Posts Tagged With: Thorsen House Cabinet

Thorsen Cabinet Completed!

I wrapped up the assembly of the Thorsen cabinet, finally, yesterday.  Rubbing out the parts, installing the stained glass and doing the final assembly all went without a hitch.  I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the completed project — only mediocre ones.  My camera phone doesn’t do well with a lot of contrast and the dark cabinet needs a lot of light to photograph well.

First off, I rubbed out all of the parts with 0000 steel wool and black BriWax.  The was goes into the pores in the wood and adds a bit more color.  I’ll probably topcoat it with regular paste wax later for protection.  I installed the stained glass into the door using the wood retaining strips I’d made, securing them with my pin nailer.

Glass installed in the door, finish rubbed out

Glass installed in the door, finish rubbed out

Case and shelf rubbed out...

Case and shelf rubbed out…

Slats for ship lapped back rubbed out

Slats for ship lapped back rubbed out

Once the parts were all finished it was time to assemble it.  First the back was screwed in, then I hung the door, and that was it.  Why did this take me all day?  I did waste some time trying to match the patina on the handle with the hinges, but I couldn’t get the hinges to darken properly.  I’ll have to read up on patinas, I thought I understood the process.

Back installed into the case

Back installed into the case

Then I hauled the project into the house.  I haven’t hung it yet, I decided I need to repaint the wall where it’s going…which will lead to repainting the room, and god only know what that will lead to.  I actually want to make paneling for the room to match this cabinet, in the style of the Thorsen house where it follows the outline of the cabinet.  But first there are six other projects I want to do, so we’ll have to settle for a fresh coat of paint for now.

My photography skills notwithstanding, I’m really happy with the finished project.  There are (always) a few things that I see to improve on in the next project, whether it’s proportions, construction or finish details of course.  But I try not to dwell on the minor glitches and enjoy the overall result.

Finished cabinet

Finished cabinet

Inside

Inside

Another view of the outside

Another view of the outside

 

 

 

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Glass is Done

I wrapped up the stained glass for the Thorsen cabinet today, leaving just the rub out and final assembly for tomorrow.

The glass took longer than I expected.  The process, once all the pieces are cut and fit, is to clean them, add the copper foil tape and solder them together.  Sounds simple, and it is.  It takes some time to do the steps, but what really soaked up the time (and heat) was the copper frame I made.

Glass cleaned and copper foil applied and burnished down.

Glass cleaned and copper foil applied and burnished down.

Rewinding: I made a copper surround for the stained glass, because I wanted a solder bead around the periphery of glass.  Copper is a great conductor, and it really pulled the heat out of my soldering iron.  I’ll have to get a bigger iron before I do this again.  The one I have has plenty of power to solder glass, but not really enough to solder a copper frame like this.

It took a long for the copper to heat up enough so I could flow in the solder, and I had to move really slowly.  This made my solder seams along the copper a little sloppy, although they don’t really show in the finished cabinet.  It sort of reminded me of my first welding project when I was a kid.  I had a ’73 Pontiac Firebird and I wanted to put a roll cage in it.  I bought an oxyacetylene welder and used that to weld the tubing in.  If you’re not in the know about welding, that’s not the typical way to do the job.  I had to use a giant tip on the torch.  It felt like I was welding with a forest fire, and it took forever for the metal to get hot enough to form a puddle.

The roll cage came out looking good, and I think this will be ok too.

Soldered...a little sloppy where the glass meets the copper framework, but not too bad.

Soldered…a little sloppy where the glass meets the copper framework, but not too bad.

After soldering I scrubbed the assembly to get rid of the flux.  Then I applied a black patina, and polished the seams.  This shot is with the cabinet door sitting on top of the glass panels.  They aren’t installed yet because I still need to rub the finish out.

Mock up of the door with the glass

Mock up of the door with the glass

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Glass all cut

I managed to sneak in an hour of shop time today, and finished cutting and grinding all of the pieces for the stained glass panels for the Thorsen cabinet door.  Remember the Thorsen cabinet?  I swear, I’m going to finish it soon and stop writing blog posts about it.  It really hasn’t been that complicated a project, although the door had it’s share of challenges.

Where I left off, I’d finished the top panel and the three right hand panels for the door, leaving just the large main panel.  I was a little worried as this glass has been a little fussy to cut.  It has a rough texture with some bubbles, inclusions and significant differences in thickness across the sheet — all of which adds to it’s beauty in my view.  I really like this particular clear glass, both the texture and the iodized coating.  I’m bummed they aren’t making more of it, the factory changed to using a texturing roller to produce it, which gives it a pebbled appearance like a shower door.  Ick!!

Anyway, my point is that it’s tricky to cut, especially big pieces and large cuts.  I got the large clear panel blanked out, but had two cuts get away from me as I was removing the cut out sections where other colors will go.  I was on the verge of starting with a fresh sheet, but I really, really liked the large wave or undulation in this glass.

Clear glass cut and fit to the pattern -- the score ran off in a couple of spots unfortunately

Clear glass cut and fit to the pattern — the score ran off in a couple of spots unfortunately

To make this piece of glass work I had to change the pattern to account for the extra bits of glass that cracked off.  I traced the clear onto my pattern in red sharpie.

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Updated pattern to account for the reality of the glass

You can see my annotation for the colors on the pattern.  I traced the pattern onto the three different colors of glass I’m using, and cut them as close to the line as my skills would allow, then ground them to fit.  The gaps are all perfectly acceptable, and will help the solder joint have a more organic feel.

The next time I get a little time in the shop I’ll clean all of the pieces, add copper foil, and solder them.  This is the last major task for the cabinet, the rest is just a light rub out of the finish, and assembly.

All of the glass cut for the door to the Thorsen house cabinet

All of the glass cut for the door to the Thorsen house cabinet

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Snap, Crackle, Pop

I got a couple of hours in the shop before it got too hot to work today (when is the weather going to break anyway?), and made good progress on the stained glass for the Thorsen cabinet door.  If I could get a solid day in the shop I’d be long since done I think.

Anyway, I started by re-making two pieces of the top pane with a different color for more contrast.  I think it will look better this way.  So it changes from this:

Before...

Before…

To this:

After.

After.

Once the seams were soldered the first one would have looked less uniform, but I like having the purple there.  It’s hard to get the final effect looking at just the pieces, so I’m going on faith a little .  If it looks horrible when I’m done I can always hurl it across the shop after all.

Then I started on the small panels on the right, I laid out the clear, cut and found all there panels.  I followed the same sequence as I showed in my last post, I cut and ground the full sized pane to fit the opening in my copper framework, then I cut and ground the areas the needed to be removed for the colored areas.  With some nice music on the stereo this goes really quickly.

Clear panels cut for the three right hand panes

Clear panels cut for the three right hand panes

Then I started cutting and fitting the colored glass.  I laid out which colors I wanted to use in which spots on my master pattern to keep it straight.  Where I cloud shape should span two panes I made them the same color.  Again, that effect is lost when you’re just looking at the pieces, so it important to have a master pattern with this information.

Purple and pinkish/clear colored glass added to two of the small panes

Purple, White opalescent and pinkish/clear opalescent colored glass added to two of the small panes

And finally the larger pane at the bottom right

And finally the larger pane at the bottom right

So that just leaves the large pane on the bottom left.  The larger panes are trickier for me, especially with glass glass like this that has inclusions and irregularities.  It’s really prone to having the crack propagate away from the scored line, but I have three sheets, so I should be able to get it done.

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Stained Glass for the Thorsen Cabinet

Before it got too hot yesterday and I abandoned ship to go buy a new TV (and ultimately returned to the shop to knock together a kludge to hold the TV and related paraphernalia) I made a credible start on the stained glass for the door of the Thorsen Cabinet.

I started by setting up a wood frame to hold the two copper surrounds I made earlier.  The intent with the pattern board is to hold the two copper frames in orientation as they will be in the door, and to keep from springing the sides and messing up the fit.

Wood base set up, 3/4" MDF, and 1/8" hardboard strips to hold the copper frames in position

Wood base set up, 3/4″ MDF, and 1/8″ hardboard strips to hold the copper frames in position

I fit some paper into the wood frame, and started developing the pattern for the glass.  I traces the inside edge of the copper frame, then sketched the “cloud” design in pencil, tweaking it until I was happy with it, then I inked in with a fine point sharpie.

Pattern for the class developed

Pattern for the class developed

The process for cutting the glass is pretty simple in concept, score and snap, but the reality is that curves add complexity.  And the uneven texture of the glass gives it a mind of it’s own.  I cut the pieces of glass for the left side first, but got a crack in the big one.  That’s life, I bought extra expecting that nibbling out little pieces in a big sheet was going to be tricky.

First cuts on the textured, iridized clear.  Note the unfortunate crack on the bottom right.

First cuts on the textured, iridized clear. Note the unfortunate crack on the bottom right.

I really love this clear glass.  It has a few bubbles and an irregular hand-made appearance.  It’s “iridized”, which means it has a thin metallic coating that gives it a purplish cast.  Part of why this piece got away from me is that I scored it on the front instead of the back.  The back is smoother.  Also the glass needs to be well-supported when scoring, otherwise the pressure from scoring will start a crack.

Part of this errant crack is my fault...

Part of this errant crack is my fault…

So I ignored the bottom section and focused on finishing the top section first.  I used grozing pliers to snap off any little pieces that didn’t come off and the score, then I ground the edge so it was a slightly loose fit in the opening in the copper.

Top piece fit in the frame

Top piece fit in the frame

Then I laid it over my pattern and traced the cut lines for the cloud design.  I flipped the glass face down and scored it in stages.  First a straight or sweeping cut to get close to the layout line.  This can be snapped by hand or with “running pliers”.  I’ll have to do a separate post on the tools as I don’t have pictures handy.

Pattern traced onto the clear

Pattern traced onto the clear

First cut scored on the back of the glass.  Note that I tried to hit the high points and keep the sweep of the cut gentle

First cut scored on the back of the glass. Note that I tried to hit the high points and keep the sweep of the cut gentle

Once the first cut is snapped, I scored a service of shallow arcs into the inside curves.  These will be snapped off using the grozing pliers.  I’m not really very good at this, but it seems to work.  If I can get within a 1/16″ of my line I’m happy.

Cuts scored for the inside curves

Cuts scored for the inside curves

After snapping all the little bits, and repeating the cuts on the other end of this piece, I’m ready to take it to the glass grinder.

Cuts all made

Cuts all made

After grinding, it's not perfect relative to the original pattern, but it's close enough for this design

After grinding, it’s not perfect relative to the original pattern, but it’s close enough for this design

These are the three pieces of glass I got to use for the cloud shapes.  I’m starting out with the one on the bottom left, which is spear, white, pink and champagne.  I suspect I’ll make a few pieces in more than one color as I go through this and decide what looks best.   All of these have an iridized coating like the clear that I’m using.

Glass for the clouds

Glass for the clouds

Same process for the little pieces, with a slight twist.  Since the glass isn’t clear I have to use a light box to see the pattern through the glass.  I ink it onto the front of the glass, then flip the glass over on the light box and ink it onto the back.  The difference in color between the two sides is surprising.

Pattern traced onto the front of the colored glass

Pattern traced onto the front of the colored glass

...and then traced onto the back of the glass for scoring.

…and then traced onto the back of the glass for scoring.

I score and break from the back, and grind from the front.  I am aiming for a slightly loose fit between the pieces — not gaps (there will be some, and that’s OK) — but enough clearance for the copper foil that will wrap all the bits.  Without the lead boarder the design looks a little anemic at this point.  I’m also going to re-make one or two of the parts in different colors for more variety.  But this is where I left off before my son convinced me to stop so we could go TV shopping.

Parts cut and fit for the first panel.

Parts cut and fit for the first panel.

 

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Spray Day – Getting Topcoats on the Thorsen Cabinet

Yesterday I set up my finish stands outside again and shot the Thorsen cabinet and Spider table with some shellac.

I’d left off on both with having given them a base coat of linseed oil.  The Spider table top had been sanded to bare wood, it had gotten at least 4 coats of Linseed Oil over the course of a week or so, the quilted western maple really drank up the oil.  I let it dry a week to make sure there wouldn’t be any oil seeping back out later.  I mixed Blond Shellac with just a small bit of Garnet Shellac (4 parts clear to one part garnet) and reduced it to about a half pound cut, then shot several coats on the base and top.  The top got a few more passes then the base.  It’s fairly smooth, I’ll rub it out with steel wool and wax next week and re-attach the top so I can put this back into service.

Spider table after topcoats, drying

Spider table after topcoats, drying — the color is not as orange as the picture shows

Then I loaded my spray gun with straight Garnet Shellac, diluted to about a 1/2 to 3/4 pound cut and sprayed several coats on all parts of the Thorsen  cabinet.  At one point I got some dry spray on the door — it looked like a fuzzy brown mold.  I waited for it to dry, then used a scuff pad to take it down smooth, then shot a nice wet coat over the entire door and it all melted beck in.

The pictures aren’t great — my iPhone takes nice pictures when the light is even, when there are sharp contrasts due to lighting it’s not so happy.  As usual, outside in the sun the parts look very red, inside the shop they look very brown, the reality (in person, in the house) is in between those two extremes.

I wanted enough Shellac on these parts to give them some gloss and add some color, but not to obscure the grain.  If I wanted a glassy smooth surface I’d need to sand and re-shoot them to make sure the grain was filled with shellac.  The final step will be to rub them out using 0000 steel wool and a colored Briwax.  The was will fill the grain and add some interest to the final color.

And that’s as far as I can go on this project for a little while.  I want to give the shellac a week to completely cure so I don’t rub through it (ask me how I know).  I started on the stained glass, but cracked the only piece of this special clear I had, and it will be 10 days before I get more glass in.  So I’ll have to figure out something else in the shop to keep me busy for this week.

IMG_2006

Cabinet case

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Another view of the cabinet case

Shelf

Shelf

Cabinet back in the shop - this is close to the actual color

Cabinet back in the shop – this is close to the actual color

Slats for the ship lapped back

Slats for the ship lapped back

More back slats

More back slats

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Thorsen Cabinet Finish I

Yesterday I started applying the finish to the Thorsen cabinet.

It seems like ages ago that I started this project, but I have to remember that in the course of building it I started (and completed) the Thorsen side table.  Plus I also designed an Arts & Crafts bookcase that I intended to build next (as soon as I can source the wide quarter sawn oak for it I will start it!) and almost by accident I decided to design a the Blacker House Serving Table, which I might actually build next.  Part of my interest in the Blacker table is, of course, learning about inlay — which is my current fascination.

So it was with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I started layering on the finish yesterday.  I’m excited to be so close to completing this project finally, but I’m worried that I’ve forgotten to do something in the interim.  I think I’ve made al;l the parts — case, back, door, skirt front, glass retaining strips…check.  Everything is sanded to 320, wiped with water to raise the grain, scoff sanded and cleaned to remove dust.

So I mixed the Trans-Tint Reddish-Brown water dye, and assembled my tools.

Dye mixed and ready to go

Dye mixed and ready to go

I set up my finishing stands (I made these folding stands 25+ years ago from electrical conduit to hold car parts I was painting) and did a final clean up pass on the parts.

Door ready for dye

Door ready for dye

Cabinet ready for dye

Cabinet ready for dye

I used a combination of the spray bottle and the brush to get a coat of dye on.  I did one “table” of parts at a time.  First I sprayed the  cabinet and the shelf and glass strips that were on the same stand.  I made sure I had dye everywhere and that it a good five minutes to soak in, then I wiped it down with rags.  Then I moved to the next set of parts.  Once all the parts had been dyed and dried, I left them to air dry for an hour.

Main cabinet after dying

Main cabinet after dying

Door after dying

Door after dying

After I was sure that the water based dye had completely dried I went over the parts with a scotchbrite pad to remove any little fuzzies on the surface, and blew them off to get a clean surface.  Then I slathered on plain Boiled Linseed Oil and let that soak for an hour.  In the sun the parts look very red, back inside the shop they look dark brown, the actual color when finished and in the house is in between these two extremes.

Cabinet with a heavy coat of linseed oil soaking in

Cabinet with a heavy coat of linseed oil soaking in

Door soaking up oil

Door soaking up oil

I kept an eye on the parts while they were coated in oil to make sure they didn’t dry out in spots.  After an hour I wiped them down and removed all traces of oil on the surface.  I used an air nozzle to blow out the joints and corners to make sure there wouldn’t be any drips later.  Then everything went back into the shop to dry.

Door after dye and oil

Door after dye and oil

Shelf and cabinet back after dye and oil

Shelf and cabinet back after dye and oil

Cabinet after dye and oil

Cabinet after dye and oil

You can see how mush darker the finish looks in the shop.  I want to wait at least 24 hours after the oil before spraying the Garnet shellac — and at least 24 hours after that before rubbing the shellac out with colored wax.

Today I’m going to do the stained glass and a couple of errands — I bought a new bandsaw for my wood shop and I need to haul the crate to the recycling center, and I plan to pick up some more Sapele for the Blacker table.  Ideally I’d get the glass done today, but it might get too hot later to work outside and I have to do the errands in the morning while those places are open.  If it’s too hot this afternoon I’ll have to watch the inlay video I got, and that certainly won’t be a hardship!

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Thorsen Cabinet Details

I spent today futzing with the last details on the cabinet before starting to apply finish — which I’m going to wait to start until I’m fresh and go over the cabinet one more time with clearer eyes.  But, I think it’s ready for finish.  All the hardware has been mounted, the parts fit and sanded to 320, and today I sorted out the last little bits.

First, as Ralph pointed out, I needed to make the retaining strips to hold the stained glass panel in place.  I probably would have remembered that, although whether I’d have remembered it before starting to install the glass is a coin toss.

Back of the door with the copper framework for the stained glass in place

Back of the door with the copper framework for the stained glass in place

Back of the door showing the wood strips to hold the glass in, cut to length, shaped and sanded.

Back of the door showing the wood strips to hold the glass in, cut to length, shaped and sanded.  I’m going to leave the top copper cross-bar exposed on the inside, it will be black from the patina, so I think it will look fine.

With that chore out of the way I mounted the door pull and chopped all of the square holes for the ebony plugs.  This was ease compared to the recent Thorsen table which had 40 plugs, there are only 12 in the door and another 6 in the case.

Handle test installed, square holes made for the ebony plugs

Handle test installed, square holes made for the ebony plugs

About the door pull – I thought seriously about putting a mortised lockset into the cabinet, but eventually realized that the backspacing for the key didn’t look right.  To have that look right I need narrower stiles.

Then is was just a matter of making the ebony pegs, I used the little sanding board I made for the last time I did this, and it didn’t take much time at all to knock these. out.  Maybe five or ten minutes.  Less than two Lighting Hopkins songs.

Setup for making the Ebony plugs

Setup for making the Ebony plugs

Plugs done, 3/8" and 1/4" square (about .010" oversized)

Plugs done, 3/8″ and 1/4″ square (about .010″ oversized)

To glue the pegs in, I first bevel the sides slightly so I can get them started.  Then I apply glue into the hole using a little wood coffee stir stick cut square on the end.  Then I set the peg in the hole and tap it down with a plastic mallet.  I try to stop just before the rounded-over edge gets to the surface of the door.

Put glue in the holes -- keep it off the face Joe!

Put glue in the holes — keep it off the face Joe!

Set a peg in the hole

Set a peg in the hole

Tap the pegs down until they are just proud of the surface

Tap the pegs down until they are just proud of the surface

And that’s it.  The finishing should be pretty straightforward, and the glass isn’t too complex (although I still have to do the layout for that).  The end is in sight, I need be starting another project soon.  Speaking of which, I priced out the wide, thick quarter sawn white oak I need for the bookcase project — it’s probably $1,000.  Gulp.  That might not be the next project after all!

Door ready for finish

Door ready for finish

 

 

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Greene & Greene Cabinet

Months ago (!) I started making this Greene & Greene style cabinet, inspired by a cabinet in the Thorsen house.  I got sidetracked on a number of other projects including making a side table to match it.  I’m back on this project and hope to get it wrapped up, uhhhmmm, soon.

"Thorsen House Cabinet"

“Thorsen House Cabinet”

This project is mostly done from a woodworking perspective.  All of the parts are made, fit and nearly final prep’d for finish.

I have to make the stained glass panels for the door, and do a couple of final operations on the door itself.  First, I need to add the dozen or so ebony pegs required to finish it, and do some final sanding.  There is the handle to be mounted too.  The the whole cabinet gets a once over to chaco for shop dings and some touch up sanding.

For the stained glass I wanted to make a framework to solder the glass panels into.  The first furniture projects with stained glass that I did I installed the glass just like you would in a window – the raw edge of the glass against the rebate.  Then I realized that most stained glass windows show a soldered edge (or metal) around the perimeter.  I’ve seen several different ways to do this, and I wanted to try an idea I had.

My thought was to build a metal frame that was maybe 1/16″ to 3/32″ smaller on the opening than the opening in the door itself – so the just a little of the metal showed.  If the frame fit the door then it’s easier to make the glass fit the frame than making the glass and having to calculate the dimensions for the frame that would be added around the periphery.  I hope that makes sense.

I decided to make the frame out of copper because I could TIG weld it.  It would have been slightly easier to do it in brass (which isn’t weldable) as it comes in more widths and I wouldn’t have had to rip narrow strips of 1/8″ thick copper on the bandsaw.  As it turned out, when I went to weld it I discovered a leak in the water cooler for the torch, so I ended up soldering it anyway.  A new return hose for the welder is on order and I should have my TIG welder back up soon.

The approach was to fit slightly wider strips into the rebate, tape them in place, then scribe the shape of the door opening.  Then I cut the copper strips to shape, sanded the cuts smooth, and soldered them together.  Fairly simple.

Copper bars are fit into the glass rebate on the back of the door.  The opposite side has been painted with blue "Dykem" layout fluid.

Copper bars are fit into the glass rebate on the back of the door. The opposite side has been painted with blue “Dykem” layout fluid.  The long thin strips have already been “ripped” to width before fitting the horizontal bars.

The copper strips are taped in place, then shims added to support the copper when the door is flipped over.

The copper strips are taped in place, then shims added to support the copper when the door is flipped over.

The opening is scribed onto  the copper using a transfer punch (to get a 3/32" offset from the edge of the wood).  Then the whole assembly is taken apart, the copper sawn to the layout line and sanded smooth.

The opening is scribed onto the copper using a transfer punch (to get a 3/32″ offset from the edge of the wood). Then the whole assembly is taken apart, the copper sawn to the layout line and sanded smooth.

After sawing the pieces to the shape of the inside opening I reassembled them into the glass rebate.  The fit of the copper into the rebate is tight, I actually spring the copper crossbars into place so they stay put while I’m soldering.  I lightly grind the outside after soldering so there is a tiny gap between the outside of the copper frame and the glass rebate after I solder then together.

Add a small bit of flux (the spots on the wood are hide glue I haven't cleaned up yet, not flux!)

Add a small bit of flux (the spots on the wood are hide glue I haven’t cleaned up yet, not flux!)

...and solder the joints.

…and solder the joints.

I only solder the joints on one side for now, if I try to solder the other side they will most likely come apart!  Once I have the glass in and tack solder the glass to the surround everything will stay together nicely.

Side frame soldered

Side frame soldered

Main frame soldered

Main frame soldered

Both frames soldered -- face side up, in the orientation as seen from the front of the door

Both frames soldered — face side up, in the orientation as seen from the front of the door.  The solder on this side “bled through” from soldering the back side.

With the door

With the door

The glass should be delivered today, so I should get the door prep’d, install the ebony pegs and start thinking about finishing the wood.

 

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Thorsen Cabinet Update

I’m slowly chipping away at this cabinet I’m making.  I really wish I had more time to work on it, it’s really inefficient to get an hour or two in the shop once a week.  By the time I “get in the groove” and have my brain engaged I have to stop.  Oh well, welcome to “McGlynn on Complaining”.

Here’s where I am:  The major woodwork on the cabinet is finished.  The cabinet carcass is finished, sanded and has been sprayed with water to raise the grain (in preparation for the water based dye I’m planning to use).  I have to round over the inside edge of the cabinet opening and re-sand that and a few details that got marked from gluing on the top of the cabinet.  The door is done, it just needs the mortises for the ebony plugs and some small details.

(Nearly) Finished Carcass

(Nearly) Finished Carcass

Finished Door

(Nearly) Finished Door

My next step was to finish the back and hang the door.  So, the back first.  I measured the inside width of the cabinet, and put my math skills to the test.  I wanted four slats in the back, with about a 1/8″ gap between them, so I subtracted 3/8″ from this total.  I divided this by four, to give the visible width of the slate, then added an extra allowance to each slat for the overlap (3/4″) and the depth of the rabbet on the sides.  From there is was just work to mill the stock to 1/2″ thick, rip it to width and cut the rabbets for the shiplap.

I decided to hang this using keyhole hangers mortised into the back.  In the past I’ve used some stamped ones from the hardware store, but for this project I wanted to use the ons from Sanderson Hardware.  What I liked about them is that the screw holes are offset so they end up going into the sides of the case, not just the back slats.  I ordered them on-line and three days later they were in my mailbox.  Look at what I found when I opened the package:

Inside the package from Sanderson Hardware

Inside the package from Sanderson Hardware

That’s nice, so I opened this package and finally got the goods.  The packaging is really nice, the parts are beautiful, and I love that it includes an extra mounting screw and also screws to hang it on the wall.

Hangers from Sanderson Hardware

Hangers from Sanderson Hardware

Installing them was pretty straightforward, and a great opportunity to do some simple handwork.  I laid out the long side of the mortise with my marking gauge, and knifed in both ends of the mortise.  I used the marking gauge to scribe the depth baseline on the edge, then I used a chisel to cut a bevel around all three edges — being careful not to split out the back side.  I’ve done that before, it’s too easy to splinter the back wall.

Cut a bevel on three sides to the baseline

Cut a bevel on three sides to the baseline

Once I had the relief cuts in, I used the chisel to chop the mortise almost to depth, and then pare it as close to final depth as I dared.  I finished the bottom of the mortise with a router plane, taking really light cuts.  I used an awl to make the screw holes, and the centers of the keyhole which I drilled and chopped to clear the head of the mounting screw.

Finish the bottom of the recess with a router plane

Finish the bottom of the recess with a router plane

Hanger fits perfectly, screw holes and a tiny mortise to clear the hanger screw and this is finished.

Hanger fits perfectly, screw holes and a tiny mortise to clear the hanger screw and this is finished.

Hanging a door in a cabinet makes me nervous.  I had problems with this one, the rails on the door ended up slightly inset from the ends of the stiles (having made that mistake I know how to avoid it next time), so my door gap is a little too wide at the top/bottom.  I got the sides fit nicely and the door hung and functional, but I’m not 100% satisfied with it.  Next time I’ll engineer the door to be just oversized so I have to shave it frown to fit.

I’m not thrilled with how the door is designed to hang in the cabinet in the first place.  It requires that the door have a double-depth mortise so that when it’s closed both hinge leaves fit (less whatever the door gap is).  But it should work OK, and look fine — it just doesn’t feel like an elegant solution.

By the way, I’ll strip the clear finish off of the hinges and apply a dark brown patina before I install them in the finished cabinet.

Hinges fit into a double-depth mortise

Hinges fit into a double-depth mortise

One trick I picked up form the video is worth repeating here.  Getting the hinges located in the carcass could be a problem.  I used a marking gauge set to the distance from the hinge barrel to the center of the mounting screw.

Marking gauge set to the distance the mounting screw needs to be from the front edge of the cabinet

Marking gauge set to the distance the mounting screw needs to be from the front edge of the cabinet

Then I made a wood spacer that represented the distance from the screw to the bottom of the cabinet — including the gap at the bottom of the door.

Spacer for screw height, including the door gap

Spacer for screw height, including the door gap

Then I used the morning gauge to scribe the inset line, and knifed in one screw location.  With that done I could locate a screw in the top hinge and then deal with any remaining gap and alignment issues.

Marking the screw height

Marking the screw height

I had to futz with the screw locations a bit, cut the hinge mortises deeper and ended up needing a .020″ shim in the bottom hinge to get the door to hang square.  And I still have too big of a gap at the top.  The other three sides are even at .040″, the top is at least twice that.  Grumble, grumble.  When the cabinet is assembled and finished I’m hoping it won’t be too noticeable.  It’s obvious in this picture because it’s backlit.

Door hung

Door hung

Installing the catch and handle were the last of it.  Unfortunately, after waiting two weeks for the handle it arrived on Thursday but because our mailbox is a half mile from the house, there wasn’t anyone there to sign for it.  I’ll have to go pick it up on Monday.  I did get the latch installed, and with the back off of the cabinet it was pretty simple to get it properly aligned.  These double-ball catches have no allowance for misalignment.  I installed the catch on the door first, then clamped a stop block to the cabinet and closed the door against that.  With the cabinet-side of the catch clipped to it’s mate I could accurately mark the location on the cabinet side and mount it.  I’ll patina this too, and install it with brass screws in the finished cabinet.

Door catch installed

Door catch installed

Before I do the ebony plugs in the door I want to make a metal frame to hold the stained glass.  For it to look right there needs to be a solder seam visible all around the door.  You could do this a number of ways, my idea is to make it out of 1/8″ copper flat bars welded together.  I’m just starting on this part of the job now.  All of the bars will get scribed and cut to follow the cloud lift design in the door.

Beginning to build the copper framework for the glass

Beginning to build the copper framework for the glass

 

 

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