Chasing Skirts

I had a good day in the shop yesterday, and nearly finished the skirts for the Greene & Greene cabinet I’m making.  Sooo close, but they need more finessing before I’m ready to install them.

My day started out by resawing stock to make the back.  I’m not happy with my re-saw setup, I get too much blade drift, but luckily I had plenty of material to surface out the discrepancies.

Resawing stock for the back

Resawing stock for the back

I already had the stock for the skirts dimensioned, so getting the finger joints cut wasn’t that much trouble.  Getting the length on the long skirt bar on the front was a little tricky as it needs to be exactly the same width as the cabinet.  Once I had the front at the right length I trimmed the side pieces so that they were exactly the same length as the case sides.

Finger joints cut

Finger joints cut

Skirts test fit

Skirts test fit, the board for the bottom is sitting on top of the case

From there it was a matter of chopping the square mortises for the ebony plugs and rounding the corners.  But just running a round over bit along the edges isn’t enough.  First, it doesn’t do an acceptable job on the inside corners, and second I’m using two different sizes, larger on the ends and smaller on the edges.

I used a file to work in all of the inside corners, and to “pillow” the ends of the fingers.  Instead of a flat end with radiuses on the corners I was a smooth pillow or dome.  In this picture I’m nearly there on the side skirt, but more work is required on the front piece.  I just takes a bit of time with a file and sand paper.

Smoothing out the details on the finger joints

Smoothing out the details on the finger joints

Before I can mount the skirts to the case I need to prep the outside of the case and finish sanding the skirts.  The I can screw the skirts to the sides, and glue in the bottom of the case.  Then I need to round over the inside opening of the case.  It’s a lot of little details, but it’s important to get them done nicely.  Oh, and somewhere along the way I need to glue in the ebony pegs.  The front skirt is held in place by some rare earth magnets that I recessed inside of the finger joint.  This gives me a tiny hiding place.

The other think I played with was to have a mortised lock instead of handle or cabinet pull on the door.  I looked through my G&G books and this certainly seems to be the more common approach to cabinet doors outside of the kitchen.  I played with shapes for an Ebony escutcheon and I think I’m pretty close on this one.  Now I need to order a full mortise cabinet lock, I’m thinking of using this one from Whitechapel:

Mortise Lock for Cabinet

Mortise Lock for Cabinet

I need to add hinges to the model, and I want to play with hinging it from both sides to see if one works better than the other.  This particular door style in the original cabinet was hinged on the left.  Take a look at the original again:

Original Thorsen Cabinet from "Poems..."

Original Thorsen Cabinet from “Poems…”

Comparing with the original cabinet, it also looks like the bottom mullion on the right side of the door should be a little higher up.  In fact, maybe both mullions should be a little higher up.  And you know what else I just noticed?  The lift in the mullion goes the wrong way simpered to the lift in the top rail, look how in the original it mimics the lift in the rail, while in the Barnard design it’s just doing it’s own thing.

I definitely need to organize a trip up to the Thorsen house one of these weekends.

Updated rendering with a carved Ebony escutcheon instead of a cabinet pull

Updated rendering with a carved Ebony escutcheon instead of a cabinet pull

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