1 Preparing the drawer openings
Use a router fitted with a й-inch piloted rabbeting bit to cut the rabbets around the drawer openings. Set the depth of cut at ‘A inch, then attach a square piece of /- inch clear acrylic to the tool’s base plate (inset). Make this auxiliary sub-base large enough to keep the tool flat and stable during the operation. Set the chest on its back on a work surface. Starting at the corner of one drawer opening, rest the router on the chest with the bit just clear of the workpiece. Grip the tool firmly with both hands and turn it on, guiding the bit into the wood. Once the pilot bearing butts against the stock, feed the router toward the adjacent corner, keeping the sub-base flat (right). Continue around the opening until you reach your starting point. Cut rabbets around the other drawer openings the same way, then square the corners with a chisel.
Cockbeading is a rounded molding that extends beyond the front of the highboy and frames the drawer openings. It is set into rabbets cut along the inside edges of the openings. In addition to providing decoration, cockbeading protects the edges of veneered drawer fronts.
2 Making the cockbeading
Make enough cockbeading from Vt – inch-thick stock to fit in all the rabbets cut in step 1. The cockbeading is best shaped using molding cutters on the table saw. (Do not use narrow stock; instead, cut pieces that are at least 4 inches wide and then rip the cockbeading from them.) Install an auxiliary wood fence and fit the molding head with cutters on your table saw. Raise the head into the wood fence to notch it. Use a featherboard to secure the workpiece; screw it to a shim so that pressure will be applied against the middle of the workpiece. Make a few test passes with scrap stock to set the width of cut. For the first pass, center the board edge over a cutter, then butt the fence against the face of the stock. Hold the board flush against the fence and the table as you feed it into the cutters (right). Experiment with different cutting widths until the edge of the stock is properly rounded, then shape both edges of each workpiece. Once all your stock has been milled, install a rip blade on the saw and cut the cockbeading from the boards, making it wide enough to protrude by / inch from the drawer openings when glued into the rabbets.
Mounting the cockbeading
Cut the cockbeading to length, mitering the ends with the table saw or a back – saw and miter box. It is easiest to cut and fit one piece at a time, making sure you align the mitered ends with the corners of the rabbets. Spread a little glue on the contacting surfaces and insert one strip at a time, securing the pieces in place with spring clamps at б-inch intervals (left).