I began with the sides and managed to dig enough out of the off-cut bin to satisfy my needs. The common practice with drawer sides seems to be that they are to be 1/2″(12mm) – 5/8″(15mm) thick. Not exactly sure why, but I have followed along with this trend up to this point. I decided to leave these drawer sides a full 3/4″(18mm) thick. Mostly just to see if I could stumble onto why the common practice is to thin them down.
I roughed out all of the sides and then began fitting them just as I do the drawer fronts. I want them to just begin to slide into their intended openings, but remain just enough over-size that they will not slide all the way into the opening. Once all of the sides were fitted to their intended openings I tackled the half-blind dovetails that joins the sides to the front of the drawer. This is where the rest of my shop time was spent.
The oak that I’m using for the drawer fronts was salvaged from a long-ago shelf project. I’ve worked with red oak before, but these pieces of oak were the hardest, stringiest pieces I have ever seen. I swear that I saw the chisel bounce of the surface more than once without making a mark while chopping. I even chipped a blade during the ordeal. In the end, bull headed stubbornness and brute force won out. It took all afternoon, but the dovetails are done!
I’ll work up some back boards, add grooves to hold the bottoms and start assembling these drawers over the course of the upcoming week. Next weekend should see the finish going on.