|Project by JohnnyStrawberry||posted 07-17-2013 04:26 PM||2338 views||0 times favorited||23 comments|
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:
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…
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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,
-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!