Dave's Sideboard

The importance of planning the order of work.

SHOP OWNER: Dave Hastings
LOCATION: Haverford, PA

    A friend asked if I could make small sideboard for him. I found a photo of one in an article by the Keno brothers, which they dated early 1800ís, and thought to be from South Carolina, so I set about to copy it.
    I'd made many Shaker style tables but nothing as ambitious as this. I learned joinery from teachers such as Mario Rodriguez, Garret Hack, and Gary Rogowski at various schools as well as a book by Ian Kirby. Still, I wondered if I knew enough to tackle this. I first made full-size drawings of the joinery (mortise and tenons for legs and aprons and drawers in particular). This is a very important step. Next, I asked myself what the order of work should be and decided on the following plan of attack:

  Dave's Sideboard

    1. Cut blanks to legs (bandsaw) and square (joiner and planer).

    2. Cut mortises in legs for aprons and front rails (mortising machine).

    3. Rout front bead on legs (router table).

    4. Cut taper on legs (table saw).

    5. Cut and tenon side and back aprons (table saw).

    6. Dry fit legs and aprons and check for square.

    7. Make front rails and tenons, cut slots for buttons to attach top, and dry fit again.

    8. With carcass dry fitted and clamped, measure for and make drawer runners and guides. These will be secured with screws rather than glue so they can be adjusted after the drawers are made.

    9. Glue up legs, aprons, and front rails and secure runners and guides.

    10. Cut drawer fronts and fit to openings, marking each for a particular opening (they won't be precisely identical).
Dave's Sideboard

    11. Cut drawer sides and backs (poplar, in this case). Make sides slightly thicker than finished size, to be planed to fit when drawer is finished.

    12. Cut half-blind pins in fronts and tails in sides (by hand).

    13. Rout beads on drawer fronts.

    14. Dry fit drawer parts and measure for bottoms.

    15. Cut grooves to accept bottoms.

    16. Cut and chamfer bottoms (glued-up 1/2" pine).

    17. Glue up drawers - be sure they're square and insert bottoms (no glue).

    18. Cut and square top - one piece, in this case, 17" x 58".

    19. Rout ogee edge and a cove piece that goes under the edge.

    20. Attach top with wood "buttons" and screws and attach cove with glue and brads.

    Note: sand all parts to 180 grit before final assembly. The finish is mahogany gel stain plus five coats of gel poly varnish.

. . . Dave Hastings



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