Back to the kitchen. LWTG has given me confidence that maybe I CAN make doors and drawers.
I ran to Home Depot to buy a sheet of MDF the other night, only to find that there is a $1 difference between 3/4" MDF and 3/4" GBS plywood. I forget what the outside plys are, but its not maple or oak or anything. It IS good enough for drawers though.
First step was to knock down the huge sheet into drawer-sized pieces. I cut it to the length of the drawer sides (20") and to the widths of the different drawers (some 18" and some 12"). I had brought home a handful of drawers to use as templates, so I had something to copy.
The old drawers had a rabbet cut in the ends of the sides and then the fronts were glued and nailed on. Most of the fronts had been ripped away from the sides, and were being held on by a variety of fasteners. It was ugly. Some research suggested that a joint called a drawer lock joint would hold the fronts and sides together better, so I decided to give it a go.
I learned in machine shop that if you want to make a bunch of parts with exactly the same end, you are best to cut the detail in the large stock before parting it down ti individual pieces*, so I applied the same idea here, and cut the fine joints in the sheets instead of making drawers first. First I'd have to put the dado blade in the table saw and cut a rabbet in the front and back pieces of the drawers.
With the rabbets cut, I moved over to my router and set it up with a 1/4" T-slot cutter. The cutter would slit a groove in the board. Sadly my router and I have never been on good terms, and as I cut the slot, the cutter tried to rise up through the board. I caught it in time, made adjustments and carried on, but a number of the drawers will have sloppy tolerances on the joints and may need some screws. In any case, I did manage to cut the profile I was after.
This concluded my work on profiling the edges of the fronts and backs of the drawers and I moved over to the sides. The sides were much easier. I just needed a dado set far enough off edge to receive the end profile I had cut in the fronts and backs. It went lickety-quick, and without incident.
With that done, I parted out the individual drawer bits and made stacks of fronts, backs, and sides. Finally, I ran all the the parts through the dado blade and cut a 1/4" slit to receive the drawer bottoms to be cut of matching 1/4" plywood. This was all boring stuff, so I didn't take photos of the steps, but here are the stacked parts.
With all the parts cut, I went to bed.
*Note - this is also an excellent way to scrap a large quantity of stock all at once. Be sure you measure well.