Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bad Wood Good: Part II

When last I left, I had assembled a door frame and was letting the panel glue-up dry:

Next I trimmed it to the dimensions I needed. The idea behind frame-and-panel construction is that the panel "floats" within the frame, thus eliminating a major cause of warping and other sorts of distortion. That's not really a concern for this project because these are small little doors and they aren't actually going to be fitted within a rigid frame...but still I wanted to practice doing things right so I tried to cut them so they'd have maybe 1/16" of play in the vertical and horizontal axis.

Now for the fun part: fielding the panels. Growing up I remember wondering how the bevel was but on panels before electric routers were around. Here's how:
Here's my trusty skew rabbet plane with the normal 90 degree fence replaced with an angled fence. This keeps the plane at a consistent angle producing a nice bevel. Notice how the edge of the panel that's being worked is aligned with the edge of the workbench; this provides additional support for the plane fence and helps keep everything aligned. Then it's just a matter of removing stock:

Here's the plane setup:

The process actually goes really quickly; I'd estimate that I can field one edge in about a minute. The one thing to look out for is the depth of cut. This plane doesn't have a depth stop on it, so I sort of have to go by eye.

After fielding one side, I raised the other. This is simply a matter of putting a shallow rabbet around the edges. For this I used another new toy: a Sweetheart-era Stanley 78.

I got it off eBay in immaculate condition...I was really pleased. Yes, the skew rabbet plane would've also worked for this, but that would've meant taking it all apart and losing all my setting on it. It's nice to be able to set the fence only one time per tool per project.

And that's that:
The 78 has a depth stop too so it's pretty nice for raising panels where you have intersecting rabbets that need to come together at the same height.

Then I just slid the panel into the frame:

...and repeated the whole process:

So that's two down, three to go. The last three are going to be made assembly-line style with me doing each step for all three doors at the same time.

Then it's drawer time.

PS: Here's the bookcase in situ: