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Gems on the kitchen walls - AllWoodJoinery

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Project by JohnnyStrawberry posted 07-17-2013 04:26 PM 2354 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Still cabinetry… And it will keep me busy for a few months for sure.
Still without a single drop of glue or any metal fastener. Exclusively out of wood.
I’ve shared my story and my concept in my bed post:
Click for details

The usual slideshow about the build:

It has quite some photos condensed in it. I use some of them below so you can click on them to enlarge.

From the day I got the lumber ( http://lumberjocks.com/projects/67685 ) I’ve had the vision of having kitchen cabinets with steamed black locust frames and steamed burly red willow panels. Now we have them. In my opinion they look even nicer on our olive green walls.
Even though the date says that it was completed weeks ago, I installed them just a few days ago since the raw tung oil that I prefer to use for kitchen projects takes some time to cure…

……………………………………#1……………………………………………………………………#2………………………………..

Since I had only four boards of 4/4 choco locust, I had to use some walnut for the less seen part of the cabinets. These parts are the back rails and the top and bottom frame with the exception of the front parts that have grooves for the doors – those are made from choco locust. Mainly because it’s much stronger and harder (and won’t sag under the weight of the doors) and partly because this way the front has only choco locust and red willow. The latter is simply perfect for panels. It is light and looks fabulous. Besides, I have mostly 12+” wide boards of it.

These cabinets are entirely frame and panel constructions. Top, bottom, back, two sides and two doors – that means 36 M&Ts in each cabinet. So I had set up a mortise and tenon making system. It produces 40mm wide and 10.3mm thick tenons. There are basically two types of them. The flat type (doors, sides, top and bottom) is 41mm long and pegged with 8mm dowel, meanwhile the square type (attaching the sides to the top, back and bottom) is 16 mm long and pegged with 6mm dowel. (Store-bought, 1meter, smooth beech dowel that I cut into pieces of a convenient standard length.)
A few collages with a few words describe the process pretty well. (Only the flat type; the square type is somewhat different. It’s shown in the slideshow.)

Tenon precut
First I precut the tenons on my tablesaw ( http://lumberjocks.com/projects/78500 ) with the help of my sled. Precut is all about stop blocks. There is no setup at all. That square gadget has all the stop blocks the process needs.

Routing M&Ts
Then there is this other gadget that provides stop blocks and template for routing the mortise and the tenon with one clamping. The system is not perfectly symmetrical so I mark (dots) the sides that face each other on the jig (it’s only my convention to track the faces).
Avoiding routing the tenons deeper than I should, I leave tiny shoulders that I chisel down to the precut shoulder surface. (Note that routing the tenons means actually trimming – and rounding – the precut tenons to exact size.)

Pegging
First I assemble the frame with some help of a rubber mallet (these M&Ts are pretty tight). Then I pick my peg aligning block which is a thick piece of choco locust that works as a punch drive – the punch is the pointed drill bit. Then using the mark that the drill bit left, I drill almost all the way through the board – till the point of the drill bit comes out on the other side. Then I flip the work piece and drill from the other side; no tear-out this way.
After profile routing and sanding the frame and inserting the sanded, prefinished panel, I make the final assembling; then I drive in the pegs. (Note that there is no need for drawboring.) Then I flush plane the pegs with a power planer and sand it a little bit (240 grit or above). I think they look and feel fantastic.

The back is also a frame and panel construction. But the stiles of the sides serve as the stiles of the back. The rails complement each other nicely because they’re from the same (quite curved) walnut board.
The back panel consists of three wide (~12”) red willow boards edge joined with sliding dovetails. Sliding dovetailing is also about stop blocks (router base plate fence) and climb cutting. Unlike the tenon precut, this (the fence) needs some setup. Using sample pieces makes it much easier though.

Groove
First I relief rout the center line with a straight bit (6mm) Then I change to my tiniest dovetail bit (9.5mm) and I rout the groove from both sides – not changing the position of the base plate fence assures a perfectly symmetrical groove.

Tongue
CLIMB CUT! Setting the depth of cut a little (~0.01”) shallower, I first set the base plate fence to make very light passes on each sides. Then gradually (usually in 2 phases) setting the fence to rout the tongue to the width of the groove. Since it is made from both sides with the same setup, the tongue is also perfectly symmetrical.
Note that this technique assures that if I don’t push perfectly the base plate fence against the work piece, that will neither be seen nor will it make the sliding harder. Because in a case like that the tongue would be narrower or the groove would be wider. Quite fool proof.

Design notes
There are quite a few of what I call nuances. They typically serve to provide space for wood movement. I want these cabinets to last (at least) decades in perfect condition!
The shelf brackets are 20mm long 20mm diameter beech dowels partly recessed in the shelf. They’re very strong and the front brackets’ being in the floating side panels allows wood to move freely. Besides, I think they look good.

Since willow is even lighter than spruce and these cabinets will store pretty heavy plates and such things, I made the shelves relatively thick (22mm). And that looks even thicker in a cabinet that is 90cm wide 63cm tall and 38cm deep. So I made the shelves look much lighter. I love it!

These cabinets deserve (and need) some nicer mounting than I made the last time ( http://lumberjocks.com/projects/83965 ) This time I wanted some simple looking small brackets. Choco locust is the strongest, same color, and I got 6/4 scraps. I worked out a procedure to use even the smallest scraps. The slideshow is far more detailed on this than the photos below. (Sometimes I document a specific procedure for future reference. Now the photos happened to get in to the slideshow…)

I strongly tend to use sliding doors wherever I can. They’re extremely rugged and easy to make with the techniques I use. No need for hardware – they surely will last decades. Especially with black locust – did you know that black locust is 5 times more abrasion resistant than oak and 3 times more than beech?
From the aesthetic side, sliding doors lessen the boring flatness of any cabinet front. I think it is especially relevant in a case of an extensive front area. Although this wasn’t the case, since the two cabinets were mounted separately.
Besides, I seriously think that whoever puts hinged doors on upper kitchen cabinets, that one is a real terrorist. :-D
Come on, how many of you had a bump in the head? Because I’d sure got some…

The door frames were made slightly differently from the traditional way. For a sliding door it seems naturally more practical and I think it looks immeasurably nicer. This way the rails show a natural integrity with the grooves and it allows the grain to flow continuously on both doors. (The rails actually weren’t cut from the same board because there is a ~2cm overlap and the flow could come out much more distinctly than if they had been cut from the same board.)

Now it’s time to have a summer break for kayak building…

I’m looking forward to your critiques, opinions and comments.

Thanks for reading along,
Johnny

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!





23 comments so far

View Holt's profile

Holt

80 posts in 1326 days


#1 posted 07-17-2013 05:17 PM

Those are awesome. You’ve got a great eye. Wish I could get my wife to go for something that striking in our total house gut and refurb…

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3563 posts in 1564 days


#2 posted 07-17-2013 06:57 PM

Awsome project, especialy when it is without glue and metal. I realy enjoy your presentation. Just keep on wood®king.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5135 posts in 1539 days


#3 posted 07-17-2013 11:45 PM

Johnny,

Great post. Looks like your making your vision happen! Green and wood browns , oranges and yellows all compliment each other. I have a Victorian with High ceilings and the casing is all intact and the walls are a darker emerald green.

How long for the tongue oil to dry?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1016 days


#4 posted 07-18-2013 04:17 AM

Thank you guys.
At the end of the second week it starts to dry but I wait for another two weeks before use. BUT it takes at least another month to harden enough to be final sanded.
Gee Thomas, that house must be beautiful! We’d love to live in house like that. :-)
Thanks for dropping by.

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2680 posts in 2409 days


#5 posted 07-18-2013 04:30 AM

Johnny,

Your design, wood selection, and workmanship are all really excellent. Thanks for all the details and including the extra photos for those of us living in the dark ages without high speed!

We do, however, differ on the sliding door idea. I had sliding doors on closets and other cabinets and got rid of them all. I’d rather be able to open both doors at the same time because I inevitably always open the wrong door of a slider!

Thanks for sharing.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5135 posts in 1539 days


#6 posted 07-18-2013 04:50 AM

Johnny,

It’s the only saving grace for living in a very rural place. Tough for me as I have been many places. The doors are at least 7 ft tall. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1016 days


#7 posted 07-18-2013 05:03 AM

Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.
Good point. I know that the closet for my wife will have hinged doors to allow her to find sooner what she wants to wear and with a mirror on the back of one door to make the (rather time consuming…) task more convenient. You know what women do there…and for how long… LOL
Thomas, we actually plan to live somewhere else (closer to the mountains and the Danube) and I keep that in mind when I design and make our furniture.

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15104 posts in 1886 days


#8 posted 07-18-2013 08:35 AM

Some great work and details…. Very impressive!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 521 days


#9 posted 07-18-2013 10:59 AM

Great job, a really beautiful cabinet and thanks for the slide show, showing the progression of the build and what you did to produce it….Amazing

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1016 days


#10 posted 07-18-2013 12:05 PM

Thank you guys.
But for the sake of improving my design may I ask for some detailed opinions?
C’mon Thomas we have a very knowledgeable one around here, don’t you know who I’m pointing at? LOL

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View Chad256's profile

Chad256

119 posts in 583 days


#11 posted 07-18-2013 01:19 PM

That is truly impressive my friend. Wonderful build and documentation! Those are some beautiful kitchen cabinets. You should be proud!

-- -- Chad -- T&C Woodworks

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5135 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 07-18-2013 02:53 PM

LOL!

You are a very precise guy! You have a specific vision, and you are achieving it based on your philosophy. A wooden hinge might be within your vision? I have made windows before using the sliding concept and I was fortunate that the wood I chose had stable grain, as I didn’t realize how much force there is on a growing tree.

I’m guessing you took that into consideration when you chose the wood for the frames and the doors.

Looks like you used a number of the old style assembly techniques ,which should keep it stable and strong.

If you have time and it fits your vision of your next piece consider ( if its a fixed shelf) using a sliding dovetail for your shelves ? Might add to the aesthetics if you like exposed dovetails. Learned that from my mentor Charles Neil who has built fine furniture for better than 20 years. Adds strength and stability.

I have a lot of information about design, and construction of cabinets, but you’re way ahead of me in experience. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1016 days


#13 posted 07-18-2013 03:13 PM

Thank you Thomas. I really appreciate your feedback.
Wood movement is the first in my mind when I design anything out of wood.
That’s why it’s a frame & panel construction throughout.
So I would not attempt to sliding dovetail the two whole side frame and panel.
Hinges yes! The reason was explained just a few comments above.
Actually at that very moment I thought out a clean and easy hinge design.
What do you think of the brackets?
Thank you for dropping by again. :-)

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5135 posts in 1539 days


#14 posted 07-18-2013 03:33 PM

Look fine,

The box people on this site have a wood hinge. don’t know if it works for you?

The sliding dado would be for shelves and or sides. Add rigidity and they are not extra mechanical fasteners. And it might be another tool in your designs?

Gotta go to work,

Later

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile

JohnnyStrawberry

245 posts in 1016 days


#15 posted 07-18-2013 04:12 PM

I think those hinges look nice and they’re fine for small items but I think they wouldn’t bear the heavy use of those doors weighing 9 pounds each. And my kinda closet doors gonna weigh about 25-30 pounds…

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

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