Friday, October 24, 2008

Cabinet stand...

I assembled the stand and am test fitting it in the photo a few hours after glue up. It fits well and is in very good alignment with the cabinet. This is a concern otherwise the stand looks more like an afterthought than designed with the cabinet if it doesn't fit right. The twin stretchers at the bottom work out well and introduce a small focal point into the design. It is quite a small feat getting the rails and stretchers in position for the glue up and a good point to stop and plan this out well. I assembled the sides initially, then put everything together with the front and rear rails and stretchers. The upper and lower rails are mortised into the legs with single tenons, whereas the twin stretchers are dowelled into the bottom side rails.

I am quite pleased at the aesthetics of the piece and the harmony between the cabinet and stand. I needed to spend some time at the edge treatment phase of all the stand components. The edges of each component are slightly chamfered with a small hand plane, then the edge transition is touched with a very fine sanding block to knock out any sharp edges. Since this is all done by hand, I find myself counting the exact number of strokes with the hand plane, in this case two. It is recommended that all the components be completed in one pass to avoid confusion. In other cases, where multiple passes are necessary, counting the handplane strokes is a good technique.

The stand is also beech and all the front and side facing components have non-descript grain pattern, straight grain for the most part, to not introduce any crazy graphics which take away from the main focal point, the cabinet.

I'm kind of anxious at this point to complete the interior of the cabinet, create the drawers and a small partition, then the pulls, so I can begin to apply finish. I'm curious to see how the figure of the door panels comes out. Of course, I can always wet the surfaces with naptha to temporarily see the figure pop, but I can wait a few more days.

I had a little deliberation deciding on the final height of the cabinet and settled for a 55 inch height , along with a second opinion from my better half. Having the piece too low and it begins to look like a credenza , too high and the stand begins to look spindly. I also wanted to provide an opportunity to see the cabinet as a whole, including a partial view of the top. Accessibility and visibility of the cabinet interior is also important as this is somewhat of a showcase cabinet, and my wife and I did take this into consideration.

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