Now build the drawers using simple 1/4″ x 1/2″ rabbet joints on the sides, with the fronts and backs captured between the sides. The bottoms slide into 1/4″ x 1/4″ grooves in the sides and front that are cut 1/2″ up from the bottoms of the drawer pieces. The back is cut 1/2″ shorter than the front to allow the bottoms to slide into place. Use the bottoms to hold the drawers square while the glue dries, then remove them to make finishing the drawers easier. I set up a 1/4″ radius router bit in a router table and ran the top edges of the drawer parts (both sides) to make them more finger-friendly. Don’t round over the front edge where the drawer face will attach. With the drawers assembled, attach the drawer slides to the cabinet and to the drawer sides and check for smooth operation.
Cover the edges of the drawer faces and the door with veneer tape. Then rout the a shallow mortise centered in the top edge of each for the pulls. Use a router with a straight bit. See the photo above for the jig I built for this.
I want to mention that the screws provided with the pulls are round-head screws. In an effort to keep things flush and simple I used a countersink on the clearance holes in the pulls and then used flat-head screws to attach the pulls. Now attach the drawer faces to the drawers using the hardware shown in the photo at right. This allows for easy adjustment.
Now drill the door to accept the European hinges and mount them to the cabinet. If you haven’t used concealed hinges before, take a few minutes to play with the adjustment to get a feel for the versatility of these hinges.
Lastly, cut a groove the length of both sides of the shelves and then add veneer tape to the front edge. The shelf pins shown slip into the slots in the shelves and provide invisible support. It’s your choice whether to make the shelf locations adjustable by adding more shelf pin holes. I preferred to use set locations to keep the interior clean and unmarred.
The case is now ready to finish. Remove the hardware and finish sand. Use a clear finish everywhere, and don’t worry about coating the black accent strips. After the finish has dried, attach the hardware and hang the door. Adjust the drawer fronts and door to make all the spaces equal. Then step back and enjoy the clean simple lines of your work — until the tastes of the furniture world swing back the other way. Then perhaps you’ll have to apply some fancy moulding or something. PW
David Thiel is a senior editor at Popular Woodworking.