Front and side views with dimensions. "

17Hin (441 mm)

16bin (409mm)

Castors 2 bin (57mm) high

Castors 2 bin (57mm) high long rule parallel to the edges to draw the lines that mark the sides of the pins. Now use a try square to draw a line at each end across the width of the board, corresponding to the thickness of the board, for the length of the pins.

Decide which boards will be jointed to each other at the corners, and indicate the pairs of joints with an identifying letter.

3 Mark the waste wood between the pins by cross hatching with a pencil (see Fig 16.3), as it is very easy to make a mistake when the pins and the gaps are the same width, and cut away the wrong parts. To make sure this does not happen, check that the waste wood between the pins on one board corresponds to the pins on the board it joins to.

Cut along the base of the waste areas, across the grain, with a marking knife. Using a tenon saw, cut the sides of the pins on the waste wood sides of the lines. Remove the waste with a coping saw: do not cut up to the line across the grain, but to within approximately V32in (1mm) of it (see Fig 16.4). To make the fine cut up to this line, use a bevel-edged chisel. Hold the chisel vertically on the line with the bevel away from you, and chop out the waste with blows from a mallet. Do this from both sides of the board, cutting through half the thickness from each side. (When doing this, make sure that the boards are lying on a clean, smooth surface, as any small wood chippings under the board will mark it and leave an indentation.) Try each pair of joints for fit and make any necessary adjustments.

4 On the back edge of the boards, cut a rebate to house the plywood back. Two of the boards have a stopped rebate and the

FIG 16.3

Marking the areas of waste wood to be cut away.

FIG 16.3

Marking the areas of waste wood to be cut away.

FIG 16.4

Cutting out the waste with a coping saw.

FIG 16.4

Cutting out the waste with a coping saw.

other two a through rebate. Make both of these using a router with a straight cutter. Clean up the ends of the stopped rebate with a (6mm) bevel-edged chisel.

5 To glue the carcass, spread sufficient glue on all the surfaces that butt so that it squeezes out when clamped. Because these are fairly difficult joints to glue up and there is a limited time to do it as the glue might dry, prepare all the sash cramps in advance. You will require a minimum of four sash cramps, adjusted to approximately the correct width before gluing commences. Once the joints are clamped, wipe off any surplus glue with a damp rag, as it is much more difficult to remove it after it has dried.

When the joints have set, clean up the outside of the carcass with a smoothing plane. It is essential that the plane is

FIG 16.5

Fixing the back on the carcass with a stapler.

very sharp to cut the end grain on the joints and get a quality finish. Fill any gaps in the joints with pine-coloured filler and glass-paper the outside of the carcass.

6 Cut and plane the drawer runners to size. They are fixed to the inside of the carcass using glue and pins, punching the pin heads below the surface. However, do not fix the runners into place until after, the drawer carcasses have been made, but do fix them before the false fronts are attached. This is because their position is found by putting the drawers into the carcass, starting with the lower one, and marking the positions of the runners from the positions of the grooves on the sides of the drawers. When the bottom runners are in place, fit the drawer and then place the middle drawer on top of it with a suitable space in between, then mark the position of the middle drawer runners. Do the same for the top drawer.

7 When all the drawer runners are in place, cut out the back of the carcass and fix it into place with glue and staples (see Fig 16.5).

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