Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week Three Of Six (A Simple 'Shaker Style' Wall Cabinet)

Yesterday was the third of six weeks for the project. Here is a recap of what I've done since week one. Between Saturday classes one of the instructors is available on Thursday nights and Friday afternoons to help the students with the project, So the sessions below include Thursdays and Saturdays.

Click the image below to see some pictures of this project:

A Simple 'Shaker-Style' Wall Cabinet


(Week-1) SAT: See this link, for a discussion of what was done that day.

(Week-1) THU: I arrived early before the instructor and decided I knew how to mark up my beautiful boards so I could locate the place to drill holes and in the process introduced my first "spirit-trail/error" in to the work by using a marking gage instead of simple dim pencil lines.

Once the instructor arrived and showed me how to work the jig that was attached to the drill press, I sized the pegs I had picked up earlier at Home Depot and picked out a drill bit that matched up pretty closely. I was able to, in very short order, drill all the holes.

I did put one extra hole on one side that I did not intend to be there, but I declare that is an extra hole for a peg to hang something on instead of a mistake.

(Week-2) SAT: We did two sets of cuts. The first was to cut a rabbet on all four sides of the the cabinet to receive the back of the cabinet. The second was to cut a rabbet and dado joint to connect the sides to top and bottom.

When setting up the table saw to cut my rabbet and dado joint, I cut the rabbet just one saw blad too long resulting in a about at 1/8 inch gap on all four parts. The good news was the next Thursday all I had to do was shave a saw blade's worth off the parts and everything fit correctly. The entire cabinet is now about 1/4 inch thinner than it was.

On this day I also sanded down the inside of the top/bottom left/right sides of the cabinet removing almost all traces of my first 'spirit-trail'.

(Week-2) THU: I shaved a bit off the rabbet joints of top and bottom pieces and then created the boards for the back of the cabinet and the boards for the door of the cabinet.

We are using Ambrosia Maple for the back of the cabinet. The way we are doing it is to take a rough board of this wood and join an edge. Then join a face. Once we have that then we have a flat edge and a flat face that is at right angles to the edge and the piece can be taken to the planer where the other rough face is made parallel to the first flat face. Then back to the joiner to make the last rough edge flat and parallel to the first. We wind up with a perfect board.

To create the back board we take the single board and split it down the middle. This activity is called 'Re-Sawing' where you hold the flat face of the board against the fence of the table saw and the flat edge against the table and run the saw through the middle of the board. The table saw is way too small to go all the way through so once the piece goes through once you just rotate it end to end and run the piece through again. We then crank the table saw up a bit and repeat until the table saw will go no higher. This does leave a bit of wood in the middle but we then take the piece to the band saw an complete the cut.

This gives something called 'bookmatching' where when you lay the two pieces of wood next to each other you see a symmetrical pattern to the grain. The pieces need to be run through the planer again to remove the saw marks and get rid of the dimple in the middle caused by the difference in the width of the band-saw blade and the table-saw blade.

The last bit done on Thursday was to cut the door boards. This, by now felt very natural to take a piece of raw cherry and join one edge and a face then rip it down the middle to create two long boards and then chop them so you get two short and two long for the door frame then plane and join the remaining rough edge and side.

(Week-3) SAT: This day was spent gluing up the top/bottom and left/right sides. It was pretty straight forward, but to prepare for it I did need to clean out the dado cuts so that the rabbet joints fit snugly. To get the box totally square a clamp is put from one corner to the opposite corner. Interestingly the clamps can be removed after one hour.

I think that next week we may cut the Mortise and Tenon joints for the door frame.