Key Hooks

The Entry Hall Mirror project calls for key hooks that will be on each side of the cabinet interiors. Picking-up on the bevels and curves found in the carcass, I sketched these ideas for the hooks.

Key Hook Sketches

I used a scrap of poplar wood to mock-up a couple of options and shaped them until I was satisfied with the result.

Key Hook Mock-ups

Once the size and shape of the hooks were determined, I cut several blanks out of jatoba wood. This is the same wood I used on the door leveling pins and the latches; and what will be used later on the drawer fronts. The tenon shoulders were cross-cut on the table saw.

Key Hook Blanks

The tenon cheeks were cut to a near fit on the band saw, and then shaped with a paring chisel for a final fit into the mortises.

Cutting and Fitting Tenons

The most enjoyable part of making these key hooks is carving their shape with chisels, knives and gouges. A fresh sharp edge on the tools leaves a smoothly sheared surface that is ready for the final finish.

Carving the Key Hooks

Here I am shaping the side of one of the hooks using a carving gouge.

Shaping the Key Hook Side

I retained the texture left by the carving tools and then followed up with a file to soften the edges. A few touches, here and there, with 1,000 grit sandpaper and the hook is ready for two coats of beeswax polish. Below, you can see the completed hook set into its mortise in the cabinet side. I'll glue the tenons into the mortises after the carcass is fully assembled.

The Finished Key Hook