|Project by Tom||posted 08-28-2008 06:53 PM||1224 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
This is my first project, a white oak end cabinet for my kitchen. The goal is for the cabinet to support one end of a 3’x5’ rock maple butcher block (which I haven’t built yet) – at the moment its just got my portable benchtop sitting on it, though, which is visible in the pictures. The design is my own, though I definitely adapted the style from my friend Keelan’s work (Craftsman/Mission? I don’t know.) All four sides are frame/panel, dowel joinery, tapered legs, the panels are 1/4 ply, tung oil finish.
Given that this was my first project, and perhaps an overly-ambitious one, I managed to learn a dozen or so lessons the hard way. I was fortunate in that none of the mistakes resulted in accidents – all planning/ignorance/impatience problems, and most of them I was able to remedy with a little extra work. The notable list, however:
1. Pay attention to orientation when cutting biscuits
2. When drilling for dowels in a rail that will receive a groove for a panel, shift the holes away from the groove
3. Jigsaws tearout on the upstroke (I imagine this is really a function of tooth direction)
4. Use fine crosscut blade for ripping plywood
5. Dry fit
6. Don’t work tired
7. Pre-tape shims before a glue up
8. Don’t attempt to assemble too much at once (glue dries fast…)
Really the only visible mistake resulted from under-drilling some holes for the dowel pins. For the corner posts, I used 5/4” wide stiles on the sides so I could build each side separately, biscuit them together, and the corner post would appear to be 2×2. For some illogical reason I decided to under-drill the holes in the 5/4 stock, and my pins bottomed out in the glue up. I ended up with a 1/16” gap between my stile & rail on one side. I realized my mistake right off, though, and fixed it on the opposite side. Luckily, this piece is for my own kitchen, so I didn’t worry about it too much. The little gap serves as a good reminder to really think ahead through the entire process, and I see it every day…
All in all I’m pretty satisfied; it looks pretty good and I learned a lot. The doors especially turned out well. The spalted red oak drawer front has a punky spot that I don’t like, I guess I’ll be more careful with wood selection in the future. Onto the next project!