A while back I created a jig which holds a piece of fiber board. Into the fiber board I cut an opening and it becomes the template for plunge routing. I decided to use some of the available space on my ikebana routing template, to cut a groove for routing out the front and back of my tiny drawer.
The idea is simple, route an opening the size of one of my shop fox template guides. I chose a 3/8″ opening, which lets me use a 1/4″ bit, to cut the groove. After getting the groove cut, I had planned on setting up the jig. I realized that the set up for cutting the opening was good enough to also do the first test cut.
I don’t want to mess up my second tiny drawer at this stage, so I decided to use the first drawer front, from a few weeks back, as my test piece. I taped it to a long piece of thin hard maple, with painters tape. The painters tape worked, but it isn’t very sticky. Next time I will choose a better tape. It did do the job though. Once the piece was taped to the board, the board was clamped to the template.
My 1/4″ bit is a straight bit. An upspiral bit would work better, but I don’t have one. I think I may pick one up, as the upspiral removes the waste as it goes along. Again, it did the job. After I had the groove cut, I really wanted to see how it would work with the walnut bottom, which I had cut for the drawer. It worked pretty well, but the bottom needed a little bit of sanding to get a good fit.
After the front of the drawer was cut, it just seemed natural to cut the back piece. I was now excited about my first drawer again. One reader pointed out, quite correctly I might add, that the crack in the front could be fixed. In truth, it wasn’t a terrible crack either, so I decided I wanted to finish the first drawer. I taped the back of the drawer to the long piece of wood and routed the back edge.
It was time to assemble the drawer. All of the joints are snug and the bottom has just a little space for movement from expansion. I am not enough of an expert to know if it has enough space, but it has some. I snapped the drawer together and everything fit! I was so excited. The little drawer was very solid, when all of the pieces were fit together, they sort of grabbed on to one another in a big woodworking hug. Right now, it is technically just a tiny box, because it doesn’t have grooves for the runners or a place to be slid into, but those things will come in time. I am so proud of my tiny box/drawer. Dovetails are cool and they really do make a nice snug joint. I sort of feel like a woodworker. It is a good feeling.