I want to build a hall table with continuous grain along the apron and drawer fronts. How can I cut out the fronts, leaving the apron intact, while avoiding large reveals around the drawer fronts?

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Q:

I want to build a hall table with continuous grain along the apron and drawer fronts. How can I cut out the fronts, leaving the apron intact, while avoiding large reveals around the drawer fronts?
—Ryan Rethman, Orono, Maine

A:

Try this simple rip-and-reattach technique, Ryan. Start by cutting your apron 18 "–14 " wider than finished size, about twice the thickness of your tablesaw blade. Lay out the locations for the drawer fronts. Rip the apron into three segments: top and bottom rails and a middle [above top photo]. (A thin-kerf blade will remove less material and create a better grain match.) Crosscut the middle segment to make the drawer fronts and dividers [above center]. Set the drawer fronts aside, and glue the dividers to the top and bottom rails. When the glue has dried, sand the apron smooth and assemble the table. When you build the drawers, simply place the drawer fronts back in their original orientation for a perfect continous-grain match [above bottom]. (You might have to trim the drawer fronts' top and bottom edges to get an even reveal.)

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