Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stickley Music Cabinet, Part 3

Well here's the weekend and the next installment in the saga of the Stickley Music Cabinet. I came into the shop after work and glued up a panel for the door and also glued up the shelves. In the morning I took the panel and shelves out of the clamps, I scraped the excess glue off the pieces and trimmed them to size. I cut the rails and stiles for the door out of one board, I try to always do this so that the grain and the color match.

I ran the panel through the thickness planer down to almost 1/2 inch, then I ran it through the drum sander to clean up milling marks. I also ran the shelves through the drum sander to even out any differences from the glue up and to remove any milling marks.

I set up the dado blade for 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch high then ran the panel so that all four sides were rabbeted. You will notice in the picture to the left that even with a flat board you can end up with a mismatched rabbet, so fix this I pulled out my shoulder plane and took a few passes until the thicker side was even with the correct side.

The rails and stiles each have a 1/4 inch groove 1/2 inch deep, tenons were cut on the stiles and bridle joints were cut in the rails. I dry fit the door to check the fit of all the joints. After dropping in 1/4 inch spacer balls to hold the door but still allow for movement, I applied glue to the tenons and shoulders but not the panel and clamped it up.

After removing the clamps from the door I trim it to fit. When I make inset doors I build them to the size of the opening then trim them to fit. Once the door is sized correctly I use thin shims so center the door in the opening to check the fit and size. Only now will I mark the locations of the hinges and mortise the area for the hinge to sit flush on the door. There are many methods to mortise for a hinge but I prefer to mark the hinge with a sharp knife and remove the waste with a chisel.

With the hinges installed on the door I use two-sided tape and the same shims to align the door. If you are lucky and you hold the door carefully you can open the door while keeping the cabinet side of the hinges attached. But I you aren't that lucky you'll call your neighbor and have him hold the door while you align the hinges like I did. You'll notice in the picture that I had also installed the door pull by this time, one all the hardware was fitted and the swing of the door checked I was ready to take everything apart and give it a final sanding.

One last picture before taking off all the hardware, hand sanding everything with 150 grit on a block. I vacuumed everything off with a brush attached to the shopvac, then hit it with a blast of compressed air to remove any excess dust from the open grain of the white oak. The final thing I did this weekend on this project was to give it a coat of medium brown dye, I let it sit for a while making sure that the dye was evenly taken up then wiped up any dye still standing using my compressed air again to blow out any trapped dye in the corners and edges. The dye should dry at least over night, however, I'm afraid that this will have to dry all by itself until next Saturday.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.
the Dalai Lama


Margaret said...

It looks great! I love the Stickley table from your previous post. The dark stain is so beautiful.

Brad Ferguson said...

Thanks Margaret.

Steve W. Carter said...


Please explain the reason(s)for installing the door pull when checking the fit and swing of the door.

Brad Ferguson said...

I like to install all the hardware prior to finishing and this was the last step before final sanding. Also, you have to open the door somehow when you are fitting it and the handle makes it easy.