Mini hand tool cabinet #5: Front and Back Panels

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Blog entry by JSOvens posted 10-17-2014 10:27 PM 1501 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Time for another update on the mini hand tool cabinet. These may start to come less frequently, since I am now involved in multiple Christmas Time projects as well (all of which I will post either in the Blog or at the very least in the Projects area early on in the new year).

With all of the cabinet sides made, the next step I took was to make the panels for the back and for the door. My original plan was to find some 1/4” plywood for the panels, but I was enjoying using solid pine (or it turns out spruce in some cases), I decided to keep going with this theme. So I went to my local home store and bought two 1×8’s for the larger panels (this was the optimum width, which cost the least in terms of $/bf out of all the options offered) and a 1×4 (S4S) to frame the front panel. I began by planing the 1×8’s down to something like 3/8”, and cross-cutting them to rough length.

Using the same process as before, I glued up three sections per panel. Since the last panel glue-up, we opened one of the bottles of tomato juice, so I had to use something else to hold the panels flat!

One of the boards was very clear and had very attractive straight grain. This I have earmarked for the front. I plan to have the dark band offset to one side since I like asymmetry. The other board was riddled with knots, so it will feature in the back of the cabinet. I will probably try to stabilize these by filling them with epoxy mixed with sawdust.

I found a nice looking 1×4 to frame the front panel. Below, you can see it cut to rough length and arranged around the front panel.

I cut grooves in the rails and stiles using a 1/4” spiral bit and multiple passes. I used a scrap as a test piece to get a perfect fit around the panel. I followed this up by cutting tenons on the stiles with my table saw and cross cut sled.

This left me with the two rails, which extend the full width of the door, and the stiles which match to the rails with tenons. These tenons are exposed at the edge of the frame.

I had to do a little bit of finessing of both the tenons and grooves with a chisel and I had to slightly reduce the thickness of the panel at the edges using my block plane, but in the end, it all came together nicely.

Before gluing-up this assembly, I decided it would be prudent to pre-finish the panel. For this project, I am using Watco Danish Oil, which turned out quite well. Although, I must say that this finish is very unforgiving with regards to any imperfections in surface preparation, but there was nothing that greatly offended me in the end.

I think for my next post, I should be just about ready to get this whole thing glued together. With all of my Christmas projects underway, I am quite anxious to get this one finished both so it’s out of my way and so that I can put it to use in contributing to the overall organization of my shop.

Thanks for reading!

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

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