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  • pberglund

I'm Making a Flat File Cabinet for a local artist

A local artist and old friend has asked me to build a flat file cabinet to store his paintings in.

This cabinet will be made of cherry with a 5/4 top and legs 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".

This post is about the joint I used to make the very large drawers out of 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood. I have never used this particular method to make corners before so I thought I'd share. I saw this method here and what I liked about it is if you are using 1/2" Baltic Birch then you set up your table saw to cut a 1/4" wide dado 1/4" from the fence and 1/4" deep. Once you set the saw up carefully you can cut the sides, front and back and a groove for the bottom and the bottoms without ever changing the saw set up. I works for 1/2" bottoms or 1/4" bottoms as well.

Here is a shot of a test with scraps to get the settings dialed in. Note the 1/4" groove for the bottom. Below is a exploded shot of a side, back and front

Once I got the fit just right where I could fit it all together snugly I went for one of the big drawers. I am using 1/2" bottoms on the big drawer and it was a challenge to run the bottoms through the table saw standing on edge but with a helper and a roller stand we were able to dry fit the first drawer together.

On to the rest of the drawers and then we had to dado for a divider at the customer's request. This is one of the final drawers with several coats of wipe on poly (Amour Seal - Satin by General Finishes). I finished the bottom and insides of the sides, back and front before assembly. I only glued the corner lock joints and the divider dado into the front and back. I put a 1/4" round over on the top edges by making frame jig a couple inches smaller than the compartment size and the same height as the drawer side to help stabilize the router as I went around the drawer edges. It was trickier than I thought and I ended up climb cutting around before the final pass because the Baltic Birch had a tendency to splinter off when routing in the normal direction.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the result and would consult with anyone trying the 1/4-1/4-1/4 drawer method. Work safe!

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