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Question on constructing 60 tiny 18th century drawers


ElgaKoster
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I am probably mad...I stumbled across a small English 18th century wall cabinet that might even have been made by Chippendale according to the auction house. Here is the thing, it has 60 tiny drawers that will measure 3mm high by 7mm wide by 10mm in 1/12 scale. I wonder how these were constructed in full scale, dovetails? I am not sure I want to go that route in mini...it will take forever to make, any ideas as to acceptable alternatives.

Here is a photo of the drawer section, I don't want to show the full cabinet at this stage.

image_zpsxxkxhxqv.jpeg

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I think this look like an apothecary cabinet. I might just look at how others like it were put together. There are lots of them to see online with the drawer open. I have even found them in ETSY. They usually show you one with an open drawer.
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Hi Elga

I would use corner lap joints because they can easily be made on the tablesaw using a sliding table. Making dovetails by hand for 240 corners (and 120 of them halfblind) would take forever. Well, you would get a really good practice in  making dovetails, but....Maybe you should hire an apprentice to do the boring work:-)

/niels

Corner-lap-joint.JPG

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Hi Niels, that was what I was thinking too, especially since the fronts of these drawers are made from a secondary wood and not the mahogany that was used for the rest of the cabinet. I actually like the contrast of the light wood with the mahogany dividers. And hmm, I previously cut 200 drawers for my casket project although those differed in size, guess I can survive these...

Catherine and Peter the cabinet has a gorgeous door that conceals the drawers. 

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I know this cabinet, the way these drawers would have been is with typical hand cut English style dovetails. I have a number of full scale period pieces with tiny drawers, they are gorgeous. I'm guessing these would have been made by an apprentice in the shop, someone who's time was cheap and needed the practice. 

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On 10/29/2016 at 8:52 AM, ElgaKoster said:

Hi Niels, that was what I was thinking too, especially since the fronts of these drawers are made from a secondary wood and not the mahogany that was used for the rest of the cabinet. I actually like the contrast of the light wood with the mahogany dividers. And hmm, I previously cut 200 drawers for my casket project although those differed in size, guess I can survive these...

Catherine and Peter the cabinet has a gorgeous door that conceals the drawers. 

Well Elga,  I don't think Bill is letting you get off that easily. ;) 

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