Sideboard – dividers

Once these go in, the carcase frame is almost complete…

The bottom portion of the case (where the doors and shelves will be) is divided into two compartments. I used a full panel for for this part as it will also be used to hold pins for the shelves.

The panel is made from both eastern white pine and poplar. The exterior and front of the case is eastern white pine. Instead of making the entire dividing panel out of the more expensive pine, I made the first few inches of the panel pine and the rest poplar. The process is the same as gluing up any other panel.

Typically, and as I have in the past, I would use a sliding dovetail to seat the divider panel into the carcase. However, I decided to go with a simple dado. I think mostly because I wanted to practice cutting dados. It turns out it was good practice…and practice that I needed. Each dado was a little better than the previous. There are 6 dados total (two long dados for the large middle panel & two short dados for each drawer divider.

I found that blue tape is a great little helper with this task. It really helped keep my router plane from marrring the surface. The technique I used was to 1) finish the panel to final thickness, including a once over with the smoothing plane, 2) mark out the dados with a marking knife based upon that final thickness of the divider, 3) cut along the knife line with the cross-cut saw down to final depth, 4) chisel out the majority of the waste, and 5) finish up to final depth with the router plane.

This technique worked good, producing a nice square dado. The divider was a little bit of a tight fit, which is what I wanted and expected. I used the smoothing plane to dial in the perfect fit.

web frame dadolarge divider installedfront upper dividerdrawer divider installed

Here I am flushing all the parts before I move onto the top.

divider clean up

– JR