Wednesday, March 24

Frilly Bits

I’ll start the front of the lower cabinet by making the panel for the fully enclosed part. This involves resawing, jointing and gluing up a book-matched filler panel, planning and sanding that, then cutting the 2° slope on each side. I cut the trim strip stiles (vertical parts)to length, paying attention to the 2° side slope and 4° backward slope where they come into play. Next I need the top rail: ends cut for a precise fit and at a 2° bevel to mate up perfectly to the side stiles. Finally I groove the inside faces of all four frame pieces to accept the panel, do a test fit and adjust where necessary. When everything fits just as it should I take it all apart again, carefully apply glue to the joint areas – NOT to the panel, it needs to float – and clamp them together. I clean up and glue squeeze-out with a small, clean paint brush and water, wiping it dry afterward with a rag. While that dries I begin cutting the complicated parts that will form the door frame. I start with the two longest pieces and cut the parts sequentially from each stick to keep the grain flowing around the door as much as possible. This involves cutting each piece a little long so I can sneak up on a perfect fit – every angle is different and not one of them is a standard angle because of the sloping sides. At least one side does mirror the other, so when I get each angle honed in, I cut the parts for both sides. When I get to the small pieces that fit around the octagonal belly, some of them are too small to safely hold on the miter saw without risking being seriously cut should the blade grab the piece and suck my hand into the whirling cutter when it tosses the chunk of wood. So I invent a quick holding jig made from scraps and clamps. In the photo I’m pointing to the piece being trimmed, the finger WILL be moved clear before I make the cut I assure you! By the end of the day all 12 pieces that make the door frame are cut and perfectly fitted. A nice job if I do say so.

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