Thursday, July 21, 2011

Drawer compartments...

After tossing around different designs for the interior of the cabinet I decided on one particular layout. I had used this layout on a previous cabinet and like it. What I like most about it is that the drawers and compartments are equally divided between the left and right side of the cabinet. I can open the right hand door and have access to two drawers and the shelf above it. This cabinet is primarily designed as a showcase cabinet and I would imagine it to be used to display art objects, small sculptures, etc. With this in mind, I want to leave as much room above the drawers as possible, or maximize the open height of the interior of the cabinet.

The drawer compartments are pegged to the cabinet interior which ensures they will move with temperature and humidity variations. Since the cabinet sides, top and bottom panels are veneered they will hardly be any wood movement with these panels. The drawer compartments however are of solid wood and it is expected they move with the seasons. My approach is to simply peg them into the cabinet, attached at single points. This technique has worked well for me in the past, essentially separating the interior compartments from the exterior carcase.The top drawer on the right hand side will have a lower lip to overhang the drawer divider. The drawer fronts will be of cherry and dovetailed to the sides.

I just want to mention that the drawer openings need to be perfectly, or close to perfectly accurate in height and width. As well, these drawer openings need to be completely rectangular to be able to have the drawers fit well. I take extra time to ensure these parameters are met.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Door fitting...

I left off with having completed the mortises for the knife hinges, both in the cabinet doors and in the cabinet itself. The fit is very good with a consistent reveal all around the doors and from the cabinet sides. There are many variables with fitting the doors at the center where a lip and rabbet meet, so I usually just take these measurements after the doors are hung correctly. I had left some extra solid wood along the inside edges of both cabinet doors specifically to be able to shape them into a rabbet and lip. The lip will be on the right hand door as is fairly standard and the rabbet on the left hand door. The lip and rabbet combination work really well at keeping the gap between the doors closed as well as providing a stop for the right hand door.

In the upper photo I am creating a rabbet on the left hand door. I use a skew rabbet plane for this and it works very well in this application. There is a fence on this type of block plane which allows me to set the depth of the rabbet. I began by marking the center at which both doors meet and using that point as the center of the rabbet and lip joint. I typically work one door, mount it and then measure the opposite door. This process is repeated a few times to get everything just right.

The photo at the left shows the completed joint after some final tuning to allow for a small amount of door movement. I can't stress enough to plan before making any cuts, especially when creating knife hinges and fitting doors. Mistakes are all to easy to make and extremely difficult to undo. Not that I've ever made any, ha...

Next I develop a design for the interior compartments and drawers. I have had a design in mind and I'm going to pursue this. Once the compartments are laid out I can begin to plan the drawers. I'll be cutting up some maple for this part in the next day.