I enjoyed building this two or more decades ago. I’ve enjoyed using it. I’ve enjoyed the organisation it’s brought to my work but, making yet another, what I have enjoyed is that it’s perfect for teaching the basics of carcass construction including drawer making. It was never intended as a teaching project when I made the first one in Texas. I just needed a simple way of keeping my drawing and art equipment in a good and accessible way as much as anything. When I brought it over from the USA storage and to the UK I could see how people were interested in its construction, how I could improve its construction and modify it to make it a tutorial and so that’s what I spent this week doing.
Whether you need to learn how to make half-lap dovetails or reinforce your skills, this is inexpensive, compact, relatively easy and in the end you have great organisation. It may be that you do not need tool storage. It is versatile enough to suit many needs around any home or office. It’s also scaleable. Make it wider and deep, narrower and shorter and any combination of the above.
The nice thing about this too is you need only the basic hand tools to make it. Following one of the methods we’ve taught in this tutorial you can eliminate the use of a plough plane from the list if you don’t have one and even the router is not really essential at all. In fact not using them will help you to hone your hand skills all the more. What tools are left? The square, layout knife, pencil, marking gauge, chisels and chisel hammer, tape and rule, plane, tenon saw. Not too much beyond an ordinary tool kit really.
I know one or two who relish the idea that I might make a mistake now and then, well, here it is.
I had made the first drawer to camera during filming and it went fine. I waited a while before cutting the dovetails on my next drawer and they too went better than fine, they were so perfect. When I offered the drawer to the opening though I quickly realised my bad. The drawer was too wide! Calamities of calamities! What had I done? I had forgotten to cut the drawer front to length and the drawer was an inch wider than the opening. It was already past six o’clock but I couldn’t leave until I had put it right. The final dovetail was as perfect as all the others.
To watch and learn from this upcoming series you will need to be a member of woodworkingmasterclasses.com. I do hope you will join me with your fellow apprentices there. It’s a great group and we have a lot of fun learning together.