Sideboard – dovetails & rebates

I finally get to some joinery…

I always cut tails first. I do so because, for me, this is the harder of the two (tails or pins) to cut. I also wanted to put the harder, tails on the board that was the hardest to cut. This resulted in cutting the tails on the bottom panel of the carcase.

The bottom panel is 60″ in length, which makes it difficult to work on. I started to cut the tails by clamping the panel to the front of my bench. This worked somewhat, but the top part of the board – where I was sawing – was unsupported and created lots of vibration during the cut. Not something I enjoy – nor does it help me stay square and true while cutting. Not to mention, I had to stand on top of my saw bench to get into the comfortable height in-line with the end of the panel.

That’s how I cut one end of this panel. On the other end, I tried something a little different. I layed the panel flat on my bench and let it hang off the end of the bench a few inches. It was just a matter of “taking a knee” at the end of my bench. The board was much more stable and I was more comfortable.

In the end, both ends turned out good. The second method was much more enjoyable however.


The corresponding pins on the side panels were a little easier to cut. I was able to clamp these to the front of my bench without all the other issues because of their shorter length. Marking for the tails was the challenge. Luckily I had a third hand to help.


A little chopping and fine tuning, and I was able to get a glimpse of what the sideboard would look like.


Looks good…it’s exciting when things start to come together.

Next, I took the opportunity to cut the rebate for the planks that will make up the back of the carcase.


I think my next chapter in this project will be to work on the top web frame.



Sideboard – making some panels

Before I begin, I need to make some panels…

This is part of every project that I enjoy. It’s a great way to get into the groove.

I started (bottom, right side, and left side) first cutting all parts to rough length. Here you can see, I lack a saw bench. However, the step stool and upside down chair stool have been serving me well for a while.


The next step in this process for me is to flatten each board across it’s width. I am also checking, and adjusting, for wind if there is any. There’ my handy-dandy homemade winding sticks.


These Eastern White Pine boards were in the rough, and came to me significantly over 1″ thick. I removed a lot of wood off each board as there was a decent amount of cupping on every board. This cupping was no match for my #6 jack plane, which I have set up with a very aggressive radius. You might be able to make out the marks from that radius in the photo below. With this nice soft pine, I was able to hog off a ton of material in a short amount of time.


The shavings bucket was overflowing some.


From there, I cleaned up one side of each board that I was joining together to make the panels I needed. I purposely leave the other side as is. The reason I don’t flatten and true the other side? Economy of motion (I hope that’s the right saying). I would rather spend my time flattening and truing the entire panel, rather than each board individually…basically saving a step. There’s also another trick I use (using complementary angles to edge glue the boards of a panel together) which I will save for another blog post.


This is me stickering some panels while they wait for glue-up.


Here’s the bottom panel and one of the sides. I’m liking the way the grain of this pine is turning out.


The last thing I had to do to finish preparing these panels was to bring them to final finished dimension – which includes squaring them up. Glad I built that shooting board this winter…it came in handy. Here’s the panels – awaiting their dovetails.

IMG_4934 IMG_4935

Here’s some shop waste piling up. I’ve been to busy sawing and planing to make a run to the compost pile.


Next, I’ll see if I can get these puppies panels dovetailed…