Drawer assembly

Going to make the drawer boxes for the buffet out of 3/4 inch baltic birch with hard maple false fronts. Is it acceptable to attach the sides to the front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide b y 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit sets. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out.
Larry
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On 2/15/2013 2:01 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

to the front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide by 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit sets. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out.

On a buffet I'd expect a lot of use...
I'd at least _try_ a sliding dovetail. I have to admit I've never used baltic birch ply for anything--when I was doing cabinet work it was essentially unheard of yet in the States and since just never had the need--just use hardwood for drawer sides for everything I've ever built.
Anyway, all as a way to say I don't know how well it would machine but my understanding is it ought to do ok that direction and you would have a solid mechanical joint as well against the pulling force...
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On 2/15/2013 2:01 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

with hard maple false fronts. Is it acceptable to attach the sides to the front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide by 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit sets. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out.

I have make a whole bunch of drawers with 1/2 Balic birch, rabbit joints front and back and reinforced with floating tenons. Tenons inserted into plunge cuts mortises at the rabbit joint after the drawer is glued up.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/6485169951/in/set-72157630857421932/lightbox/
Same here with 3/4" solid maple
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/5471710794/in/set-72157630857421932/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/5471112571/in/set-72157630857421932/lightbox/
And on several other projects.
I will say that sanding the drawers can be a PIA.
I first use a 1/8" radius round over bit to round over the tops and bottoms, insides and out on all 4 sides. I then sand all the interior sides, then assemble, next day plunge cut the mortises, insert the tenons, and finally sand the exterior. Rounding over the edges before assembly saves a lot of time sanding.
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/6485169951/in/set-72157630857421932/lightbox/

It does remind me of an old saying that I updated with you in mind. "When the only tool you have is a Domino all problems look like a floating tenon." ;~) Art
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On 2/15/2013 3:44 PM, Artemus wrote:

Thank you! It has been a big hit. I believe it has influenced the closing of the deal on my last four big jobs.

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On Friday, February 15, 2013 2:01:24 PM UTC-6, Gramp's shop wrote:

e front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide by 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit set s. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out.

Leon ...
I recall seeing these pix before, but damned if I could find them again. T his will be a good experiment for the JessEm mortiser. Thanks, too, for th e sanding tips. Hadn't thought much about that.
Larry
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On 2/15/2013 2:57 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

with hard maple false fronts. Is it acceptable to attach the sides to the front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide by 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit sets. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out.

will be a good experiment for the JessEm mortiser. Thanks, too, for the sanding tips. Hadn't thought much about that.

LOL, The round over before assembly trick is a relatively recent discovery. It took me hundreds of drawers to come up with a faster and easier way.
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Gramp's shop wrote:

As dpb said, sliding dovetails are nice; strong and easy to make. Ply does to chip but that isn't an insurmountable problem.
Leon's suggestion is a good one too. I have a 72" x 24" x about 30" storage table in my shop. It has three tiers of drawers, four drawers in each tier (top two are shallow, bottom two are deeper). Some of the drawers are quite heavy, all slide wood on wood. All have the sides into a dado on the front, sides are pinned with two to four 1/8" dowels. I built it 20 years ago, no drawer has failed. Not *nearly* as elegant as Leon's mortices though. IIRC, the backs are just butted to the sides, pinned too.
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On 2/15/2013 2:01 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

with hard maple false fronts. Is it acceptable to attach the sides to the front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide by 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit sets. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out. Just something else to consider is a locking rabbet joint drawer using a table saw to make the joints instead of a router bit set. (you will need a miter gauge and sacrificial fence)
I like them because you can make a fairly nice, and relatively strong, and inexpensive plywood drawer quickly and still not be ashamed, leaving a possible better drawer to a future time and circumstances:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopJigsFixturesMethods#5845371459780698114
Here's how I do a locking rabbet joint on the table saw:

http://youtu.be/1w7iQFW4hq8

http://youtu.be/1w7iQFW4hq8

(you can easily dimension that for 3/4" sides and fronts)
And, for the Sketchup jockeys, here's the actual file:
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?midh2667a62ece758354f10b531fe5914c&prevstart=0
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On 2/15/13 8:40 PM, Swingman wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopJigsFixturesMethods#5845371459780698114

That what I did on my last set of drawers! I was done before I could've had the dovetail jig and router set-up.
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-MIKE-

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On 2/15/2013 8:40 PM, Swingman wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopJigsFixturesMethods#5845371459780698114

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?midh2667a62ece758354f10b531fe5914c&prevstart=0

I have not tried this but was wondering if it would work. Have you ever considered cutting the front/back rabbits with the end of the board on the table, pointing up and down and the resulting tongue being between the blade and fence? If you set the fence the same distance away from the blade as the width of the dado cut you may be able to use the same fence setting for the dado and rabbit cut and no sacrificial fence or blade height adjustment.
Of course the dado width would have to be exactly half the width of the stock.
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On 2/16/2013 10:42 AM, Leon wrote:

You mean like when cutting tenons on the TS with a jig?
Would you not need some kind of 'fence riding jig' to keep the vertical board in position through the drag of the dado stack cut, especially in a less wide drawer part?
Or, maybe my mental floss didn't work all that well this morning? ;)
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On 2/16/2013 11:20 AM, Swingman wrote:

Yeah kind'a sort't.

Well you are only cutting about 1/4" deep so I don't think keeping it against the fence would be an issue however you could use a 1x6 to go through first, laying flat, and that could create a recess that could hold the bottom of the board against the fence before and after the cut and to push the bottom through.
Narrower drawers would probably be more difficult.
I was going to try it out but my dado stack is .245", baltic birch is .476. AND my 1/4" dado insert has been used for wider cuts so the piece would drop down into the saw. Not a good situation.
I left it at that.
I was looking at the beginning of a WOOD you tube video and it mentioned how to make this joint with out changing the set up. But of course the video only wets your whistle and then wants $3 to view something that you probably already know.
Pay attention to the last sentence he says on this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THwogrdeA0M


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On 2/16/13 12:47 PM, Leon wrote:

http://www.woodsmithshop.com/download/509/locking-rabbet-joints.pdf
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On 2/16/2013 12:53 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

I've seen that in the past. I can make a lot of drawers using my preferred method (certainly not _my method_ as its been around for years) by the time I get around to making and using jigs for a fairly simple operation.
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On 2/16/13 1:13 PM, Swingman wrote:

I just posted that because it looked like what was in the other link, without having to pay to watch it.
Like I said, I've done it your way... but I've also done it this way, because I already have the jig I made for cutting tenons and shaker panels.
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On 2/15/2013 6:40 PM, Swingman wrote:

Nice video on "how to do it" Karl...
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On 2/15/2013 12:01 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

with hard maple false fronts. Is it acceptable to attach the sides to the front and back using floating tenons? The drawers will be about 16" wide by 18" deep. Alternative is to buy one of those drawer box router bit sets. Haven't had much luck in using dovetails on plywood due to chip out.

Look up "lock rabbet joint" for a quick and easy joint for drawers.
Quick and easy, can be done with a router table or a table saw.
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tips/techniques/joinery/lock-rabbet-drawer-joints/
It can also be pinned from the side, although it's not needed.
It also will cut down or eliminate any chipping on plywood.
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