Onward and Upward

With the cabinet stand parts all prefinished with oil and wax, it was time to glue up the joinery.

The contoured off-cuts from the curved legs made great clamping cauls when padded with a little mat board. Of course, I can't not add my usual Monopoly-house style cauls sized and positioned in alignment with the rails and stretchers; a great way to precisely deliver the clamping load.

I spent a day making brass brackets to mount the cabinet bottom to the stand. Here I'm boring the screw holes, and below I follow that up with a countersink.

Here they are, eight brackets ready to go.

Brass screws are typically a bit rustic from the factory, so a few passes over 800 grit and followed by 1,000 grit sandpaper gives the head a cleaner finish.

I've got five cross beams that will be held in place on the stretchers with dowels.

After the cross beams were located with the dowels, and using the cabinet bottom webframe as a reference, I could then mark and cut them to length. At the same time, I marked and routed the bracket mortises. Below is one of the cross beams. A nice sharp iron in my block plane brings out a crisp appearance of the endgrain. Click on the image for a closer look!

Then it was time for final surface preparation and edge softening.

After completing the assembly of the cross beams and fitting the brackets into the mortises I installed the brackets with the brass screws. I've also precisely located the stand on the bottom of the web frame it attaches to and bored the necessary holes so that when the cabinet is completed it is ready to receive the stand.

Edge softening with rhythmic passes of the block plane along the sharp edges is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

It produces a lot of very fine shavings.

With the surface prep completed, I applied a shellac finish to the bottom side. I'm using the Maloof oil finish on all the visible exterior surfaces of the cabinet, but using shellac on the bottom and interior surfaces. Why? It's non-toxic, it's easier to apply and has a quicker cure time, plus using an oil or varnish finish on an enclosed cabinet interior produces an objectionable odor that can transfer to objects that you might store inside. Shellac has no odor at all and is my finish of choice for all cabinet interior applications.

Here's a shot of the mahogany edgeband on the webframe with the oil finish on its top side.

The bottom of the bottom panel gets shellac as well.

I've taken the end panels and interior partition out of storage and am now ready to continue work on them; beginning with cutting the panels to exact final size and boring holes to receive the shelf support consoles.

The center partition gets its mahogany edgebands.

Here's a close-up of the front edgeband on which I'll be mounting the center door hinges.

Below, the poplar edge bands on the end panel core get planed along with the applied mahogany veneer in preparation to receive the mahogany corner posts.

Planing this mahogany is simple and difficult all at the same time. The wood itself is quite soft and yields to the plane iron very well, however, there is so much mineral deposited in the pores of the wood that it tends to dull the iron fairly quickly. Frequent sharpening of the plane iron is the order of the day.

Before taking a final pass with the plane, I brought the end panels to the shaper to cut a slot for a spline. The spline helps to locate the corner post side-to-side during glue-up. I also bored one locator hole on each edge to accurately position the corner posts along the length of the edge.

With that, the end panels were ready for finish. More glue-ups very soon!

Lots more fun to come. Please stayed tuned-in.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig