Clamps or no clamps? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Clamps or no clamps?

This is going to sound like a noob question, but I am a total noob. I am building a cabinet of drawers, 17 drawers to be exact. My carcass is built, and now I need to start the drawers. I really want to use a drawer lock joint, but I was told by a guy at Woodcraft that I would need to clamp the drawers or they would rack. He suggested pocket holes. I have the Kreg pocket hole system, but I have a Kreg router table, too. I have built an entire workbench and hutch using the pocket hole jig, and while it has its place, I'm not crazy about it. My question is this: If I use the drawer lock joint, do I need to clamp the drawers? I was just going to glue and pin nail. I don't have but a few clamps and not real interested in buying a bunch of clamps just for this project. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 04:38 PM
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Welcome!

You'll find that you need clamps for more than this one project. I don't think I ever made a project that didn't use at least one clamp for something.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome! I have clamps, just not enough to clamp 17 drawers at once and I want to batch them out.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 05:20 PM
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I have a decent collection of clamps, but sometimes I would like more.

I normally use several clamps for a glue-up. If I do not control the alignment with clamps, then "Murphy" decides to move the pieces.

The mitre lock bit takes a LOT of set-up.

Whatever joint you decide to use for the drawers, I would clamp the corner to one of my 90 deg aluminium jigs intended for such a purpose.

I would not skimp on clamps, for me they are a time saver.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 05:44 PM
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You could just machine a simple rabbet on the drawer sides, to let in the front and back. Run a groove in the sides and front at least a " up from the edge to slide the bottom in. Make the back short so the bottom can slide in.

Use glue and pin nail through the sides. No clamps needed. If you don't want to see any fasteners, you can shoot through the front and back at a slight angle into the sides. Again...no clamps. The bottom should be a friction slip fit. I would finish the drawers with the bottom out (it's easier). When installing the bottoms, square the drawer, and install some pin nails from under the bottom into the back. You could, in lieu of brads, use staples for that.

This fabrication method works well for drawer boxes that will receive a false drawer front.









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post #6 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 05:51 PM
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If you use dovetail joints and they are tight dovetails, probably don't need to clamp, but you will still need to clamp the drawer faces can't get around that..the cheapest route to go is get a bunch of bar clamps (also called pipe clamps), you can get the mechanical parts fairly cheap then just buy some galvanized bars with threads on one end, make sure they are the same size as the clamp mechanical clamp you get, usually 3/4 or 1/2 inch.. They work very good, the pipe clamps will run you anywhere from $5 to $15 a piece and the pipe a couple bucks each dependent on how long you need it. These are a great investment because the same clamps can be moved from a short pipe to a long pipe dependent on your needs. I have about 10 of these and about 30 pipes of different lenght to pretty much cover any situation.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. These drawers will definitely be getting false fronts. Why no clamps with a rabbet, but with drawer lock its necessary? I originally intended on a rabbet joint, but just seemed to like the drawer lock joint.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-11-2013, 06:06 PM
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I use the drawer bottoms to square the drawer boxes on my down & dirty drawers. I often use the drawer lock bit too, but I haven't been pinning them.

But I think the next time, I will give it a try. Pinning should eliminate the clamps as the joint tries to square up on it's own when clamped.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-12-2013, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys! I think I'm gonna try the drawer lock with pin nails on a drawer or two and see what happens.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-13-2013, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbolton View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys! I think I'm gonna try the drawer lock with pin nails on a drawer or two and see what happens.
That is what I would do.

G
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