LumberJocks

Wall Hung Tool Cabinet #10: Backside of a Carcase

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 05-02-2012 03:55 AM 1490 reads 2 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Carcase Glue-up! Part 10 of Wall Hung Tool Cabinet series Part 11: Reclaiming a Tambour Door »

Whatever was selected for the backing material of this cabinet needed to add strength, look good and be 1/2” thick. Plywood meets two out of three of those requirements, but I just can’t fall in love with the idea of plywood in my tool till. Biggest hurdle with any other material is the work I might have to do to get it to that 1/2” thickness.

I checked the remaining inventory of poplar (says Don W, and he should know) boards salvaged from somewhere, some time ago. This stuff is stacked on top of the hardware cabinet at the back of the shop, and I didn’t know how much was up there (out of sight, out of mind). Figures the material is dimensionally spot-on, the boards are beaded and clear, and have a great, old-world look to them. And because they’re tongue and groove, they’ll add strength to the finished cabinet over straight-edged stock or half-lap stuff. We’ve got material! With a measure of the cabinet width, I figured ten boards would be needed for the job. I’ve got that plus a few spares. Good!


Measured a carcase side to get the length, cut a single board that served as the length pattern for marking the rest. Cuts made on the RAS.

I have two widths of these boards. Why? No idea. But some are 3 1/2”W and others are 3”W. Played around with a ¬†layout that minimized waste and kept wider pieces to the left and right. Allowing some ‘slop’ for expansion, planed off the tongue off one board and the groove from another for the right fit.

The most I could do in advance of having an assembled carcase is pre-drill the tops of each board. In the pic you can see the simple stop I made to set the holes a uniform distance from the top of each board, a distance that met the 1/2” rabbet these have to fit into without splitting when the countersink was drilled. Marks on the stop help set the board for two matching cuts to each board.

I then brushed the dust and dirt from the boards then set them aside. Until the carcase is a single assembly, there’s nothing to apply a back to. Good news is, the glue up was over the weekend! The carcase first had to be freed from a maze of pipe clamps…

... then get the mini-drawer shelf and vertical partitions put in place. Run a bead of glue in the dados for drawer mini-bank:

Place the bank and put clamps on the cabinet:

Finally, no more clamps. Cabinet is now as ready for a backside as it’s ever gonna be:

After playing around with measuring and planing over the weekend, the ten pieces should fit nice and snug, with a little play for wood movement. How much will they move? To my way of thinking, one advantage to vintage wood (50+ years) is dimensional stability. I did a quick depth check of the perimeter rabbets, taking a few shavings with the #92 shoulder plane and a chisel. All boards were laid in for final fit check, and install could begin.

I’ll screw them in, with two at the top of each board, one set into the middle shelf, and another one set into the board at the bottom shelf. The 1” slotted screws I’ll use are from a flea mkt in North St Louis. Very rusty, so an Evaporust bath was in order.

After the bath (can you spot the one that’s a ‘before’ example?):

I started by driving the screws in every other hole at the top of the cabinet, then set a second screw in each at the midpoint of the cabinet. Those I knew where to locate because I drew a couple of lines to define the shelf before the backing was laid in. Here’s the standard bit in the brace I used to drive the screws. Effortless work, let me tell you. Not kidding. It’s a great way to set screws into wood!

Here’s a pic of marks setting the boundaries for the center line of screws.

With everything ‘screwed up,’ here’s the cabinet with a backside!

And just like that, we have a three-sided cabinet! The whole back will still get a light sanding and a hit of Watco’s to seal it, but this stage is DONE! :-) Thanks for looking!

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



24 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

5013 posts in 1164 days


#1 posted 05-02-2012 04:18 AM

That is looking so nice Smitty. Truly great great work man.

-- ~Tony

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10219 posts in 1342 days


#2 posted 05-02-2012 04:24 AM

Thanks, Tony! I was really quite surprised at the look of it once I had the back installed earlier tonight and turned it around to look the first time. And there’s more to come, with a post on the tambour door (probably) next in line. That thing has been an interesting save…

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

View Brit's profile

Brit

5287 posts in 1567 days


#3 posted 05-02-2012 10:42 AM

I’m loving that Smitty, those boards look right at home in that cabinet. It’s really looking great.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2366 posts in 1504 days


#4 posted 05-02-2012 10:46 AM

Great Smitty, this is realy going to set the shop off !

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15431 posts in 1292 days


#5 posted 05-02-2012 10:51 AM

lookin good!!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10219 posts in 1342 days


#6 posted 05-02-2012 11:26 AM

Heck, it’s an inside that’s going to compete with tools for looks… Maybe I shoulda used ply after all… ;-)

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

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1302 posts in 2511 days


#7 posted 05-02-2012 12:18 PM

Man I’m lovin that olde timey look! It really has a proportional look too it. Looking forward to seeing it wall mounted and full of tools. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1675 days


#8 posted 05-02-2012 12:27 PM

Nice work, Smitty! That is turning out to be one mighty fine cabinet.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Brit's profile

Brit

5287 posts in 1567 days


#9 posted 05-02-2012 12:31 PM

Smitty – I was wondering how you are going to hang it, since you haven’t allowed any depth at the back to recess a French cleat. Will the cabinet sit slightly away from the wall to allow for the cleat, or are you intending using some other method?

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Dave's profile (online now)

Dave

11201 posts in 1564 days


#10 posted 05-02-2012 12:35 PM

Very well done Smitty. I am so enjoying this blog. The T n G boards are nice. I do like that flat-head bit in your brace. I always like looking at the tools as much as the project. Keep us posted!

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10219 posts in 1342 days


#11 posted 05-02-2012 12:52 PM

Thanks, all, for the comments.

Andy, the backer boards at either side have screws every six / eight inches, so they’re not going anywhere when I run some long screws into wall studs to anchor this cabinet at the top and bottom for adhesion to the wall. But that’s not all I’ll do. The Inspiration Cabinet has a couple of wooden ‘brackets,’ although that’s not the right word, maybe ‘plain corbels’ is better, doing the serious lifting / supporting of the cabinet. This one will someday get a cabinet built under it to match, but in the meantime I’ll anchor to the wall and make a pair of corbels for support.

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

View Brit's profile

Brit

5287 posts in 1567 days


#12 posted 05-02-2012 01:01 PM

I like that soluion Smitty. French cleats are great load carriers, but it does mean you end up with some wasted space at the back of the cabinet. Your solution will suit your cabinet.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10219 posts in 1342 days


#13 posted 05-02-2012 01:14 PM

And wasting that space is exactly what I wanted to avoid, you’re right. Cleats are certainly sexy, though, and it was a tough call not to do it that way. But it would have mean giving away 7/8” of depth, and that was too high a price.

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

View terryR's profile

terryR

3395 posts in 1032 days


#14 posted 05-02-2012 02:00 PM

Very impressive build…love the use of old woods! But, using rusty screws, too, wow! Great way to add character to a project! AND your local landfill will like it, too…

Love your shop…saw till…plane till…and no chinese peg board in sight! :-)

Thanks for the inspiration! Looking forward to seeing this cabinet full of tools…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View GrandpaLen's profile (online now)

GrandpaLen

1576 posts in 996 days


#15 posted 05-02-2012 02:43 PM

Smitty,
You are my newly anointed ‘muse’.

- Repurposing lumber, partially from an old Hoosier Cabinet.
- The fact that you HAVE 50+ year old T & G the right thickness and enough to finish the back.
- The proper size screws, which by the way appear to be circa, same period as the T & G lumber.
- All (well, 95% + or -) Hand Tooled.
- ...and ‘Ta-Da’ a Cabinet which appears, for all Practical Purposes, could well have been passed down from your ancestors.

Thanks for the journey.
Awaiting the Grand Finally. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase