Friday, January 5

Friday: Rails & Stiles

I’m back on the job today and I spent the day making the parts that will form the frame of the casework; rails & stiles mostly. No panels yet.

To start this process I took the large, rough sawn boards that were brought in to acclimate several weeks ago, sorted through them to find those with the grain and color I want, then cut them into smaller boards according to my cut list. These boards were each just a bit longer and wider than the parts they will become. Then I surface planed them to make both wide faces flat, smooth and perfectly parallel to one another… and just the right distance away from one another.

Then it’s back to the table saw. Swap out the 24 tooth blade used for roughing for a 40 tooth blade that gives a smoother finish, and carefully trim both edges of each board. This does two things, it makes the board just the right width with nice straight edges and, by trimming both edges, it makes sure that the edges are perpendicular to the wide faces. Sloppy edges mean that the joinery we will cut shortly will not snug up nice and tight. So I want each board nice and square.

Then we trim both ends of each piece to bring them to exact length and perfectly square. Our new Incra 1000SE does a great job of both, because it has two adjustable stops to set the cut-off length. The first cut squares up one end and leaves the board ¼” over-length. Flip down the second stop, flip the board end for end and cut it again to square the other end and make it the correct length. This is a solid, precise tool and I’m glad we bought it.

When the day is over we have all the rails (horizontal parts) and stiles (vertical parts) needed to make the 4 “ends”, the wide back panel, and the two doors. Next week we’ll cut the mortises and tenons needed to create the framework.

Hope you have a great weekend. If the rain stops, Marie and I will be out on the high hill tomorrow working on tying back the retaining wall with rebar and concrete anchors so we can remove the brace boards. Once that’s done, we can excavate for footers.


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