Please help recommend joints for dresser/armoire plans!

Hi,
I'm a beginning wood worker. I've built basic things many years ago, and built a pretty big jungle gym/swing set in our backyard, but nothing requiring the accuracy/joints that this will require. However, I do have a decent selection of power tools and have decided to tackle a new project.
I purchased a set of plans for a piece that my wife liked the looks of. We're expecting in mid-October, and I would like to get this done by then. When I got the plans, I was shocked to see that they don't have any joints for the dresser. They just plan on nailing and gluing most ends together, including the drawers! There is a rabbet on the back of board A to fit the back of the dresser, but that is it.
For those of you that would just like to look at the plans and make recommendations without reading further, the plans are here: http://www.iler.com/plans/dresser-armoire.pdf . Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer.
Here's a little more info if you care to read:
I'd like to get a jig for my router that will do dovetails (and the other joints), and use that for the drawers. However, I don't know what would be best for the rest of the joints. Can someone look at these plans and recommend proper joints? The jig I'm planning on buying will do sliding dovetails, mortise and tenons, dovetails, half-blind dovetails, and supposedly over 100 more. I did order a few books on joinery, but I don't have them yet. Obviously the jig just helps, but I need to know what to do in order for the jig to be successful. I'm not buying it in hopes that it will automagically make the joints for me. I will be reading up on what joints work best for this type of project, but I'm hoping to get a head start and recommendations for the experience folks here.
I'd like to build this so that it could be strong enough to be passed to my children for their kids, or at least hold up for many many years. I'm tired of the pressed board kits from Wal-mart that fall apart when you move them, or even after 3 years if you don't move them.
Anyway, I'm planning on using a harder wood than pine for most of this, but I need to balance strength and price - I'm not going with Walnut or Oak. I was thinking Maple. Any recommendations as to wood would be appreciated, too.
For now, we're going to finish this in white, as it will match the crib and other furniture in the room. However, if it's ever refinished, it would be nice to keep staining as an option.
FYI, the plans were purchased on a large sheet, and I put them into a document that I could print and work with so I don't mess up the original. You'll notice the folds in some of the pictures/graphics on the plans.
Thank you for your time!
-- Kent Iler ---------------------------------------------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@iler.NOSPAM.com Please CC: all replies via e-mail Remove .NOSPAM from e-mail address
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If you go to www.finewoodworking.com , you can search a 600 article database for "Chest of Drawers", and there is an excellent article on "Building a Chest of Drawers, Joinery and Design Considerations", by Christian Beksvoort. It is an excellent article that can be purchased for a few dollars. Also, in issue 163, June 2003, there is a good article on "Engineering a Chest of Drawers". This will answer a lot of your questions.
I also have an excellent book, "Illustrated Cabinetmaking, How to Design and Construct Furniture that Works", by Bill Hylton. It gives exploded views on traditional construction of many types of furniture, including the joinery. When I want to see how a piece of furniture (from highboys to roll-top desks) should be constructed, I go to this book. It doesn't give explicit details or dimensions, but there is enough information to design and construct your own piece. There are also sections on joinery and subassemblies such as door and drawer construction, casework and post and rail construction.
Essentially, you have a chest of drawers with one door. The above should give you plenty of ideas. There are so many ways to put together such a piece, it would be hard to give you specific advice. For myself, I would probably dovetail the sides of the carcase to the top and bottom and apply some sort of bracket feet. I would use sliding dovetails for the drawer dividers and dados for the dust panels. For the drawers, I would do half-blind dovetails in the front and through dovetails in the back of the drawer.
Good Luck,
Preston

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Thx!
--Kent

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Check library for Tage Frid Teaches Woodworkung as it has a number of joints and how they're made. Poplar is easy to work and accepts paint well. Most woods wont accept stain once the pores have been sealed with finish.
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 20:34:32 GMT, "Kent P. Iler"

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Thx for the advice!
--Kent
wrote:

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Kent,
You should learn about pocket screws. You can get a small gig for $20-$30 dollars. They are very strong and will allow you to cut the wood exactly as the plans show. They should work in most locations.
Three considerations:
First, place them where they will be hidden although they can be plugged with purchased wood dowels shaped appropriately but its no fun.
Secondly, be careful in planning, you need room to get the screw gun in and in some spaces it might be too small and hand driving them is difficult. Sometimes, just the order of assembly can solve that problem.
Finally, always clamp the joints firmly in place befor driving the screws. The low cost fixtures make a 15 degreee pocket and the screws tend to want to lift the joining piece.

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Are the pocket screws as strong as other joints that you'd typically use? I guess I'm thinking that the screws will loosen sooner than a strong joint will.
--Kent
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Bill Wallace) wrote in message

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Kreg claims that pocket screw joinery is stronger than mortise and tenons, (that's their claim, not mine). From my experience I've never had a pocket screw loosen up on me. Brush on a little glue on the joint, screw it down and glue a plug into the hole. That screw is not going anywhere..
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Any recommendations for jigs?
--Kent
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Bill Wallace) wrote in message

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Well, I did say $20-$30...
The cheapest I could find was indeed $30 at Rockler
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/showdetl.cfm?offerings_idY85&objectgroup_idB1&catid=7&DID=6
The more expensive fixtures have a toggle clamp but they are more like $60-$90 but do come with more screws, etc. The link I posted above comes with a jig and the drill bit and the stop collar so even though you have to clamp it with your own clamp it has everything you need.
Just search on "pocket" at either Woodcraft or Rockler and you'll see all kinds of fixtures and even production machines. I can't wait until our new Castell two motor unit gets installed at my shop. ;^)
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Kent P. Iler) wrote in message

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Thx!
--Kent
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Bill Wallace) wrote in message

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