Or should the title read “Wood Trays with Dovetails?” Can “dovetail” be a verb? If you know, enlighten me!
Our Christmas gift to ourselves was a dovetail jig! The primary purpose was to finish our buffet which has three drawers in the middle of it. We roughly followed these plans by Ana White, but ours will look much different. We changed just about every aspect of it except that it is a long buffet with three drawers in the middle with doors/shelves on either side.
I can’t wait to show you that project! It’s been a long time in the making! In fact, we started it last January…January 2017. We’re one year in! Yikes!
We’ve learned so much about woodworking in that year though and have acquired many tools and such to complete the buffet. I’ll be showing it soon, hopefully!
The wood project today is three wood trays to hold various odds and ends in one of our kitchen cabinets. The bottom shelf of this cabinet gets crammed with this and that, things that have no real home (like the toilet paper! Ha, actually we use this for wiping noses, too cheap to buy Kleenex in this house!). It holds our vitamins, my diabetes testing supplies, the boy’s candy, and tea.
Truthfully, Dan was just looking for an area in our home that could use wood boxes. He needed to practice with the dovetail jig before tackling the buffet drawers. It is quite the machine and takes a lot of skill and practice. Even though the jig’s purpose is to make dovetailing easier, it still takes quite a bit of knowledge, planning, and careful cutting!
So Dan built three beautiful boxes to fit side-by-side in this cabinet. They are just deep enough to fit inside the face frame and wide enough to fill the shelf width with a little wiggle room in between the boxes.
This is a dovetail joint, for those of you who don’t know! It is the cutouts that fit a corner of a wood box together. It is an extremely strong joint that fits together snugly. There are no nails or screws used, only a bit of wood glue. If you are looking for quality wood furniture, dovetail joints for any drawers is something to look for.
Solid wood must be used to make dovetails because plywood will splinter. How do we know this??? Of course we had to try to dovetail plywood. We have a lot on hand, and we are ones who tend to need to learn for ourselves. Our conclusion: maybe it could be done, but so much care needs to go into it, it is easier to just use solid wood, just like all the experts say. Now you know.
This was not the greatest decision. I thought the wood grain would pop through the stain, but it didn’t. Instead, the stain amplified every little hair of grain, resulting in a very rustic looking box.
After doing some research, we discovered that stain is only used to make “bad” wood look good (like pine) while clear coats are used to make “good” wood look all the better. Again, that’s what we’re here for, to help you not make our mistakes! Don’t stain good wood!
Here are the products I used to finish the boxes. Again, don’t stain the wood like I did! Unless this rustic look is what you’re going for, then by all means, stain away!
Because I like to see my work progress, I took pictures each step of the way from raw wood through three coats of varnish.
After sorting though all the stuff in the cabinet (and throwing some really old stuff away!), here she is with the new boxes!
It’s hard to tell, but I did pair down the things that we weren’t using or were expired and grouped like items together.
They may find a home elsewhere in the house eventually because they are too pretty to hide in a cabinet all their life!
This was a fun little practice project for us! When you tackle a DIY project do you do a smaller, test run one first? Do you go full speed ahead into the big one? We’ve done it both ways! I’d love to hear your tales below!