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How to Cut a Continuous-grain Drawer Front

Q:

Your plans for the Chinese Checker Board in the October 2008 issue (no. 186) say to bandsaw the drawer opening out of the front, but you obviously didn’t do it that way because the grain pattern of the drawer matches. Tell us what you really did.  
—George Long, San Francisco

A:

George, your critique is actually a compliment to our builders’ ability to choose grain in projects. In this case, we cut the drawer front from the end of the board directly adjacent to the game board face, as shown above.

Good grain selection begins at your hardwood dealer. Take your cutlist along when you choose your stock, but rather than simply choosing boards to use as little stock as possible, select boards with an eye toward compatible grain patterns and matching wood tones. In the case of the Chinese Checker board drawer front, straight-grained oak made the task of aligning the grain easier. 

If you prefer cathedral grain and still want it to match, cut the drawer front from the game board face, as shown above, at your tablesaw and glue the three front parts back together. Be sure to account for the blade kerf when sizing the game board face blank.

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