Sideboard – bottom web frame

You could almost picture some drawers…


The bottom web frame uses similar construction to the top web frame. It differs in how it connects to the case sides. While the top web frame is dovetailed (half-blind) into the top of the side, the bottom web frame is joined with dados. If you have downloaded the Sketchup model for this project, you can see there is a dado on the front and back of the case side to receive the front and back pieces of the web frame. That dado is not continuous across the width of the side pieces. I forgot to take a photo before I glued it up.


The rest of the frame is similar construction to the top web frame where the ends and middle of the web frame are allowed to float within the web frame to allow for wood movement. I repeated this same process of only gluing in the front mortise and tenons and leaving the back free floating (with-out glue).

The middle divider in the bottom web frame matches the construction of the top web frame. These will eventually be connected with a “divider” piece at the front and back of the case, which will further define the drawer locations. There will also be a runner that “runs” front to back on that middle divider that will help guide both drawers into and out of the case.



-that blue painters tape helps me to remember where each joint goes during glue-up – it can get confusing when your running around like a mad-man while the glue is drying

Next up should be the dividers that define the drawer and door locations.



Sideboard – top web frame

The top web frame comes together with M&T and half blinds…

It will help to hold the carcase together, provide a surface to attach the top, and help to frame the drawers.

I used a little blue tape to help hold things together while I marked out for the half blind dovetails. I spent some time making sure that everything was square before marking to final length.


I am starting to really like cutting and fitting half blind dovetails. I’m still very new to this type of joinery, as in my past life – as a power tool woodworker – I only cut through dovetails. The half blind seems to come a little more easy to me; there is less fitting and paring with the chisel for me when I cut them. I think I will incorparate them more into future projects.


After the half blinds were cut and fit properly, the rest of the web frame (middle and sides) were constructed using mortise and tenon joinery. Only the tenons on the front of the case will be glued. The tenons on the back of the case will be free-floating (no glue) so they can move with changes in humdity. I didn’t get a shot of it working, but I got to use my “pigsticker”, which is lots of fun to use. I drove through six mortises in no time with that puppy.

IMG_5025  IMG_5177

Here’s a couple pics of the top web from in place.

IMG_5031  IMG_5030
Next up – the bottom web frame…

-side note…nothing is glued at this point, nor will be for quite some time. I’ll be taking the carcase apart and puting it back together multiple times as I fit some other parts.


Chiffonier trimming tenons & final smoothing

Nearly finished now…


After the success I had using my new flush cut saw on the pegs, I couldn’t wait to try it on the through tenons. I had quite a few of them to trim…sixteen to be exact. This would have taken a fair amount of time using a chisel or even a backsaw and chisel. The flush cut saw gets the tenon very close to flush, and it does it very quick.

Unfortunately, things did not go as well as they did with the pegs. I had some marks from the saw to clean up when I was done. I am still trying to figure out why. Perhaps it has to do with the angle I was approaching the cut. Perhaps it was the larger size of the tenons versus pegs. Perhaps I need to use this new saw a few more times to solve this mystery.

Now the marks from the saw were nothing to cry about. They were merely surface scratches, and I was planning on finishing everything up with the block plane anyways…I had some tear-out to tame. I cleaned all the faces up with a finely set, newly sharpened block plane. Then I turned my attention to the edges of the panels.

With block plane in hand, I worked all the edges of the panels. I worked a series of chamfers to smooth out any sharp edges…for those little hands who are intended to use the chiffonier. Next I worked over the feet.

I hoisted the chiffonier up on my bench and noticed a little rocking. I always have trouble figuring out which of the legs is the culprit. The last thing you want to do is get into a situation where you keep taking wood off of the wrong leg thinking you are making it better, when it is slowly getting worse.

Then I had an “Ah Ha!” moment. I took one of the legs that I suspected and slid it off the bench slightly. When I did this, the chiffonier stopped rocking. I then slid the offending leg slowly back toward the front of the bench until it stopped. I put a tick mark at that point on the leg. I flipped the chiffonier on its side and planed down the leg until I reached the tick mark. Sweet relief…it worked!

Before I went to bed for the night, I managed to bevel all four feet. This will help to prevent splitting the wood should the chiffonier be slid across the floor.

All that is pending now is a rod…

– JR





There’s a hole in my panel dear Liza


After I cut the curve on top of one of the panels, I saw a big gaping hole in the top. I took me a while to figure out exactly what happened. To my credit, it’s from work that I did cutting the grooves in the panel a few months ago. So basically, I forgot the mistake I had made.


Back when I made this mistake, I had accidentally plowed a groove deeper than I what was needed. Therefore when I cut the tenon for the mating rail, it didn’t fill the entire groove.

No biggie.

This fix is fairly straightforward. Cut a wedge to fit matching the grain pattern and trim to fit.


Look in’ good

– JR


Chiffonier shelf mortise & tenons

I’ve now had my fair share of mortise & tenon practice for the year…

Each cross piece has two tenons which join to the panels via through mortises. I have yet to decide if the tenons will stand proud of the panel stiles, or if they should be flush. So for now, I cut them a little long.

As usual, I cut all the mortises first. I used my 1/4″ English mortise chisel to chop em out. I went halfway through on one side, and flipped the stile over to finish the mortise. I spent a good deal of time marking out the mortises, which prevented any tear-out when chopping.

For the tenons, I started with the bottom shelf cross pieces. These are fairly wide boards so I used the same technique I used for the tenons on the top of the panels. I cut out the tenons and trimmed to fit each mortise. After the first four I really got into a groove and started knocking them out.

Next I knocked out the top cross pieces for the top shelf.

I was quite pleased as everything lined up on the test fit.

– JR




Chiffonier mortise and tenons

The bones are coming together…

I spent some more time grooving the rails and the other stiles.


Next, I set my marking gauge to the width of the groove, and marked out for the tenons on the rails. Cutting the tenon on the smaller rail was fairly easy…just a little bit of cleanup to get a good fit.


The larger rails were a different story. They are a little more complicated. This rail consists of two tenons with a stub tenon in between, and a haunch at each end. Getting all this to line up and fit took more cleanup than I had wanted. The hardest part was cutting the shoulders of this larger rail. At this point in the project, the rails are 12″ wide. Cutting a straight and square 12″ shoulder is quite difficult. A couple of times, the saw jumped out of my cut line and scarred the face…but a little clean up later will fix that. In addition, I don’t have a shoulder plane to correct an off-square cut…so it took me a while with the chisel.


In the end though, I had good fitting tenons.


Next up is the panel for this frame…

– JR