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Tutorials dealing with constructing and improving the House of Miniatures Kits

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This tutorial deals with converting a House of Miniatures drawer using thinner basswood for the front, sides, and bottom, and
dovetailing all four corners, to make a "false front" drawer. A false front drawer is one that has the drawer built as a open box
with all four sides and then the front piece is installed. This was done for two reasons:
 
1. Some woods, especially burls, are not strong on their own and need the reinforcement
 
2. Veneers allow the use of very thin layers of expensive and highly figured woords that are too scarce and expensive to make a
solid drawer from
 
Please refer to my tutorial "Dovetails for Drawers" for details and notes on creating the dovetails
 
I am demonstrating using the House of Miniatures Three Drawer Chest (Kit 40011) drawer using the kit parts as the drawer front and
as measuring patterns so you can convert any kit drawer for any House of Miniatures using these instructions
 
In the first part we are going to cut out the new parts using 1/16" basswood for the drawer sides and back and 1/32" basswood for
the drawer bottom
 
Step 1: Lay out and measure the kit parts. Here you can see the front, bottom, sides, and back. The kit uses a non prototypical
construction method where the bottom and back are the full width of the drawer and the sides rest on top of the bottom and do not
extend all the way to the back. This is something else we are going to correct
 
Photo 1 shows the parts and their sizes
 
hmd01_zpsnrcfissp.jpg 
 
Photo's 2 & 3 shows how the sides, back, and bottom are assembled (they are just sort of propped up here)
 
hmd02_zpsoc4w9zns.jpg 
 
hmd03_zps1eamxnx2.jpg 
 
Step 2: Cut out the new sides from 1/16" stock. 
 
The sides are the full height of the old sides (9/16) plus the thickness of the bottom (1/8 or 2/16) or 9/16 + 2/16 = 11/16 high
 
The length is the full depth of the bottom (1 21/32) plus 1/8 (4/32) for the front plate, 1/32 for the front dovetail overhang,
and 1/32 for the rear dovetail overhang or 1 21/32 + 4/32 + 1/32 + 1/32 = 1 27/32 long
 
So the new sides are 1 27/32 x 11/16 x 1/16
 
Step 3: Cut out the new front and back from 1/16" stock. 
 
The back is the full height of the old sides (9/16) plus the thickness of the bottom (1/8 or 2/16) or 9/16 + 2/16 = 11/16 high
 
The length is 3 3/8 (3 6/16) plus 1/32 per side overhang (1/16 total ) or 3 6/16 + 1/16 = 3 7/16 long
 
So the new back is 3 7/16 x 11/16 x 1/16
 
Step 4: The parts are marked for the dovetails (the four matching jions are lightly numbered 1 to 4 in pencil)
 
hmfd01_zps1a2p4eps.jpg 
 
Step 4: Cut out the dovetails. As these are a little wider than 1/16" I found that an easy way to clean them up and "cut" the
dovetails for the front plate is to tightly wrap sandpaper around the edge of a scrap of 1/16" basswood
 
hmfd02_zps0w67nmnb.jpg 
 
Step 5: Glue the parts together. I sand off the pencil marks just prior to gluing each side join. Sand off the projecting parts of the dovetails (see my dovetail tutorial)
 
hmfd03_zpsl2nbrhnm.jpg 
 
Step 6: Cut the bottom from 1/32 sheet and glue in. I found the easiest way is to put the completed drawer on the sheet and run a
pencil around the inside to mark the size to cut. I also use two scraps of 1/32 sheet to space the drawer bottom slightly up from
the base
 
hmfd04_zpsuqzynhys.jpg 
  
hmfd05_zpshugexirl.jpg 
 
Step 7: Cut the false front from 1/42 veneer and sand flat. I found the easiest way is to put the completed drawer on the sheet
and run a pencil around the front plate to mark the size to cut
 
hmfd06_zpsk6nmbaur.jpg 
 
Step 8: Glue the false front to the front of the drawer. I use wax paper and a scrap of 1/16 basswood as a backing for the clamps.
Notice how the veneer slightly overhangs the drawer edge on all four sides
 
hmfd07_zps3wy7iae3.jpg 
 
Step 9: I cut the plate slightly oversive and sand to fit after gluing
 
hmfd08_zpseo5ao3ii.jpg 
 
And here it is mocked up in the cabinet. I will cover the polyurethane finish and installing drawer pulls in another tutorial
 
hmfd09_zps5inzsasv.jpg 
 

This tutorial deals with making dovetails for the front, sides, and back of House of Miniatures drawer kits using thinner basswood than provided in the kits. Before anyone gets picky I know these are technically box joints and not dovetails but at this scale I think they are good enough (a box joint is a form of square dovetail with more glue area than a butt joint but without the mechanical joining aspects of a true dovetail)

I will be posting a full tutorial on how to convert a House of Miniatures Three Drawer Chest (Kit 40011) drawer using the kit parts as the drawer front and as measuring patterns in the near future so you can convert any kit drawer

In the first part we are going to dovetail the sides and back

These are based on 1/16" basswood adjust as needed for other wood. These are for making simple dovetails for drawers to replace the out of scale drawers found in House of Miniatures and other kits.

Step 1: Cut drawer pieces 3/32" larger than needed (1/32" overhang at each end)

IMG_0926_zpssfpgjajd.jpg

Step 2: Draw a line 3/32" in from each end

IMG_0927_zpsnkemnjkx.jpg

Step 3: Draw lines across both pieces 1/16" apart (see note on sizing dovetails below)

IMG_0928_zpsgtmmddr4.jpg

Step 4: I color every other one on each piece so I know which ones to cut out

IMG_0929_zps0p9yvmjs.jpg

Step 5: Cut out the colored pieces (I used an #11 bladed knife) and clean it up with folded sandpaper

IMG_0931_zpspd1emeln.jpg
 
Step 6: Glue the pieces together you can see how each dovetail extends past the end by 1/32"

IMG_0932_zpsi9dwti0m.jpg

Step 7: Let dry then clean up the outside joint with sandpaper

IMG_0935_zpsuu3reilf.jpg

IMG_0936_zpshffxayer.jpg

In the second part we are going to dovetail in the face plate or drawer front. In this case we are going to go more for the appearance of a dovetail, or box joint, than a true dovetail, although it will increase the glue area and therefore the strength of the joint. This is only a sample not an actual drawer so it is a bit rough it is just to show the concept. 

Step 1: This is based on a 1/16" drawer side and a 1/8" this drawer front. Draw a line 1/16" from the joining edges on both the front and side. On the front piece draw a line 1/16" down the end (down the middle of the end)

step1b_zpsmag2rb90.jpg

step1a_zpssyaipkwc.jpg

Step 2: Draw lines across both pieces (and down the end of the front piece) 1/16" apart.

step2b_zpsxj1qeuao.jpg

step2a_zpslqn1s1fb.jpg

Step 3: I color in every other piece to show what needs to be removed

step3b_zpshy15lnl6.jpg

step3a_zpswvxho1zx.jpg

Step 4: Cut out the 1/16" squares from the side piece and clean up with folded sandpaper

step4a_zpsbv9cxi3i.jpg

Step 5: Cut out the 1/16" squares from the front piece and clean up with folded sandpaper. It isn't necessary to cut all the way down into the piece all that is needed is to remove a triangular shaped chip (see photo)

step5a_zpsv2z3ilv6.jpg

Step 6: Sand the cut edge of the side piece to a 45 degree angle (see photo)

step6a_zps4ljmvv2p.jpg

Step 7: Stain the front piece as desired

Step 8: Glue together, let dry, and clean up the joint with sandpaper

step8a_zpsxfxpfqr3.jpg

Note: Many times the 1/16" dovetails wont fit exactly on the drawer so I have posted an alternative method at the end to create correct dovetails for any size drawer

Alternative Dovetail Size Method (use this to replace the 1/16" measurement):

Step 1: Measure the exact center of the piece you wish to dovetail and draw a line (1 on the drawing below)

Step 2: Measure the exact center between line 1 and each end and draw lines on both sides (2 on the drawing below)

Step 3: Measure the exact center between the existing lines or the existing lines and the ends and draw lines (3 on the drawing below)

This breaks any size drawer side, back, or end into 8 evenly sized dovetails

alt1a_zpso2q0abgi.jpg

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