Step-back Cupboard Build #15: Attaching the molding...

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Blog entry by rwyoung posted 06-29-2009 04:27 AM 2166 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Molding Part 15 of Step-back Cupboard Build series Part 16: Making the door »

Been a pretty long day of fiddling with test cuts and what not. I don’t have a fancy miter saw (I do have a crappy plastic miter box but it is pretty far out of whack). So to cut the miters for the molding I’m using my table saw.

With a few test cuts and a little tweaking you can get a very good fit. :)

First step is to attach the 1/2” thick piece with the single ogee:

Next we add the larger built-up molding:

And here we can see another interesting point. I went ahead and routed the roundover on the upper face frame before installing it and routed it all the way to the end of the board. What this means is there will be a small gap between the corner of the face frame and the corner of the molding. Not a big deal and I knew this would happen. What I could have done is stop the roundover on the face frame short of where the molding would be, then I could chisel in a roundover after the molding was in place, or some other simple transition. I opted for the “easy way” because the gap is small and from a distance of about two or three feet you have to know its there to really see it.

There is a little bit more fine trimming to do on the back side but I can get to that later. I thought I trimmed the last side piece short enough but it is hanging over about 3/32”. At least it wasn’t too short! This is pretty easy to deal with even with it attached to the case. I have a pull-saw that will track just fine and zip the overhang right off next time I have the case down on its back on the bench.

This took me a while to get the molding attached for two reasons. First, I left the case standing, didn’t feel like dragging it back out to the garage and laying it the bench. Second, it takes several test cuts to set up the saw and then I’m probably over cautious and take too many “sneak-up” cuts.

By the way, blue tape works great to keep the saw from tearing out the profiled edge.

The next step is to work on the door’s rails and stiles. I measured the opening and to my surprise it is no longer quite square. It has racked about 1/16”. I’m not sure why, could be the addition of the upper face frame and clamping operation caused the racking. Could also just be the change in humidity. Standing back and eyeballing things, you can’t see the difference. But it is important for setting in the door. I’ll take it into account and trim the door a little bit when the time comes. I can also trim the case stiles a tad by aggressively sanding with a block. Doing both the door and the frame will split the difference in the un-squareness and might be the best way to camouflage things.

(The sides are straight, the photo shows them bowed because I didn’t bother taking the camera out of its wide angle view and it has barrel distortion as you move off the center axis. This is common on most point-and-shoot cameras, the solution is to zoom just a tiny bit. But I didn’t, just lazy today.)

It is interesting to me about the top molding. From some angles, it looks great and it good proportion. From others it looks a bit heavy. If I were to make another piece, there are two changes. First I’d extend the overhang of the center shelf about 1/2” more to add a little more balance and I might use a 1/2” or 5/8” round over (which I don’t have) instead of the 7/8” to shrink the molding size a bit.

But I must reserve the final judgment until the case is painted and some dishes are setting inside. With the paint, dishes and door fitted, I can imagine the molding might be brought a little more into proportion. Just closing in the bottom of the case will add some visual weight.

Back to the rails and stiles. The Mike Dunbar article goes into making the door using through mortises and pinning it along with wedging the mortise. I’m going with a cope and stick router bit set instead.

To set up for the coped portion, I use a simple coping sled at the router table. Just a piece of 3/4” MDF and some 1/8” hardboard. Good ole’ Harbor Freight supplied the toggle clamps.

A few passes and the coping is done in the ends of the rails. Next I switch to the stile bit and run the rails and stiles both.
The bits:

Here is the stile cut on the test piece:

And a finished rail piece:

I suppose one could argue that the Shakers wouldn’t have used such a joint. But I wonder about that. They (1810, Sarah Babbet) invented the circular saw blade, they invented machines for cutting tongue-and-groove joints and wainscoting beads. They seem to have been quite “modern” in their construction methods, I see no reason that some of them would not have embraced shaper/router tables and bits.

So, next up is to glue up a panel for the door and cut a bevel profile. I’m going to make the door only about 5/8” to 1/2”.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

1 comment so far

View woodworm's profile


14164 posts in 3013 days

#1 posted 06-29-2009 03:12 PM

Looks it is taking its final shape. Very nicely done.
I like the crown molding’s shape.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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