Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring is here!

I have two announcements to make:

  1. Spring is here! The temperatures went from the 20s & 30s a few weeks ago to over 80° today. Now I can think about applying finish & having it dry properly.
  2. All of the woodworking on the corner cabinet is done!

It took a while to get to where we are now. I'd like to say that I spent every free minute between the point the doors were at in my last post to the point we're at now, but that wouldn't be true. In fact, most weeks, I was lucky to get a few hours in on the weekend.

Below is a close-up image of the lower door from the plans I originally drew up.

The vertical lines on the panel in the drawing are grooves that are in the panels on every door in our dining set. I wasn't sure how to make those grooves, so I figured I'd use a 1/8" diameter bowl bit. The plan was to make two passes at somewhere between 1 1/2" & 2" from the edges of the panels (I forget the exact dimension). One pass would be made with one long edge against the fence, then I'd flip the board & place the opposite edge against the fence. Next I'd reposition the fence & make two more passes in the same manner, ending up with 4 grooves centered & evenly spaced across each panel.

I carefully set up the height of the bit in my router table & positioned the fence. I made one pass & found that the groove didn't look right. I brought the panel over to one of the pieces in our dining room set & compared the grooves. It was at this point that I realized the grooves were table saw blade kerfs. Doh!

At this point I set up the my table saw's fence to the appropriate distance & set the blade to 1/8" high. I made a pass. Sure enough, this gave me the shape I wanted the groove to have. I then flipped the board around & made the second pass. With the fence still at this position, I repeated the two passes on the panel for the other door. I then reset the fence for the next pair of grooves & repeated the operation.

The pictures below show how the doors looked dry fit together after cutting the grooves.

The next logical step is to glue the doors together and then make the bead molding that wraps the doors, miter the pieces & glue them to the doors. I'd love to tell you that this is exactly what I did next. Doing so, however, would be lying.

I have read many times that if you finish the panel on a raised panel door after you put the door together, unstained & finished wood can become visible in the winter when the panel shrinks. In fact, our headboard on our bed is put together using frame & panel construction, and in the winter I always see a thin strip of unstained wood peeking out along one edge of the panel.

The best way to prevent this is to finish the panels first, then put the doors together. And I wanted to follow this advice. So I just put the doors aside, still dry fit together & in the clamps, while I started making the shelves.

Next: Making Shelves

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