Almost every evening this week I was able to spend at least an hour or so in the shop. The sum total of that effort netted me two additional completed drawers. Not as much as I had hoped for, but progress all the same. All of these drawers are relatively small. So at first glance, small drawers should take less time. The reality is that a drawer is a drawer is a drawer. They all have four corners that require joinery and grooves for bottoms. Sure, very large drawers with additional dovetails will take more time. But average size drawers all eat up the same amount of time no matter the length or width.
I would like to draw your attention to the smallest drawer with a walnut front. This drawer is a little different and took a bit more time to execute. It is actually a removable pencil box with a sliding lid. Much like the other pencil boxes that I have made only with a slight variance in the joinery.
As I have worked on and used these tansu I have begun to think that some of the drawers should actually be treated as removable trays and/or boxes. I’m actually considering building a tansu with a separate removable case of drawers. It just seems to make sense that the drawers should be removable. Thus providing storage that can be taken to a table or similar. Worked out of and then stored away again in the tansu proper. Now I’m not saying that all of the drawers in a tansu should be this way, but maybe one or two key elements of a tansu. Anyway, long story long.
The smallest drawer with a walnut front will be a removable box with a sliding lid. So the joinery should reflect the fact that the box will be in full view when it is removed from the tansu. Lapped dovetails in the front and the rear. A sliding lid box is a simple thing to build and it’s also very easy to make a mess of it. So in an attempt to keep myself straight I first plowed both grooves in each side piece. One for the sliding lid and one for the captured birch ply bottom. I had one small scrap of walnut left that was just large enough to make the rear of the box. This was a one-shot deal.
The dovetails were marked out and sawed as per the usual. The tricky bit is to get the rear piece to set flush with the bottom of the lid groove. Since the groove is already in place, it’s very tempting to drop the saw into the groove. Don’t! Trust me on this. A gap is what you will end up with. Instead I sawed as close to the edge as I could and then trimmed the remain sliver of wood away when I chopped out the other waste.
All of the parts milled and ready for assembly.
Assembled, glued and pegged.
My hope is that I can build the remaining three drawers tomorrow. That will leave the fitting and installing of the drawer bottoms over the course of the coming week. Next weekend I’ll begin adding the decorative touches.