I got the skirts and false bottom installed on the carcass for the cabinet I’m making, which is styled like the left side of the cabinet in the Thorsen house dining room.
Nothing on this project (so far) is particularly hard or tricky, but typical of G&G stuff there is a lot of time spent on little details. The four sides of the cabinet went together quickly, two rabbets, a double fistful of dados and some glue and screws. I easily have twice as much time in the skirt as the cabinet body.
The fit on the front part of the skirt is fairly critical, if it’s too long at all it won’t fit, and if it’s too short — even a little — it will look sloppy. But the real time sink was in shaping the ends of the finger joints. I suppose you could just hit them with a router, but at that stage they looked too mechanical. I wanted a fat, rounded, organic look that seems to typify the Greene’s work.
I wish I had taken a picture when the ends were just rounded over with a router bit, it was an improvement over square but it still looked pretty stiff and mechanical.
Once the corners were rounded over with a router, I went to work on the ends of the finger joints with a rasp and a file. I also used a fine flat file on the routed edges to take of burn marks and shape the inside corners where the router bit can’t reach. Then I attacked it with 150 grit sandpaper, blending out and points and facets. Then I worked through the grits, 180, 220, 320, until everything looked and felt smooth. It was several rounds of blending and refinement, and it’s totally a gut feel thing. I don’t know if they have to be shaped like this, but it makes me happy.
Before I could assemble it I had to work out the attachment details. The sides get screwed on from inside of the case. The front is removable, a little secret hiding place. I used rare earth magnets to hold the from on.
The last detail to deal with was the Ebony plugs. I picked up a neat trick from the video, which is to use a 3/8″ socket extension to hold the end of the Ebony bar in a drill to spin it against the sandpaper to shape and polish the end. In the past I’ve just chucked it up, which works too, but this is much better.
I go through a series of grits to shape and polish the sandpaper. Each piece is placed on top of a double thickness of scotchbrite pads for cushion, today I started with 150 and progressed through 220, 320, 600, 1,500 and 6,000. In the past I’ve stopped with 1,000 and switched to a cloth with green rouge on it — that works just as well. This is just the sandpaper I had handy today.
I set up a bench hook with a stop so I could make a batch of plugs all at once. This actually goes pretty fast, way faster than hand sanding the skirts. Just saying…
Screwing the side skirts on, plugging the holes inside of the case and gluing in the sub-bottom were pretty anti-climatic. I think the cabinet looks pretty good at this point, and I’m going to start on the top next.
I have the wood for the shiplapped back ready, just a little prep work to have that ready to install. I won’t install it until I have everything built and have applied all of the finish coats. I’ll make the top next and glue that on.