Four vertical drawer dividers slide into dadoes routed in the two top shelves to form the drawer support system, as shown in the drawing. Before installation, I cut matching dadoes in all four dividers to make the drawer-guide grooves. I followed Tage Frid's advice in FWW on The Small Workshop, pp. 18-19 (The Taunton Press) and made a series of grooves at 11/4-in. intervals. The theory is that you could make drawers in 1V4-in. increments for greater storage flexibility. Using Frid's modular system, you could take out two 1^/4-in. drawers and replace them with one 2V2-in. drawer. I've found this doesn't work in the real world. I'm not about to start making new drawers to replace ones that I already have, and changing the drawers around makes finding tools a guessing game. But beyond that, I'm tired of always being asked, "how come there are more grooves in the dividers than drawers?"
The two outside drawer dividers were installed first. Then I locked the shelves in place with one screw at each end of the shelf, driven through the carcase sides from the outside, as shown in the drawing. The counterbored and plugged screw was centered in the shelf about 1 in. behind the leading edge. The unglued shelf is free to float in its dado behind the locking screw. The two center dividers were added last from the back of the cabinet.
All drawer parts were batched together and cut at the same time. I built the drawers, wherever possible, from wood scrap except
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the drawer fronts, where I attempted to cut all three fronts in a row from the same cherry board for grain matching. The drawers were half-blind dovetailed at the front and through-dovetailed at the back, as shown in the drawing.
Before final glue-up, I cut the groove for the drawer bottom in the sides and fronts on the table-saw. The back was trimmed, as shown in the drawing on the facing page, so that the drawer bottom extends past the back and can move with the seasons. Planning the drawer bottom so that just the right amount protrudes lets the bottom act as a stop against the cabinet back when the drawer is closed.
After final fitting of the drawers to their openings, I glued strips to each side. The strips act as drawer runners, and they fit into the grooves cut into the vertical drawer supports.
The two longer drawers below the main drawer section are housed in a separate box, which was an addition that I made later to store tools like rulers and oversized screwdrivers.
Supporting heavy loads—Corner braces reinforce the mor-tised-and-tenoned rail-to-leg joint and enable this elegant base to support the heavy tool chest.
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