Just a few pics of the completed poplar mock up.
Doing a full blown build in an easy working wood is a very liberating process, and i would argue important learning exercise.
- Dovetail Case Construction: pay attention to how you intend to attach your back.
If you decide to rabbet the back of the case then choose an appropriately sized pin.You don't want to have to use a thin back because you did not leave the rear pin wide enough to support a good size back.
-Gluing Up Sub-Assemblies: clamp them in their final location during glue up.
I incorporated stretchers to give the legs more strength and ground the design, and I glued the leg pairs to the stretcher before I glued the legs to the case. Instead of temporarily clamping them to the case while in glue up, I just clamped them with a spacer at the top. I ended up with some twist which could have been eliminated if I had taken the time to clamp them to the case while the glue dried.
- Cut your Joinery First:
This is a no brainer, cut your joinery before you do any tapering. The stretcher is attached to the legs with a M&T joint. The mortise is easier to cut when the legs are square. Later on the tenon can be fit after the taper has been cut to adjust the tenon shoulder for the taper angle. The handle has a hidden tenon fit to a mortise in the drawer face. Before shaping the handle cut the tenon and fit to the mortise, then go to town.
-Walnut does not come in a can: test your finish schedule on scrap.
Staining poplar to a dark walnut will keep even the best on their toes. Avoid this process. Even with a shellac seal coat and the use of a water based dye and gel stain, blotching was still a problem on the poplar.
If I had done some test runs I would have discovered I did not need the dye and should have avoided it.
And as a heads-up the General Finish Gel Stain I used (antique walnut) contains Polyurethane, thats the first time I had encountered a gel stain with a varnish in it.
Enjoy the pics.