Monday, November 12, 2007

Beginning to take shape..

I have the carcase assembled now. Before assembling I hand scraped the individual panels, both inside and out, this should be done at this point since it is becomes more difficult as the jewelry armoire progresses. Since the carcase needs to be glued up with all panels, the glue-up step can lead to some scrambling. All the clamps need to be in place and ready, I use a wood mallet with a small board to get the joints tight just before clamping.

One of James Krenov's philosophies is to finish the back of a cabinet well and to use frame and panel construction with hardwood panels. This extra step is very often skipped in modern furniture construction as it is considered the back of the furniture. As J. Krenov says, it often doesn't take much more time to complete the back properly, and dramatically enhances the beauty of a cabinet. You can notice the components for the back panel in the photo, these have been prepared and dimensioned to size. The back panel is comprised of two horizontal rails, two outside vertical stiles, a center stile, and two cherry panels.

I use hardwood throughout in this project including the back panels. I must also mention that I let the back panel frame components stabilize or in James Krenov parlance, attain "calmness". This is an important step as wood often reacts to environmental change, especially after milling and might cup or bow slightly until the outside surfaces have attained moisture equilibrium. This step consists of waiting a while after milling and before further processing of the components.The sides of the jewelry armoire are set back to allow for the overlapping front doors. The back frame and panel is inset into a groove on either side of the back of the armoire.
The cherry is very light at this point, but over time and exposure to light it will develop a beautiful patina and become a dark shade of honey with reddish undertones.

The next step in this sequence is to create the grooves in the rails and stiles for the two back panels. Something I've learned over the years is to clearly mark all the individual pieces and their orientation, this keeps the confusion level to a bare minimum.

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