Pennsylvania Spice Box for Mom #7: Tombstone style, veneered door

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Blog entry by SPHinTampa posted 06-14-2012 10:42 PM 9856 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Drawers and yet another dovetail jig Part 7 of Pennsylvania Spice Box for Mom series Part 8: Finishing and Hardware - Done! »

In the last session I finished the 10 drawers. Now it is time start on the door. In this session, I:

1. Veneered the door panel
2. Cut the rails and styles for the door
3. Used loose mortise and tenon joinery for doors
4. Cut the tombstone arch
5. Assemble door
6. Cut mortise for hinges

I started with the main body done.

Session ended with a completed door.

First step was to create the veneered door panel. I used 1/4” maple ply with amboyna burl on the front and mahogany on the back.

I love amboyna burl and I had some left over from a prior project. The only thing I will say about using this is that the dust is harsh and can cause a rash. I use gloves, a mask and a lot of dust collection when sanding it.

First step is to spread glue on the panel.

I use a 6” roller to get an even glue coverage.

I use wax paper to keep assembly from sticking to cauls

And then I clamp it. Note that this is half way thru the clamping process. I added another 6 clamps.

Once the glue dried, I cut to size on the table saw.

With the panel done, it was then time to start the door frame.

Using the actual measurements from the case, I cut the door frame to leave an 1/8” gap around the outside (so width – 1/8” and height – 2×1/8”)

I used a 1/4” bit to cut the panel groove (normally I would use the 7/32” plywood bit but with the two veneered sides, the 1/4” bit provides a tight fit).

I then set up my Mortise Pal to make the loose tenon joinery for door.

Using a 1/4” spiral upcut bit, I plunge the router in several time to remove most of the waste and then run it back and forth clean up the sides.

I make loose tenons from left over 1/4” poplar stock.

Now it is time to cut the tombstone style arch. I use a bandsaw jig to make a pattern and for rough cutting and then a router and pattern bit to get the final result.

First I get a pattern piece that is identically in width to the top rail of the door frame.

Using my bandsaw circle jig, I can make a cut to define the inside radius of the curve.

Which leaves me with a pattern.

I use the pattern to mark the curve on the work piece, which then I cut to within 1/16” of the line on the bandsaw.

I then attach the pattern to the workpiece with double sided tap and route to final shape.

I use a 1/4” slot cutter with a bearing to get the groove in the top rail.

And I am ready to dry assemble the panel.

I use the bandsaw to cut the top arch in the door panel. Since this part is buried about a 1/2” into the rail, I cut by hand as no one will see it.

Then I glue up.

Once the door is ready, I cut the mortises for the hinges

I mark the start point of the hinge (I also use the hinge a distance guide to get a consistent start point for both sides)

And lay out the hinge using a marking knife

If you have not watched the Paul Sellers Working Wood DVDs, I recommend picking them up. He will teach you to make clean consistent mortises with chisel. Very satisfying.

Make a knife wall

Mark out your section

Clean it out and your hinge fits perfectly

This has been a good weekend worth of work. Next steps … finishing and hardware.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

3 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20938 posts in 2924 days

#1 posted 06-15-2012 02:27 AM

coming along nicely.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Julian's profile


1359 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 06-15-2012 04:31 PM

Looks like it will be a great looking spice cabinet. Nice job with all the pictures.

-- Julian

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2605 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 06:47 PM

Looking good! This is what more blog posts should be like, with tons of good process pictures.

-- Brian Timmons -

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