Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sculpted Mahogany Vanity - Fitting Drawers and Drawer Guides

You know, it only feels like I forgot about the vanity project.  :)

Hopefully the intervening series of videos on hand-cut dovetails was interesting.  But time to get back to putting my bathroom back together again! I can't hold it much longer!

In this episode, I go over fitting the drawers and putting in the drawer stops and drawer guides.  The drawers ride on wooden drawer runners with kickers above them so this isn't a drawer guide in the sense of telescoping ball-bearing drawer guides common in kitchen cabinets.

Though this episode is part of the sculpted Mahogany vanity series, the procedure for putting the stops and guides in place is the same for, say, a chest of drawers.  What isn't covered here in detail is how the kicker is used to keep the drawer from tipping down (that was in a much earlier episode).

I'm a lot further on the project than this indicates; I think you'll really find the next three episodes interesting even if you never make something like this.  Hopefully they'll spark ideas!

Lastly, I decided to play with the video caption file.  I've edited the file into coherent English so you can use the CC button to get English subtitles.  That's not interesting.  What is interesting is if you hover over the CC and pick a translation.  It will use Google Translate on-the-fly to translate the subtitles into a language of your choice.  I watched it in French that way and was impressed at how understandable it was other than some homophones.  I wish they had a Pig Latin translator...


  • Brian Q said...

    It's looking good Paul. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  • Brian said...

    did you just trap the drawer so you can't pull them out? i thought you wanted to be able to pull them out.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks, "Brian" :) it's a Brian-thread after all!

    So at first I thought you were kidding me, but then I think I see a real question there. If you remember, the back of the drawers is cut back from the bottom so the bottom of the drawer can be inserted from the back. That said, there is nothing underneath the drawer bottom in the back of the drawer so they slide out just fine.

    Now, later, I will put a pivoting block behind the front rails to prevent a drawer from coming all the way out until you pivot the block. I'll do that on the drawers for the bottom segment, not the top. The top drawers are 22" long so you have to be intending on pulling them out if you go that far.

    Admittedly, I haven't worked at all on the sculpted part for the top drawers yet. Wanted the bottom pattern in place to "continue" it up to the top. But I can do that off-camera one weekend in no time (or in high-speed with those cool smurf noises when I speak).

  • Luis M said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Luis M said...

    Delete Comment From: Half-Inch Shy

    Blogger Luis M said...


    What plane did you use to thin out the bottom inside of the drawer sides? I thought about using my 3/4" shoulder plane in a situation like this but it wouldn't start cutting until about 3-4" from the drawer front.

    Thanks for the high quality podcast.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Luis,

    I just used a regular shoulder plane and yes I couldn't get it to cut right up to the drawer front, but that's exactly what I want.

    If you recall, I wanted to make a few passes on the bottom inside of the drawers to give them some play against the guides except for the first 1-2" behind the drawer front. There, you want it to snug up against the guide and lock it into place. So the shoulder plane you have will work just fine! If yours would leave 3-4" snug, that's fine, too.

    In a later episode's video, you'll see them being inserted with a fair amount of play until they are fully inserted where there was no play. I have other dressers I made that use this technique and I love the drawer movement.

    Thanks, too, for the compliments!