We are to the point, fellow woodworkers, that progress is being made that directly results in something that resembles an actual cabinet. So if you’ve followed along up to this point waiting for ‘real work’ to take place, yawning with each installment that detailed build plans (boring!), material prep (double boring!) and panel glue-ups (A blog entry on gluing panels? Are you kidding me??), this just may be the pay-off you’ve been waiting for. Of course, maybe not. But I digress, as usual…
Let’s begin the build of this carcase by laying out the dovetail spacing on the walnut side panels. Both panels will be cut at the same time.
And here’s proof of said cutting, because if there aren’t pictures, it must not have happened:
I then removed most of the waste with a coping saw before clamping the panels to the bench for some chisel work.
Each of the panels of the carcase will be joined at the corners using mitered dovetails. I blogged about this previously, and the method used for this build evolved from the three practice rounds (and comments) done with scrap stock as proof of concept. The challenge then was accurately marking mitered half-tails, if you recall…
To work the mitered tails, each panel has to be clamped on it’s edge using the flush face of the bench as a clamping surface. For the carcase top, this meant using the leg vise on one end and a leg-based hold down on the other end. The sliding deadman is at the end as well, providing additional backing for the panel. What an elegant solution – I love this bench…
And back to the cutting. Begin by marking the miter on the edge of the board with a knife using a small (mine is a 6”) combination square as a guide. Then chisel out a small trough for the dovetail saw to fit into, on the waste side of the line, because I want a crisp finish on this show joint.
I don’t have a picture of the diagonal cut in action, but it did happen because the vertical cut that removes the miter waste, along with chisel trimming of the miter, are each shown in the following.
Once the pin waste is chopped out and the first jointed end of this inaugural side panel of the carcase took final form, it was time to mark the pin board to include miters. This is where I came up with a trick to transfer lines that results in good miters.
Position the tail board as normal. See the gaps at each end between the half tails and pin board? Those gaps pose a problem for line transfer in the traditional sense; hard to trace where there is no direct contact.
So I made a short mark at the base of the tail, then positioned the combination square on top of the tail board for a perpendicular mark where the mitered tail is hovering. You can see the small mark:
When the tail board is pulled, simply connect the lines to get a complete cutline for the pin miter…
Cut the pin board in the now-familiar sequence:
Now for the moment of truth. The first jointed corner of the cabinet is ready for a test fit. Hours invested up to this point, so it’s important that each of these joints goes well. Really no margin for error… I clamped the pin board to the face of the bench and readied the tail board support system (in this case, a #4 ½ wide smooth plane):
Then laid it into place
and tapped it down.
Does it fit? You be the judge, but here’s hint: I’m tickled to death!
Here’s where things move very quickly on the web but in reality involved many, many hours of sawing and chopping. The extra-fine news was that I’ve become very familiar with the new #750 Stanley SW chisels; they were used throughout this part of the build, worked great and held a single, good edge without rehoning. Glad I finally have a decent (and complete) set of chisels to work with (see my review in LJs if you’d like to read more). Anyway, I completed the pin and tail cuts on the other side panel then completed tail cuts to each side panel to match them up with the walnut-edged pine base panel. Here’s that panel clamped up first for pin cuts then for chopping.
This panel fit together with the sides wonderfully, and the contrasting woods really looks cool.
And so now I have a four sided box! Hooray!
Didn’t count how many times (already) these panels have been put together then taken apart, but with the partitions to cut and join to the carcase via stopped dados, there are many more dry fits in my future. But I have a four-sided box!
-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --