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.



Chiffonier – fitting the panel

…starting to look like something now…

The first thing I did was trim the panel to it’s final size. After that, I had to decide how I would go about raising the panel.

After some research, I decided to follow the technique demonstrated at ‘in the woodshop‘. **aside [This guy is awesome.]** Basically, you cut a tongue around the panel to fit in the grooves…no problem. Then raise the panel by creating a bevel from the tongue to your reference line.

I started on the end grain cutting the tongue. I first set my marking gauge to the groove width, then scribed a line all around the panel to mark out the tongue. I also set a second gauge to mark out the face for the tongue and the bevel. As you can see there was some tear-out here. I had to make sure and re-establish my knife line with the gauge periodically. The resulting tear-out is negligible, as it will be cleaned up when I cut the bevel and do a final cleanup with the smoothing plane.


Then I continued to use my plow plane to cut the tongue on the long grain. As you can see there was a small amount of wood left that I had to break off and clean up with the chisel.


Once I made it to the right depth, I flipped the panel over and began the process over again. I made small adjustments to the depth stop on the plow plane until I had a perfect fit.


Then it was onto a test fit…


…not to shabby.

Next up…I’ll try and raise that panel.

– JR

A little grooving

My new plow plane arrived…after a quick cleanup, I put it right to work.

I clamped all four rails together to mark out the mortises before plowing the grooves for the panel. I wanted to plow the grooves first to help guide the chisel later when I chop the mortises.



I set the plow against the reference and put it to work. You can see from the mound of shavings just how much work it was. A couple of times I had to put the plane down to cool off, as it was too hot to touch.



…next up chopping

– JR