In my last blog, Life Imitating Blogs, I wrote about a secret compartment I found in a desk at a local auction:

A genuine secret compartment from an antique.

A genuine secret compartment from an antique desk.

I wrote about comparing it to one I built for a Pennsylvania spice box in Do As I Say, Not As I Do:

My new version.

My new version.

I re-read the blog I realized I hadn’t ever looked into how the handle was attached to the drawer. I was curious and couldn’t tell looking at the pictures I had. This was Friday and the auction wasn’t until Saturday. Me being me, I went back and looked.

I pulled out the drawers and got another perspective:

Just to show you where it hides.

Just to show you where it hides.

And it lives here.

And where it lives.

Here is the bottom view:

Fairly typical drawer construction.

Fairly typical drawer construction.

A close-up shows you more detail of the construction:

This picture reveals much.

This picture reveals much.

The camouflage divider wood is attached to the rest of the handle with a bridle joint (or open mortise and tenon). Impressive in 3/16″ wood. Handle is attached to the box with a dado.

But, wait, there’s more! Is the dado really enough to have kept the handle attached? A quick look inside the box shows how it is secured.

A  view from within the box reveals much.

A view from within the box reveals much.

The dado is good for alignment but a wedged through tenon actually makes sure everything stays together.

Getting a second look at the auction forces me to withdraw my statement about there being no dovetailed blanket chest. There is one. It was under a table behind some chairs.

It's painted!

It’s painted! Not exactly typical.

A nice, clean interior. No mothball smell.

A nice, clean interior. No mothball smell.

And dovetails…

Such as they are.

Such as they are.