Today I was a little ill and took the time to do the numbers and futz around between my initial CAD plan and the Solidworks model. At this point – if it was not immediately apparent during the CAD work – I usually start rattling out the differences between the on-paper plan (although no paper has been harmed as of yet) and the working methods I’ll use to produce the end product. This is usually an ongoing process from the initial inception of a product anyway, however by the time you come to modelling or prototyping this is something that has to be addressed.
I spent a couple of hours going over in my mind as to whether I should lighten the pure bulk of the cabinet dividers by making a few lengths of profile on the spindle moulder (or table saw, table router, etc.) or to maintain this aspect from the original. I decided to stick with the latter for no reason other than, “I can”. My access to materials of appropriate dimension is not a huge factor and I like the solidity. Gaining a finger’s width of cabinet space is neither here nor there. The compromise between the two would be to drop the rear door stop on the verticals only. This is somewhat tempting and I can’t say that I won’t change my mind later on. Perhaps examination of visual weight from the Solidworks modelling will put this one to bed.
Normally it would not be too difficult to arrange an alternating set of dado grooves across the various steps of the top, fitting into corresponding steps across the top of the dividers and sides. A basic bit of carcass work. The complications are in the front face of the dividers – which sit proud of the doors and surrounding door bead – plus the back bevel inside the door surround. Whilst the work making these fit is not too onerous, deciding upon which combination of cuts to make (and how) is.
Primarily I use a combination of both powered and manual tools for my work. Whilst I do not possess all of the hand tools I would like to (who does?), I do have the availability of some relatively high-end machinery such as a Martin T74. Specifically, I envisaged cutting a series of dado cuts across the underside of the top and opening one of these out by slightly to create mating back bevels. Nothing overly amazing once precise measurements and working procedures are in my head; it saves me a lot of bumbling around the shop later anyhow.
I decided to go with what is most practical. Two intersecting channels are cut through the top front to back. This component is far larger than the dividers, and it is prudent to keep working procedures simpler. Anything more demanding can be carried out on the smaller dividers without as much stress.
The first dado is deep and narrow run through the beading line. The second is wider and only cuts through the rear door stop. Two through-cut channels, one stopped cut and a little chisel work will create the back bevel. This is more than enough strength for this joint to function well, and has enough simplicity to be quick and repeatable. The same strategy applies to the sides, however I suspect it would be best practice to create additional strength in the joint by introducing either a shallow/long mortice and tenon or simple dowelling.
This is where the model sits as of writing:
I’ll keep updating this as thoughts and ideas come to me. I have a few mirrors and a Morris chair to finish up in the shop at the moment and who knows what else in December….!
-- "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"