Top and Doors

After flattening the underside of the top for the mahogany buffet, I proceeded to shape the edges. The chamfer under the edge gives it a lighter feel that matches the client's existing serving table. I used a customized card scraper to fine-tune the inside radius where the top steps down to the perimeter mahogany frame.

The edges and corners were all softened with a block plane and file, after which the top was ready for finish. Shellac on the underside and oil on the topside.

With the oil curing on the top, I moved on to the doors, first jointing the edges for a rough fit into the openings. Then, it was time to cut mortises for the hinges. I used a router to establish the depth, and a chisel to cut the edges to fit each hinge. I'm using high quality hinges made by Brusso, however, even with that I need to compensate for play in the hinge barrels by setting the upper hinge mortises in the doors slightly deeper than the lower ones.

A final pass to clean out the mortise.

With the doors hung and swinging freely in the openings, I paused to layout and cut slot mortises for the door pulls.

The set-up I used for these mortises was a bit unconventional, but effective.

I then moved on to the door stops which I had started previously, but now needed to establish a position for the magnet catches. First, I bored a hole for the door stop magnet.

Here are the door stops made from maple and attached with a brass screw. The final surface prep, edge softening and finishing will come a bit later.

Then, I used the hole on the door stop to hold a dowel center to locate the hole for the door magnet. The magnet is held in place in the door with epoxy and will be concealed with a small patch of leather.

Final fitting of the doors included using a wedge jig which allows me to make very precise measurements of the gaps around the doors. Approximately 1/32" of movement of the wedge, in or out in the gap, equals one pass with the hand plane. The great thing about this method is that by knowing how thick my shavings are with my current plane set-up, and knowing how far the wedge needs to move for a good fit, I was able to take all my measurements and plane the door or astragal the required number of passes with the hand plane all at once. I then reinstalled the doors on their hinges for a final fit test.

Here are the fitted doors, ready for final surface preparation and edge softening.

Material for the drawers has been cut from the planks and rough milled.

Today, I milled the parts to near their final dimension. The three mahogany drawer fronts are in the foreground, with the parts for the drawer bottoms just behind, and to the right are the maple sides and backs.

Next, I'll be wrapping up the doors with final surface preparation and finish and very soon I'll be cutting dovetail joinery for the drawers.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig