Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chamfering panels...

I left off preparing the four panels which comprise the carcase of the cabinet. Since then, I've spent more time on the four panels and in particular the top and bottom panels. After some final smoothing and scraping of the faces I began preparing the edges. I hand plane the edges at the ends of each of these panels with a block plane set to a light cut. This leaves a nice, smooth edge at the ends as opposed to a slightly fuzzy edge before hand planing. Once I have this edge planing complete, the top and bottom panels are checked to confirm that they are the exact width and length and perfectly square to each other. The profile I have decided on for the edges of the top and bottom panels is an approx. 3/32 inch wide 45 degree chamfer which I accomplish with a block plane as shown in the photo.

Beginning with the edges at the end and finishing with the long edges, I create these very small chamfers. Some judicious, careful hand planing is necessary here to maintain the correct chamfer width along the length of the end and long edges of each panel, both top and bottom. It's actually easier than I describe once a rhythm is established. I find the 45 degree angle is easy to visualize and set as opposed to any other angle between 0 and 90 degrees. The profiled edges are important to create at this stage since the next steps involve attaching the side panels to the top and bottom panels. It will be virtually impossible to create the profiles afterwards.

Next, I will complete preparing the side panels, confirm they are square to each other and identical in length and width and begin to mark their orientation to the top and bottom panels. The side panels will be set back approx. 3/4 inch from the front edge of the cabinet to allow for the doors. The doors are veneered panels with a finished thickness of just under 3/4 inches. The side panels are to be attached to the top and bottom panels with a series of dowels and the creation of the doweling template jig specific to this cabinet is also next in the sequence of steps to be performed.

Another of the next steps is to create a rabbet for the back panel. This back panel, a frame and panel and yet to be created, will be housed into both the top, bottom, and side panels.

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