This is an update on the 'jewelry armoire' project I'm doing for my wife. I finalized the design in September of 2011, and didn't really get started until January of last year. Now that my shop is up and working again, I'm making some good progress on it. As of last spring, I had managed to cut the top and sides, and fit them together, but the next critical piece is the case bottom. This single panel is probably the most complicated joined piece I've ever attempted to create with hand tools. (I did cut the panel to final dimensions using the table saw, but after that it was all hand tools.)
In the attached photo album, I kind of walk through what I did to cut the base joinery, fit it to the case sides, and then notch and fit the legs. I've included the original sketchup picture of the design for reference.
The base includes two through mortises for each side tenon, and then each side also needs to fit down into a 1/4" deep dado. Each side is notched at the bottom front edge so that the dado doesn't show up from the front of the case. Then there's a rabbet along the top back edge of the case bottom for the eventual case back. This was really my first true test of my Veritas small plough plane, and the first time I've created a dado using my Veritas router plane. Both worked very well.
The bottom has notches cut out of each corner to allow the legs to extend all of the way to the top of the cabinet, but tabs within each corner notch will fit into leg notches. These, plus screws through the leg tops into the case sides will provide the structural strength of the legs on the cabinet. After all of the hassle of finding enough quarter-sawn sycamore sapwood to make up the panels in this piece, I am finding working with the sycamore quite pleasant. Very similar to other Acer (i.e. maple) woods, but a bit softer.
Up next, I'll taper the legs, and work on the drawer web frame.