Massachusetts Block-Front Chest


Step 44 Next, cut the Drop Pendant at the band saw, sand the edges, and attach the piece to the Bottom Front Molding directly at the center of the chest.


Step 45 Now for some hand work! The ends of the Drawer Dividers need to be trimmed to a 45 degree cut to match up with the Front Face Beading. In order to make the cuts, cut a 45 degree angle on a piece of scrap, position it to the case as shown, and carefully trim the angle with a sharp chisel. This process is repeated 12 times. Once each for the top and bottom edge of the three Dividers.


Step 46 Now is the time to attach the Top to the case. Apply glue in the half-dovetailed edge of the Sides and slide the Top into position. There should be a tight fit at the front and you may need to glue a wedge at the back of each Side to tighten the joint at the rear of the case. Because the grain in the Top and the grain of the Sides is running in the same direction, you need not have cross grain concerns.


Step 47 Cut the Front Face pieces to size and fit them to the case. The face of the pieces should be flush with the center area of the Dividers and fit snug between the Top and the Bottom of the Case.


Step 48 Mill the material for the Front Face Beading and profile the edge with the 1/8” corner beading bit. Next you need to fit the pieces to the front of the case. They fit between the 45 degree cuts in the Dividers, against the Front Face pieces, and tight to the Case Sides. Fit the pieces, sand, and attach with a small amount of glue. Use a spring clamp until dry.


Step 49 Begin the shaping of the drawers once they are cut to fit the openings of the chest. Set the blanks into the case so that the front edge of the Drawer Fronts are flush with the rounded portion of the Dividers. Mark a line along the Divider onto either the top edge or bottom edge of each Drawer Front.


Step 50 This is an old trick that I learned during my home construction days. Set a saw to make kerfs in the waste area, leaving thin pieces of stock. Next, break the waste away and clean up to the line.


Step 51 Set the radial miter saw up for this task. That way you can see the work as it is being completed as opposed to using the table saw where the work is hidden against the saw top. Stay away from the rounded corner areas with the cuts. You might think to use the router for this, but the cut is too deep unless you would go after it in stages.

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About Glen D. Huey

Glen Huey is managing editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine, an accomplished period furniture maker and author of numerous woodworking books and videos (as well as magazine articles).