– Al Navas
Some will possibly disagree; however, the results speak for themselves. I prefer to use 600 grit paper to sand between coats of dewaxed shellac used to seal white oak:
As I have mentioned before, one key item in a finishing schedule is having the right sandpaper, like 3M’s 216U Fre-Cut™ Gold. I discussed the use of this paper in an earlier article; but I still must remember how critical it is to have the proper tools to do the job. And in finishing, this paper is an essential tool. The surface of the white oak is silk smooth after sanding. The smooth surface will telegraph into the sprayed varnish, yielding a very nice, smooth finish. Who said waterborne coatings were difficult to use?
Note: Sealing the surface of white oak and (especially) red oak is essential when using waterborne coatings. Avoid applying (typically) high-pH waterborne coatings directly on the raw wood surface of high-tannin woods like red and white oak, as pin-holing and bridging are likely to develop; that would make it difficult to get a nice, smooth finish.
Next: Attaching the top, and start spraying the varnish.
— Al Navas
If you follow the blog, you already know I dislike stuck drawers, and sloppy fitting drawers. In the sloppy category I place a drawer that goes into the opening crooked, such that you must fiddle with it to align it to the opening. The solution to avoid this is to install drawer stops, and to carefully trim them to ensure perfect alignment of the drawer front with the apron.I use a variation of the technique used by Mario Rodriguez, which he discussed during his presentation at Woodworking in America at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; I shot and edited a video that you can watch at this link.
To ensure proper alignment, I insert a drawer stop into a mortise I mark and then chop with chisels. I also use liquid hide glue, to make it easy to replace the stops if needed:
The following photo shows the taper I put on the bottom of the front edge; this allows me to tweak the position of the stop during the glue-up (once the glue has cured, I simply trim the edge to ensure perfect alignment of the drawer front):
In the next photo I show the two drawer stops installed, and ready for trimming — I set each stop 2-5/8″ from the drawer openings. In this photo I have removed the drawer bottom, to make it possible to peek at the front edge:
Once the glue has set on all stops, I will do the fine-tuning with the small #75 bull nose rabbet plane.
— Al Navas