Just a quick update, I glued up the door for the nail cabinet this morning. It went smoothly, and I’m eager to see how the door fits the opening. I sized the components so it should be a close fit, and need to be planed slightly on all the edges to get it to fit with about a 1/8″ gap all around.
I made a test piece first to check my process, and it pointed out a couple of problems. I was also curious how strong a mitered but joint would be. I put glue on all of the miter faces and let it sit for 5 minutes — not surprisingly, most of the glue was absorbed into the end grain. I put a second coat on, then clamped everything together. After drying overnight I tried flexing it and the joint held. I’m pretty sure I could break it with more pressure, but I’m relieved it didn’t just fall apart t the first hint of stress.
I did a couple of dry fits to make sure the panel fit properly — I had it a skosh too big at first and the miters wouldn’t close. I made the necessary adjustments, and re-checked. Before glueing I padded a coat of Orange shellac onto the panel and the inside edges of the door frame.
Then, glue and clamps. In the article Chris said to put a nail in each miter, then clamped the assembly with regular bar clamps. That would probably work, but knowing I’d be planing the perimeter of the door frame to fit the opening I was worried about running into a nail with my plane. Instead I bought some spring miter clamps and used those to hold the miters closed. They seem to work well for this application, they draw the miter closed but still allow me to tweak it slightly to make sure it’s 100% aligned. After the for is fit to the opening I’ll either add some nails to reinforce the joints, or add a spline to reinforce the corners.
I’ll leave this to dry until tomorrow, then fit it to the case and install the hinges. I put several heavy planes across the stiles to make sure it stays flat while it drys. Then I have a lot of drawers to make, and I still need to buy hardware for them.