Monday, June 27, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (65)

Tenons, tenons, tenons...

Here are the left sides:

And the right sides:

A closer look:

Next up, floors and drawer rear walls:

Short 'n sweet this time. Thanks for visiting. Post 66 is up next.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (64)

Drawers to make, drawers to make....

The pattern mill has proven its worth once again. With its Mitutoyo linear scales, it's no problem to place slots and housings with great accuracy, and obtaining accuracy is something for which there is no penalty I do believe.

Here I'm using a down spiral 3/8" (9.52mm) bit to cut the housings for the drawer side tenons:

When all the housings were done, I switched out to a 3/8" up-spiral carbide to excavate the mortises:

These mortises will be squared up to 3/8" square later on by chisel.

A couple of days back, I found a supplier in Connecticut who had some quartersawn 8/4 bubinga, and after coughing up $400 and dragging two boards back to the shop with the help of my friend, the material was broken down by re-saw and crosscut, and left to sit a day. That was followed by jointing and dimensioning the next time I was in the shop, and then the shoulders were taken down on the tenoned ends:

I only just had enough material to obtain the pieces above. If the boards I obtained had been a hair shorter, thinner, or narrower, I would have come up short. Kinda walking a tightrope here....

The next step was to cut the male sliding hammerhead connections on the lower edges of the drawer sides. That occupied most of today, and went in a straightforward manner. Here's the first connected pair of drawer side and runner:

This form of joint is readily adjusted for fit and is not nearly the same wrestle that sliding dovetails can be sometimes -  although there are more surfaces, only two abutments are important to a tight join. Here's another view of the runner sliding into place:

The fit was such that a bit of force was required to slide them together, but no mallet caresses were involved. The fit was fine-adjusted by the same gear with which I cut the sliding hammerheads, along with a finish plane.

Another view:

A look at a mess 'o hammerheads:

All 36 drawer sides with hammerheads:

Some people like the smell of napalm in the morning, while I like to see stacks of quartersawn material.

A while later, I had fitted all the connections:

A view from the rear of some of the connections:


I was pleased with the way those came out. Again, I had no extra pieces whatsoever, so I could not afford any mistakes. Not normally the best way to roll, but what ya gonna do?

I set those assemblies to one side and returned to work on the drawer fronts, which are of shedua. I had roughed out a relief cut on the front faces, and now it was time to finish the cut out:

 The finished surface off of the mill, with a fresh router bit, was excellent:

Tricky to photograph:

Shedua tears out so easily I really had my fingers crossed, and the results were better than anticipated. I'm about halfway through that shaping work, but the work day had to end at some point. Tomorrow I'll finish those fronts off, clean out the mortises on the inside faces, and then fit them to their openings in the carcase. I've decided to make the drawer rear walls out of shedua, so I expect to be cutting that material out tomorrow. The drawers are moving along at a good clip.

All for this round - thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Post 65 is next

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (63)

First off a photo which got lost in the shuffle of the previous post, showing the double tenons on the drawer runners:

I mortised the drawer fronts using the Zimmermann mill, and squared up the 3/16" x 3/8" (4.75mm x 9.52mm) mortises afterward:

 Here's a pair completed on one side, as far as those runner mortises go:

In it goes, test fitting as each mortise is completed:


The drawer fronts are relieved in their center section, but only roughly at this stage.

The idea here was that the runner would be flush to the corner of the drawer front:

The outcome was what I had desired.

Later, the bottom edge of the drawer front will be reduced by a few shavings, so that the drawer runs on the runners alone, and the drawer's lower edge does not rub on the casework. Any end grain trimming on the drawer front will be matched by taking a near-equivalent reduction off off the runner edge.

You can run(ner) but you can't hide - isn't that what they say?:

Double trouble - or is it just a case of double vision?:

Let's see how this contraption fits the case:

I was pleased with the way they fitted in, which was hitch-free.

Even though the drawer fronts themselves are a hair too tight for their openings at present, I thought it would be worth a look-see anyhow:

Can't wait to get those seated back in there. The drawer rail and stile framing will be proud of the fronts by 5~6mm or so, so there should be some pleasing shadow lines.

All for this posting - hope you enjoyed. Thanks for visiting! Care to see the next post? Click here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (62)

When I left off last post, I had managed to assemble the sliding door frames and fit the lattice panels. Subsequently, I have fitted the shedua back panels to the same doors:

Another view:

I like the combo of shedua and bubinga.

Both cabinets were advanced to the same point. These sliding door units are simply dry-assembled for the time being. I plan to apply finish to the door frames, but not to the lattice, which I will simply wax. Wax is hardly a tough finish, but the lattice sees next to no wear so it is reasonable I think.

I set that finishing work aside however, and proceeded with work on the drawers. The drawer fronts are shedua, and will have a portion of the face relieved back. I did some rough cutting in that regard on the mill. The fronts are currently about 0.06" oversize, but shedua is so prone to tear out, even with the mill used for cutting (which I used, as shown earlier, to take the fronts down from 1.125 to 0.95" thickness) that I will take the fronts to a local place to get that last bit taken down on a wide belt sander. That's scheduled for tomorrow. I'll also be taking the curly bubinga main door panels down to have them slimmed a bit as well.

Drawer fronts set aside for the moment, I turned my attention to the drawer runners. Readers who checked out the 'Square Deal' series of posts may recall some of the details concerning a nearly glue-less version of an NK drawer that I did for the side table. I was initially planning to construct these drawers, 18 in total, with the same design execution, which employed through tenons from the drawer sides - tenons which of course are visible on the drawer fronts.

After further rumination, I decided that it might look a bit too busy with all the drawers having exposed through tenons, so I revised the design slightly, changing to blind tenons. This has had some positive effects in other areas, however it does mean I'll be using a bit more glue than otherwise. That's a drawback, however on the flip side, by using blind tenons and hide glue, the construction will be much more readily taken apart if repairs become necessary years down the line.

I'm getting perilously low on bubinga. I have a little figured material left, but the straight grained stock has been completely used up. The last of it managed to yield enough for the drawer runners, but only barely. A total of 36 runners are required, two per drawer, and that was exactly what I managed to squeeze out from stock, with not one single spare piece. That put a bit of pressure on as far as cut out work on the runners, as I could not afford to make any mistakes.

Here are the 36 runners, after having been jointed, re-sawn, re-jointed, planed, trimmed to length, finish planed to dimension, and kerfed, a process taking a couple of days:

That was how the pile sat after mid-morning. By the end of the day they were done, and a big sigh of relief at the end as all the cut out steps went without a hitch. Here's the pile now:

These have been trenched for sliding hammer head tenons, grooved for the floor panels, chamfered, and a hollow molding pass also taken. The above shows the back ends of the runners; the ends which connects to the drawer fronts have had twin tenons formed on them, and somehow I accidentally deleted that picture from my camera when uploading to my computer. I'll show the tenoned ends next time.

Another view:

I will need to obtain some more bubinga soon for the drawer sides and backs, and that hunt is currently underway. Happy to accept donations by the way....

I also took the opportunity this afternoon to bring the VG back panels down to a hair over target dimension:

It's not everyday one has the opportunity to plane quartersawn material in this sort of width. These panels had been roughed out a couple of months back, and after sitting for the interim have remained totally flat. Nice not to have any untoward surprises in that regard.

After planing, the panels were left to rest:

I expect they will stay flat.

Another view - only the left hand panel is a glue up, the remainder of panels are one-piece:

The glued-up panel will not be visible in the completed cabinet, as it sits behind the bank of drawers. And a single glue up is not the end of the world, now is it? I didn't even remember/notice that it was a glue up until looking at these very pictures.

Thanks for dropping by on your travels today. Comments always welcome. Up next is post 63

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (61)

Trucking right along with the work on the upper sliding doors with matsu-kawa-hishi latticework.

After beading and profiling the door frame fronts, and completing the rebates on the rails, I used the scraping plane to do a little clean up:

Here I've done a test fit of two (temporarily assembled) door frames to see how they fit into the cabinet:

It was a nice moment in my day to find the frames fitting as planned.

Same was then done with cabinet #2:

Then the frames were removed and the lattice assemblies scribed to them. That was followed by completion of that layout, and then chopping of spear-point housings:

Here's a test fitting of the end of the lattice into the stile housings:

Seems to go together okay:

I later placed a backing piece in the dado to ensure that the lattice, after fitting, left room for the shedua panel which will be fitted soon enough:

A bit of time went by and eventually I had the first frame and lattice assembly together. It seemed an idea to see how it looked in place:

Me like! The lattice has some backing strips fitted to the groove behind to keep it in place.

A while afterwards, assembly #2 was in:

A closer look - the door stiles in the middle overlap one another slightly too much at this point because the tenons and end grain of the tongues sticks out a 1/16" or so still:

A view of the two doors side by side so you can see the modest amount of clearance between the two:

The outer door is not sitting all the way down in it's groove. The fit is a hair tight at this juncture.

A look at some areas of intersection between lattice and frame:

The lattice assemblies will need a thorough going-over to clean up the odd mark here and there and apply some slight chamfering, a task that will undoubtedly be on the tedious side.

All for this round. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Post 62 lies ahead.