Cabinet Assembly Continues

The Entry Hall Mirror project has served as a fill-in between other projects. This allows me to always keep busy, but I have to stay alert to make sure the parts are well protected as I move about the shop attending to other things. The glue-up of the cabinets has gone well. Here, you see the left cabinet side being glued to the bottom. That was immediately followed by a glue-up of the right cabinet side.

Gluing Cabinet Sides to Bottom

The apparent power of the large clamps in the following photo belies their modest role in this glue-up of the cabinet top. One slip of one of these heavy bar clamps and some real damage could occur.

Gluing Tops to Cabinet Sides

"There's got to be a better way!"

So... next time, I'll tap into a selection of 60 new light-weight wooden cam clamps that found their way into the studio from the Dubuque Clamp Works. These are much better suited to this type of delicate clamp-up. Not only that, but carefully fitted joinery shouldn't need much clamping pressure; just enough to hold the parts in position until the glue sets.

Wooden Cam Bar Clamps

With the cabinet tops in place, it's time for one of my favorite activities in the shop... planing. Carefully leveling the back of the mirror frame, shelf and flanking cabinets is necessary to ensure the piece will hang properly against the wall. I constructed a special support jig to cradle the mirror frame and added a couple of support blocks clamped to the cabinet tops which allow them to rest against the bench top. Oh, and a short section of railroad track to hold it all in place while planing and checking with a long straightedge.

Planing Cabinets and Mirror Frame Flat

The rabbets made earlier on the shaper, now need final squaring-up of the corners. Here, I'll use a sharp chisel and plane iron to make the finishing cuts.

Rabbet Before Clean-up

Here it is... just a little softening of the edges and the back will be all set.

Cleaning-up the Rabbet

The cabinet interiors will have key hooks, which you saw in an earlier post, as well as drawers. Making the drawer pockets is next. This will include thin drawer shims set on the bottom to raise the sliding drawer above the front edge of the cabinet bottom. The purpose of the shim is to prevent unsightly marring of the front edge of the bottom where the drawer would otherwise ride. For the top of the pocket, there will be a simple horizontal partition made from the same yellow birch. Below you can see the partitions and shims in their rough form prior to the shaping that will follow.

Partitions and Drawer Shims