Sunday, April 21, 2024

Dining Room Cabinets & Bookcase Part 6

It's been about a month now and we're getting very used to having a new cabinet in the dining room. Work on the bookcase stalled out for a couple of weeks because we had family in town and what not, but when I finally got back to it, there was just one last upright panel and two fixed shelves to glue up:

Next day, after removing clamps and spacers etc.

This is a few days later with the top panel glued and clamped in place:

Time fort tut clean up! There was a mixture of glue residue and tiny pieces of plywood spacers at most of the joints. The worst bits can be removed with a sharp chisel, and the rest comes off with sanding.  A lot of sanding. And if that doesn't take care of it, I've got tut sithers.

Post cleanup....number 1 of 42!

This is part way through the process:

This is a exactly halfway through after the bookcase has been turned upside down. This makes it much easier to access the second batch of intersections:

It's hard to tell from the above photos, but the panel at the base of the cabinet sits about 3/4 of an inch above the floor. I don't want the base to sag, so I'm making some feet/spacers which will go below each of the three upright dividing panels.

Glue up in progress:

This is how the underside looks after the clamps and cauls have been removed and the bookcase has been placed face down on the assembly table:

This is the zoomed-out view from the top down:

With the bookcase in this position I can cut a 3/4 inch deep rabbit at the perimeter:

The shelves and the three uprights were cut 3/4" shorter than the top, bottom and sides, so do not require any adjustment. However, where the panels meet the perimeter, there is a small bit which the router cannot get to. This section must be cut out with a chisel.

After completing the perimeter rabbit:  

The next step is to make the back panel, which will also be constructed from 3/4" walnut plywood. I'm using one full 8' x 4' sheet and two (2) smaller pieces which were left over from some other part of this project. After that I have to build and install the face frame. However, this project is going on hiatus for the next few weeks at least because the sun is out, the sky is blue in every direction....and I have a deck to finish up.

To be continued..... 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Dining Room Cabinets & Bookcase Part 5

On to the bookcase! Most of the panels were cut roughly to size from the same batch of plywood as the cabinet, so they have been lying around in the 'shop for a few months at this point. It didn't take long to trim the panels down to the final dimensions, and I also cut the shelves at the same time.

I milled some black walnut down to 0.75" x 1.5" for the front-facing shelf edges. The walnut was trimmed to exactly the same size as the shelves.

The walnut is mounted such that the shelf appears to be twice as thick when viewed from the front:

Glued and clamped overnight. I have a lot of clamps, but I did this in two batches because I'm not in a rush.

After curing and sanding, the lower front edge was beveled to 45 degrees with the hand router:

First batch of shelves prior to final trimming:

The finished shelves can be laid out across the bottom panel with scrap pieces of plywood used to simulate the three (3) upright dividing panels:

The bottom panel can now be trimmed precisely to the length of (4x shelves) + (3x uprights):

Next step: cutting slots for biscuits. I'm using a template to align the cutting head so that all slots will be cut at the same spacing on all the panels. This is quicker and more accurate than using tape and marking the spacing on every panel and there are no pencil marks to sand off.

Where horizontal shelves meet at both sides of an upright, a staggered spacing was used:

After much careful measuring, this resulted in a pile of slotted boards and shelves which I spent some considerable time sanding.

I do not have enough space, or anything like enough clamps, to assemble the bookcase in one go, so I have to take my usual piecemeal approach. I started with what will be the left side panel, the first two fixed shelves and the left-of-middle upright panel. There will be six fixed shelves in total and another six moveable shelves. 

Started the "dry fit." I did not have to make any adjustments to the biscuit slots however it was still a time consuming process to get the parts aligned perfectly.

This is the view with the first section of the glue-up in progress. I always leave glue joints overnight; sometimes it will be several days before I can get back down to the workshop.

After removing clamps (note that the central vertical piece/shelf is clamped in place as a spacer but has not been glued):

The next step of the glue up is to attach what will be the bottom panel. To do this I had to move the bookcase-to-be onto a lower bench. As it is, the top edge of the panel still protrudes slightly into the recess between the floor joints.

Another day, another panel...this time the central upright and one more fixed shelf were added:

This is at the same stage as the above picture but viewed from the front:

Added the right of center upright and another fixed shelf:

This is the next day after the clamps and all the spacers have been removed:

There is not enough space below the ceiling joists to install the final upright panel, so I had to turn the bookcase the correct way up. It looks a little bit more like a bookcase in this position:

To be continued....