Shaker Hall Table continued (Rails, slides, kickers/ Drawer construction )

So here it continues, on my last blog about this shaker hall table build I wrote about the main carcass design and joinery of this table. Hopefully you readers got the information you needed out of it. I will start of this blog by showing how I installed the drawer runners, kickers and spacers. Also a brief view of how I did the drawers. It did take about two months for me to continue on this build and write this blog, since I had to put up drywall and flooring ( wife’s orders) in the basement where my hand tool wood shop area is located. I also, as always got sidetracked building my Frame saw , with the Blackburn tools frame saw kit. My Apologies. Nah it all was worth it in the end.

Back to business, before I start talking about basement reno’s, Let me start by talking about the drawer runners ( Pic below), which I simply glued on with hide glue to the inside side. I made sure they were flush with the front drawer rails. These were 3/4″ x 3/4″ square pieces of maple. I don’t think the width really matters only the fact that they need to be flush with the front drawer rail. Just enough for my drawers to have something to slide on .

While the drawer runners where clamped down I started to work on the drawer spacers ( pic below ) . Again these were also made out of maple, which after planing the boards to final width to fit in between the runners and kickers, I went to the band saw and cut them to the rough thickness. these were roughly 3/8″, but this all depends on what size of legs your using or the way the joinery was placed for the sides. Once run thru on the band-saw I smoothed up the boards and fined tuned the stock to thickness, so once the drawers are inserted they wont stick. This is all pretty simple stuff. Since most of this project is build by hand, it doesn’t really matter too much on exact measurement to the thou of an inch . Everything is made to fit in steps. The drawers will be fined tuned after to fit the runners , kickers and rails. These spacers were also just glued to the side with hide glue. It did take a while ( 2 evenings after work to be exact) to glue everything since the clamps were in the way if I would have glued it up all at once. Of course screws/nails could have been used to hold everything in place after glue up. I wanted to stay away from screws and nails as much as I can for this project.

Last step for the frame of this table was the top drawer kickers. I prepped stock for all 4 runners and 4 kickers at once in the beginning , so the only step before glue up of the kickers was to fine tune them to fit into their spot, and chisel 1/4″ by 3/4″ by 1/2″ deep mortises for the buttons. If your not familiar with the term Buttons ( they are manly used on shirts and jackets ), jokes aside, they are a traditional method of fastening the top to the frame. Instead of figure 8 fasteners to fastened down the top , buttons are used. But I will write more about this once the table is finished in another blog entry.

As for the Drawers, I used Quarter sawn Cherry for the fronts, Poplar for the Sides and back. The bottom of the drawers was made out of two pieces of pine laminated with the grain going left to right to allow for expansion and contraction. The polar board I chose to use for the sides was very twisted so it took a little to plane them flat .Since it was a 4/4 board there was lots of room after planing for me to get my half inch drawer sides. As for measurements, all the dimensions in this project I just made up to fit and to look aesthetic. The drawer sides expand about 1/8″ in from the front of the drawer rail all they way back to the middle support I put into the frame ( which also acts as a drawer stop). The joinery I chose for the front was Half blind dovetail so I also had to take that into consideration when finalizing my measurements for the sides . The sides turned out to be 12 3/8 and the front and back was 11″ long . I left these all a tad longer so that after glue up they have a nice tight fit once cleaned up.

I let the board sticker for a night since it was to late to start joinery that day anyway.The next day after work I proceeded with marking out the joinery. I have a 1-4 ration dovetail marker from Lee Valley tools that I always use to lay out my dovetails. I’m not going to explain how I measured and mark everything since if your reading this you probably already know, but if your curious send me a DM on Instagram.One thing to mention is the drawer is 3 1/2″ tall. The front and sides are 3 1/2″ but the back I left at 2 3/4″ that that my bottom slides in from the back . I used Half blind dovetails for the front as mentioned before and through dovetails on the backside of the drawer. “Tails first” lol. After the joinery was fit I Plowed the grooves in that receive the bottom of the drawer.

After the Everything was fitted and triple checked I went ahead and glued everything up making sure once its glued that it all squares up .In the past when I made drawers it was a little easier since I also inserted the bottom before clamping . Since this drawer receives the bottom by sliding it in from the back, I went ahead and glued up the main drawer frame.

Next day it was time for the clean up of the front and sides and add slight chamfers to all sharp edges . This was a good time to use my tail vise. I cleaned up the dovetails and went over all sides with the smoothing plane. I had to test fit the drawer a couple times since I left it larger on all sides . I used the block plane to trim of the top a little since it was snug by the drawer rails. It fits perfect now.

For the drawer bottoms I Laminated some 4/4 pine . The board I used was pretty darn flat so all I had to do is joint the sides and glue them up. After the glue up I flattened the boards a littler more going across the grain and to thin them out since they were roughly 7/8″ thick. I ended up with a rough dimension of 5/8″ thick for the drawer bottom. the thickness didn’t really matter to much as long as I was close to 5/8″ and left one side flat which becomes the showing side of the bottom. I marked the underside of the drawer with a B since the top side Was finished with a smoother. Then on the underside I laid out a mark 1 3/4″ from the 3 sides as shown in the center picture below leaving what will become the back of the bottom unmarked. I also marked 1/4″ up from the showing side. These marks created the guide line for my chamfer that will make the bottom slide into the grooves. I planed these chamfers on all three sides ( front and two sides, leaving the back) rough, by checking how they fit in the grooves once I got close to my lines. A little fiddling was to do but not too much . The underside of the bottom with the chamfers received my makers stamp and the years date, but I left it rough and unfinished. I kind of like leaving the not showing surfaces with tool marks. I’m sure I am not the only one since I learned this from inspiration, and reading about this. It saves time.

Below are a couple of pictures of how the bottom sits in the grooves. I ended up drilling a hole through the bottom into the underside of the back drawer, that receives a brass screw to hold the bottom in place. So this is pretty much it for this blog entry. Next ill have to work on the Top of this table and then shes done.

Thank for reading -Markus

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