Mark ( on February 5th, 2008

In the last post I documented the process of dovetailing the top rail and doing the scroll work on the front and side aprons of the table. With all of the joinery completed on the table carcase it was time to glue up some of the components and to begin work on the interior drawer runner assembly.

The table was glued up in stages in order to make the process manageable. What I have found to be the biggest benefit when doing glue ups is to have everything ready and available and to do a dry run rehearsal of the the entire process before every spreading any glue. This allows you to make your mistakes without the pressure of drying glue and stuck joints while trying to remedy a problem situation. By the time the real glue up occurs, all of the bugs are worked out, materials are at the ready and the process generally goes off without a hitch.

Back_Apron_Glue_Up.JPGFront_Apron_Glue_Up.JPGTop_Glue_Up_1.JPGTop_Glue_Up_2.JPGWith that said, I started by gluing the back legs and apron as one assembly and the front legs and apron as a second assembly. Though not terribly exciting, in the pictures (click for larger view) you can see these two assemblies in the clamps. As I said, uneventful is a good attribute for glue ups! At this point I also took the time to glue up the boards for the table top. Because four boards make up the top, this too was done in stages. I glued two boards together at a time and then once they had dried, the two pairs of boards were glued together to complete the top.

Table_Carcase_Glue_Up.JPGWith the front and back assemblies dry, the next step was to add the side aprons. However, because the drawer runner assembly still had to be installed, this too needed to be done in stages. The process was to first glue the side aprons to the front assembly only. This was done by assembling the entire table carcase to ensure that everything was square and true, while only gluing the front portions of the side aprons. This allowed for the assembly to be disassembled once dry so that the drawer runner could be installed from the back and then the remainder of the table carcase could be glued together.

Marking_Drawer_Runner_Tenons.JPGDrawer_Runner_Dry_Fit.JPGThe drawer runners are fairly simple and consist of an extension of the front apron with an L-shaped runner assembly on each side. There is a small mortise and tenon between the front extender and the L-shaped runners. The joints on these pieces were small so, I decided to mill the mortises with the router and to cut the tenons by hand. The back of the runners are mounted to the rear legs with screws.

Front_Rail_Extender_Glue_Up.JPGDrawer_Runner_Glue_Up.JPGDrawer_Runners_Installed.JPGDrawer_Runner_Close_Up.JPGYou can see in the picture that the front extender was glued to the front apron after the side apron glue up had dried. At the same, time the drawer runner assemblies were glued so they would be ready for assembly once dry. The final glue up consisted of the two drawer assemblies being glued to the front extender and the two side aprons being glued to the back apron assembly that had previously been glued up. This step was the most complex part of the table glue up but, with a dry run everything went together very smoothly.

Smoothing_Top.JPGWhile the table carcase glue dried I spent some time working with the new (old) smoothing plane on the table top. With a sharp blade and after a bit of adjustment I was able to get some nice fine shavings and a very smooth and flat table top. That was very gratifying and made the previous time I spent restoring the plane all worthwhile.

7 Responses to “Queen Anne Side Table: Glue Up and drawer runner assembly”

  1. Hi Mark………

    I was wondering, how far are you along in scraping and final sanding of the parts that you just assembled??? Also did you use wafers or something to aid in aligning the glue-up of the drawer extension to the back of the apron?

    Kinda weird but when I saw the assembly and the up close of the drawer frame, reminded me of the smell of a shop working cherry.


  2. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Actually the back of the drawer runner is not attached to the back apron. Rather, if you look closely in the last couple of pictures, you will see a counter-bored hole at the back of the runner. There is a screw there in a slightly enlarged hole that connects the runner to the back leg.

    As far as scraping, and sanding, I did some smoothing of the aprons and legs before assembly. So, those parts need a final sanding – maybe a couple of grits on the legs.

    However, if you look closely at some of the pictures you will see that the (side) outside faces of the leg posts are still rough from the band saw. These need to be smoothed to be flush with the aprons – actually I started this task on the front of the table and it’s a bit tedious because the knees on the legs don’t allow a plane to really get in there – so, it’s most card scraper work. I could have done this before assembly if I did not want the parts to all be flush.

    Kind of interesting how seeing something can evoke our other senses to bring us back to a previously experienced situation…like the smell of Cherry in the shop.


  3. Me again Mark………I should have said the back of the front scrolled apron. Any alignment aide used there 1st picture in row of 4.

  4. Neil,

    Nope. Just glue – long grain to long grain. It’s pretty flush after the glue-up, probably just a few passes with a card scraper and it will be perfect.


  5. Mark –

    This is such an interesting project to follow. Great advice on the dry glue-up rehearsal. The legs look beautiful. It must have been very gratifying to see the sub-assemblies come together so nicely!

  6. David,

    Thanks. Glad you’re enjoying the project. The dry rehearsal has definitely saved me many heartaches in the past.

    It is definitely gratifying to see things finally come together. More to come soon!



  1. The Craftsman’s Path » Queen Anne Side Table: Dovetailing the drawer

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