So close I can taste it…

I’m not talking about BBQ this time.  I am that close to finishing the cabinet I’ve been working on.  I was sure I could finish it yesterday and get it installer.  After all, all I had left to do was rub out and wax the finish and do the final assembly.

I rubbed all of the parts out with 0000 steel wool, then top coated with dark brown wax.  I like the end result a lot, and it wasn’t that much work.  I went through the process in an earlier post, but to recap: I started with a slightly diluted “Brown Mahogany” Trans-Tint dye which I let dry throughly and then rubbed with a red scuff pad.  I top coated with “Candlelite” gel stain, a coat of linseed oil, one coat of Garnet shellac and one coat of Blond shellac.  And Dark Brown wax.

Rubbing out the finish with steel wool, then waxing

Rubbing out the finish with steel wool, then waxing

Back slats finished

Back slats finished

Then it was time to assemble everything.  The back slate screwed into the cabinet, adding the french cleat to the back, installing the glass in the door, and hinging the door.  Let’s start with installing the back.  I’d pre-cut and fit all of the parts before finishing, so this should be pretty straightforward.  I fit in the first piece and used my drill/countersink combo tool to drill the pilot holes for the first screw.  SNAP!  Wait, don’t tell me… The drill bit broke off.

Broken drill bit when installing the first back slat

Broken drill bit when installing the first back slat

No big deal, I grabbed some vise grips and slowly worked it back out.  Then I drove to the hardware store, got a new drill bit, installed it in the countersink tool and got the back all installed.  Check!

Next I made a french cleat from 1/2″ plywood and installed it.  Check!

Next up, installing the glass in the door.  I’d already pre-cut the filler strips to hold the glass in the rabbet, so it was a simple matter of driving in some brads to hold everything together.  Check!

Now, just the hinges for the door.  I’d already had the door installed.  The hinge mortises we done, the door had been installed (using steel screws), this should be simple.  I waxed my first brass screw and started to put it in.  Well before it seated in the hinge the head split at the screwdriver slot.  Wow.

Split screw

Split screw

Luckily I was able to grab the broken screw with a tiny pair of pliers and back it out.  I don’t know if it’s a manufacturing defect, or if perhaps the patins slightly weakened the brass (I doubt it) or perhaps…I don’t know.  But I’m off to the hardware store today to get a dozen new screws to assemble this.  So close, it will be hung on the wall and filled with books by this afternoon – I have a new project to start and a new tool being delivered so I need to get crackin’.



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2 thoughts on “So close I can taste it…

  1. Robert Demers

    So annoying! Brass screws seems to be breaking more often these days, cheap import screws??
    Even when taking precautions like predrilling and using steel screws first, they seems to breaks more than they should. Anybody knows a good suppliers of decent brass screws?
    Nice cabinet BTW

  2. The finish on those back slats looks perfect!

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