College Practical techniques

College course: Day 9

Day 9! Sort of unbelievable how quickly the time goes, I’m about two-thirds through my course. I’m really enjoying learning about casework and the myriad of details that have to be considered. Anyway, here’s the progress on my little cabinet, for those who are interested. Click the pic for the jump.

Cutting dovetails in the rails that connect the two side panels I’ve already made.

The dovetails would be a bit deep at the full depth of the stock, so I’m taking off around half the depth here.

The rail dovetail will ft into the top of the side panel as shown. This rail is the rear one, so it needs to be placed so that it doesn’t impede the groove for the back panel, as shown.

Having drawn around the dovetail, the outside edges are marked. The dovetail length is taken from the dovetail with a marking gauge and transferred to the stock. The same is then done for the depth of the dovetail, which again is marked on the inner panel. The whole waste area is then shaded, so I don’t make mistakes and cut on the wrong side of the line.

After a couple of stiff drinks, the two cuts aren’t bad, and they’re just inside the lines, which is good.

To remove the waste, the panel is clamped down, and little by little, you chop back into the joint with chisel vertical, and remove small amounts by paring into the joint horizontally. Eventually, you have something that looks like this.

Looking back at the image, this is very stupid. If the panels had fallen to the side, it would have cracked my joints. In the semi-hysterical excitement of finally bringing my side panels together, I forgot to notice that. Anyway, the first rail is at least a good tight fit on both ends.

I took a break from the rails, and used the Metabo sander to sand down what will be the top and the shelf for the cabinet. They glued up surprisingly well, and after two passes through the planer, both were pretty good. The top can be trimmed to size once I have the cabinet glued up. The shelf will be worked on next week.

This is the carcass standing upright. Obviously still a little delicate, with no bracing at the bottom yet, but you can see the dimensions. One of my rail joints is sloppy, but hopefully will be ok with generous amounts of glue. It’s all a learning curve!

I popped the top on, just to see how the thickness relates to the proportions of the cabinet. I’m really pleased with this, having drawn up the cabinet myself. I figured finishing the panels with oil might have saved me valuable time, but in reality, it’s a pain in the ass. You’re constantly aware of scratching them. I won’t be doing that again.

2 replies on “College course: Day 9”

Fantastic Gary…buying my Bandanna today…now I know where I’m going wrong!! Love the Website

Isn’t he great! Julio Alonso Diaz is the Barry White of the cabinet-making world. Seriously though, the videos from these guys are something special. If one day I could make something of a Doucette & Wolfe standard, I could hang up my sliding bevel, a happy man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.