Running the Copes
Only the first door
rail cope angle was an eyeball gestimate, since all the rest were done
without moving the plywood cradle above. The detail on this cope and
stick set is a simple ovolo which is closely matched by a number of
stock router bits. The stickyback sanding discs on the shaper cross
slide are in pretty sad shape eh?
Making the Doors : #2 Running
Running the Stiles
the stiles on the shaper, I ran the radius on the face side (with knives
ground to the right radius for the shaper ) to match the rails. I left
the backs flat, hand planing and sanding the radius in after glue up.
Plenty of extra width was available (on each stile) to adjust the shaper
setup to the angle just right to meet the copes. The stile material
was chosen from the closest thing I had to rift-sawed stock in my pile,
to minimize movement.
It's nice to be able to climb cut the stiles
on a shaper so there is no tear-out, especially when a lot of preparation
went into making the stiles. Tear-out is a double no no in cases like
this. Now all that's left is the sticker detail on the curved rails.
This will be done with a router and a rather primitive setup, mainly
because I don't know any better way to do it..
Making the Doors : #3
Routing the Rail Stickers
A bearing couldn't
be used for the panel dado, though I was able to stack two tiny bearings
on the 1/4 round bit (nearly identical to the slight ovolo of the shaper
cutters) as a kind of fail safe for the sticker detail. Doubling up
on the bearings doubles the surface area in contact with the stock so
I don't get "bearing grooves" in the wood.
The fence bolted onto the
router (at the top of the photo) was enormous because I had foolishly
already cut two rails to length, and a smooth entry and exit from the
stock was essential. This picture shows the back rail long, though coped
on both ends. Since only one end of a previously detailed edge blows
out on the cope, I was able to do the remaining two rails with less
chance of ruining one (or more). I'll never do that again (yeah, right).
Since I wanted no tear
out with the 1/4 round cutter, I climb cut, holding the router above
by hand. Clamping several rails together formed a stable base for the
router and fence - which was constructed from the scraps in the pile.
This process had already been practiced repeatedly in beading the face
This was, naturally, a
clinched jaw operation, and I was relieved when it was finished. Murphy
must have been taking a leak at the time.
Making the Doors : #4 Gluing
Gluing The Panels
were glued up in the same form that glued the face frame rails and door
rails. Spacing shims were required in the back on both the panel and
face frame glue ups, since the door rails were thicker than either and
consequently had backs with a slightly larger radius. A lot of the scrap
from the original form making went to good use on this job. Yellow glue
was used here rather than epoxy, for its stainless ease of use and quick
the face frames was also done with the aid of the glue up forms. Rails
previously drilled for dowels were clamped in the forms, glued with
yellow glue and stiles attached and screwed into rails from the outside
edges of the stiles. An additional 2 layers of plywood was screwed and
epoxied to the hidden faces of the carcass tops and bottoms to re-inforce
the epoxied joint between carcass and face frame.
Making the Doors : #5 Shaping
Raising the Panels
it looks like a neanderthal
attempt at a crossbow, this primitive fence was worth more than the
scrap it was made of. I had enough crescent moon shaped plywood and
cherry laying around anyway to supply the whole third army with outhouse
The cutter is in a pinch
collar with a bearing rub collar. The stains on the cherry are shellac
from my hands and not pieces of them. Raising the end grain was the
easy part of raising the panel. Trying to get the angle just right on
the sides to mate with the ends was the hard part. Basically, it was
a bunch of light passes through the shaper.
I don't think it's possible
to have the corners bisect on a 45, and have them the same depth, and
have the flat the same thickness as the end grain, and use the same
knives for both. Kind of like trying to go around a corner on a rake
with one miter joint. Fortunately, I had enough extra width to experiment,
and I was happy with the results.
Making the Doors : #6 Doors
Doors are Rough Fit
is complete. More details
on that horror show later. Though it is not obvious from this picture,
this cabinet forms a quarter circle. This means that the face frame
stiles (for the moment let's consider them "door jambs) are perpendicular
to each other rather than parallel like most all the other ones on earth.
Also, the doors were inset into beaded face frames rather than overlaying
My door hanging experience,
in cabinets and otherwise, might even have been a liability in dealing
with these doors. Fortunately, after much whining and sniveling on my
part, I had talked the customer into allowing me to use plywood for
the bottom carcases.
The doors could not have
been fit and hung if the backs had already been on the units. But more
on this in the door hanging section.
The panels were wash coated
with 1/2 lb. cut shellac then sprayed with sealer prior to glue up.
Both the door and the face frame rails were constructed of the straightest
grain material I had. Back
End of Fabrication Section
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