The Moment of Truth

I've been anticipating the moment of truth; that time when the most critical parts are fitted together. That time is now.

With a pencil, I'm carefully laying out the mortise locations for the hinges on the top edges of the side panels. And following that up by scribing a line around the three sides of the hinge with a small knife. The accuracy of this step ensures that the corners of the Jeffersonian Book Stand cube are crisp and clean.

The usual routing and chiseling of the mortises has ensued, followed by installation of the hinges that attach the four panels to the top. Below, you can see the top laying upside-down, with the panels open.

I flipped up the panels for a quick preview of the final cube shape.

The configuration below is what I'll be using to fit the 45° miters. First, I attach the carousel to the underside of the top (upside-down, of course) and check the fit of the panels against it. It's fairly close, but I'll need to plane down a few of the edges of the carousel top and bottom in order to square-up the cube in all directions. Once that is ready, I place temporary shim material at the side of the carousel bottom until the side panels are perpendicular to the carousel bottom and top.

Now I check the corners to see what kind of a gap I have to deal with. There is some variation from corner to corner, but I'm pleased with what I have so far. The largest gap I have to deal with is just over 1/32". It is certainly a visible gap, but that's OK. I need to accommodate space for some movement over time, so the task now is to make sure all the gaps are equal and that they have a nice, clean and even appearance.

I need to keep the bevels at 45°, so I'll make minor adjustments to those as I even out the gaps. I made a simple jig to check for the gap dimension. It's just a shallow-tapered wedge with a mark on it for reference. My goal in planing the bevel is to make the wedge stop at the line when inserted into the gap. Even if the line ends up an eight of an inch away from the corner, the gap is still within about 0.001". The actual gap dimension is not important, only that the gap is consistent at all four corners.

With the corners fitted, I turn to the bottom edges. I dry fit a spacer into the 45° gap to prevent splitting of the end grain as the plane iron passes over the corner.

The top is held in place by the bench vise, and I wrapped the cube (sans carousel) with stretch wrap to hold the panels square and keep the temporary shims in position.

I had previously bored holes for the locator dowels, but now I need to cut a slot for the magnet that will hold the panel in the vertical position when it is closed and not being used to hold a book.

I also need a slot in the book ledge to hold the bottom of the magnet.

Before I get too far along in the fitting process, it's time to check the function of the magnet latch. The video below gives you a little feel for how the panel is held in the vertical position when closed, even though the hinge pivot point is not centered above the panels. The action of the magnetic closure is gentle, but sufficiently secure.

Some interesting work ahead with the final shaping of the book ledges and the making of the folding support brackets that hold the book panels at various angles. Stay tuned.

Hej då... and happy shavings!