Gang up on it!

I recently built a chest of drawers base on a Shaker example from Hancock Shaker Village. The seven drawers of the chest have overhangs planed into the ends and top edge. The front of the drawer faces also have a simple molded edge.

I used a process I call gang planing on the end grain rabbets and molding profile. I really do not know if this is a common practice historically (I don’t recall seeing this anywhere) or not but it definitely is a time saver.

It is common practice to plane the end-grain moldings or rabbets before doing the long grain. This process is the same but instead of doing the end grain work on one drawer front at a time, I did two or three. This allows longer strokes and more sole contact with the planes, making accurate results much easier than short runs on end grain.

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Here I have two drawer fronts clamped in the tail vise, the ends aligned. To prevent blowout as the plane exits, I cut a small ramp with a saw and chisel. Doing the two together means you only have to deal with this once instead of twice.
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Planing the rabbet with a moving filister.
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Here I am completing the quarter round portion of the end grain molding on the opposite side of the same two drawer fronts. The small filet was cut with a rabbet plane previous to this step.
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Completing the molded edge on the long grain edges individually.

-Will Myers

2 thoughts on “Gang up on it!

  1. Will, That makes perfect sense to gang them up for rabbets etc. I will give it a try the next time the occasion arises. Thanks.


  2. Good idea. Like gang ganging drawer sides for tails. I’ll bet at least some of the originals were made this way.


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