Twenty Panel Cores

For some, it's a bit mind boggling to see all that goes into the preparation of the parts, even before visible signs of progress are apparent. I'll try to show over the next couple of months that it's all worth it. I guess that for now, my blog posts will be as technical as ever as I continue building the hidden details of the panels that will form the cabinet.

So, let's dive right in! The cabinet bottom for the buffet is only 5/8" thick and will get most of its rigidity from the web frame that lies beneath it. To obtain that final thickness, I'm using two layers of 6mm Baltic birch plywood with a layer of poplar veneer in-between. That, plus the finish veneers will make up the full 5/8" thickness.

After sawing the veneers on my band saw, I proceeded to join them together, edge-to-edge, forming a sheet that was 19 1/4" wide by 60 1/4" long.

After getting that one glued up and in the vacuum bag, I proceeded to make a grid of poplar for the cabinet top panel. The top panel grid will be doweled into the drawer partitions, so I positioned poplar strips at those locations and filled in-between with the grid. I stapled the small pieces together so I could more easily handle the whole thing when it came time for the glue-up.

Speaking of glue-ups, the cabinet bottom is out of the bag, but because the adhesive I'm using takes several days to harden, I stored it below the vacuum bag, keeping it nice and flat while I glued up the cabinet top panel. And, here it is!

The MDF I'm using for the vacuum bag platens, as per usual, isn't flat at all. If anyone knows a Minnesota supplier who stores MDF indoors, away from the humidity changes, please let me know. Anyway, this is all to explain why you see the concrete blocks in the above photo. I put them there after the glued panel is in the bag, but before I draw out the air with the vacuum pump. This allows the panel to set up nice and flat.

Next week, I'll begin sizing the panels in preparation for the "baked-in" edgebands that will be sandwiched between the final veneers.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig