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Roubo Cabinet #9: Framed Backpanel

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 05-25-2011 06:59 PM 2951 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Dados and Partitions Part 9 of Roubo Cabinet series Part 10: Placing the Backpanel »

I have a fully joined carcase with partitions for five drawers, but it’s only got two sides, a top and a bottom. ie: it needs a backside! Options I’ve thought about include a series of half-lap boards nailed into a rabbet at all four edges, and a floating frame and panel. Because one of these is necessarily more difficult to do than the other, you can likely guess which one I’ve chosen…

I started work with material selection. For the frame I’ve used a pretty non-descript (re: crappy) piece of walnut from inventory; it’s reasonably flat and true, with the right thickness, but has sapwood and knots and swirls a-plenty. So, a frugal choice that is suitable for the back of a shop cabinet. Dimensioned length and width of frame per the assembled (but not glued) caracase. Individual rail and stile widths dictated by the material: maxed out at 3” by cutting out knots and some of the barker sapwood. Board was ripped twice, edges were jointed:

Dimensioned length and width of frame per the assembled (but not glued) caracase.

Individual rail and stile widths dictated by the material: maxed out at 3” by cutting out knots and some of the barker sapwood. With that much layout completed, to include some slop for future joinery, I moved on to cutting the tongues and grooves with the Stanley #48 T&G plane, including all four ends of the rail pieces. If you haven’t had a chance to use a #48, it’s a blast. I laughed out loud the first time I cut with this tool; I’ve never had that kind of reaction to a power tool, and I’d say the #48 was likely the single tool that sealed the hand tool deal with me. Anyway, I marked the faces of all boards to ensure I attacked each with the plane oriented correctly; the #48 is optimized to center on 7/8” and my material is not (exactly) that (and I don’t really care that it isn’t). So setting faces and working the material consistently, to preserve the show face, is important with the #48.

Here are shots of the groove cuts on the rails.

I applied mineral spirits to the end grain and waxed the plane a few times to help things along / get the best results. Also note the clamped ‘sacrificial’ cut-off that prevents severe end grain blow out when pulling this maneuver.

For the inset panel ‘filler’ material, I opted for what was available over making something custom. Plucked some salvaged, beaded poplar type stuff from inventory and cut several pieces to length on the RAS.

Then took passes at the table saw to get ends “thicknessed” to match the frame grooves.

Centered the whole pieces to get consistent ‘partials’ measurement at each end with a pair of dividers. Marked the cut and used a gents dovetail saw to rip it and get each of the two partial end from one board. Nice it worked out that way / saves some material. Used the gents because it’s the thinnest kerf I have. Some thinning on the ends of the bead stock was needed get all things to fit not-too-snug, and that was done w/ a #93 shoulder plane. Applied glue to all frame joints then clamped it up.

Removed clamps and did some smoothing plane work on the face; also cut the excess stile run-off. Final sizing of this roughed panel, as well as joinery to get it matched up to the carcase, is next on the To Do list in my march towards Glue-Up.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



3 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11168 posts in 1495 days


#1 posted 05-26-2011 04:37 AM

Very good progress. And your neatness with you hand tools is to be commended. And I want you to know I am drooling over that wonderful plane. OK now to something I don’t know, the wax I get but what pray tell do the spirits do for you?
Great job. My hat is off Smitty;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View kenn's profile

kenn

788 posts in 2375 days


#2 posted 05-26-2011 05:32 AM

The spirits make the end grain fibers easier to slice giving a wonderfully smmooth finished surface, am I right Smitty?

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9916 posts in 1274 days


#3 posted 05-26-2011 06:12 AM

@kenn – Absolutely correct. Softer end grain means less splitting, smoother results, and the spirits dry without or residue. Any final finish unaffected.

@Super – Treat yourself and get a #48! You won’t regret it… :-)

And thanks for the vote of confidence because there isn’t anyone ‘round these parts doing this kind of thing w/ hand tools. Heck, I’m fairly certain my dad believes I’m certifiable for working this way…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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