Friday, March 3, 2017

The Drawers - part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, I was just about ready to start working on constructing the drawers for the Airstream trailer I'm restoring when I realized it was late. Today, after work, I boldly marched down to the basement to begin work. That's when I realized that I while I understood the techniques involved, I had no firm plan or sketch with measurements, which meant I had no idea what lengths to begin cutting the wood to. Oops.

Back upstairs I went. I rounded up a notebook and pen and began to work things out. I checked the floor plan and furniture sketch from the Airstream brochure. It showed five drawers in the chest of drawers, and per the floor plan looked to be 18" wide and 17" deep/long. The height had to be less than 36" because that's the height of the bottom of the window it sits in front of. Those gave some design constraints/guidelines for the design. Nearly an hour later I had a page filled with a couple of crude sketches, a lot of numbers, and some vague notes.

My rough sketch and calculations
Most of the construction uses 1" (nominal) boards, which are really only 3/4" thick. I'm using select pine for the case of the chest and the front faces of the drawers, and #2 pine for the drawers proper. For the sides, I'm joining 34" lengths of nominal 1" x 12" and 1" x 6", which will yield 16 3/4" deep sides, plus 3/4" for the drawer face and however long the pull is, so at least a half-inch deeper than the original Airstream floor plan indicates - not that those went into fractions of an inch. The overall interior size of the drawers is 14 3/4" wide by 14 1/4" long, and either 4 7/8" or 5" deep (it will depend on the thickness of the drawer bottoms). That's roughly the same length and depth as the small drawers in my home dresser, and a few inches wider.

With that bit of design finished, I descended again to the basement to begin work. That's when I opened my newly-purchased Kreg pocket-hole jig and read the instructions. It uses some specific screws, and while it came with some as a "starter" selection, I needed more to complete more than a single drawer. I thought I could get started on some other aspects first, only to discover I also lacked sufficiently-short nails/tacks to use to attach the square dowel that is needed for supporting the drawer bottom, and for the rails (runner/kicker) that will support the drawers in the case. And I had done some math wrong, and needed a 1" x 6" rather than a 1" x 8" for the sides.  Oops.  Another run to the store entered my evening. Tomorrow, work will actually begin. Sigh.

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