Midnight Woodworking


Adam’s desk cabinet – day 2

It has taken me a week to get back into the shop. Been a busy winter.


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With the main body of the cabinet done, I just need to make the doors. I started by cutting some oak down, roughly to length, then ripping it to width on the table saw.

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I plan to split the raised door panel with a 1/2″ wide piece of walnut, so I ripped that down as well.

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After planing down the panel pieces, as well as the door frames, I glued up the panels.

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I have never tried making raised panels with a stripe down the center before, but Adam thought it would look nice, so we are giving it a try.

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While those were drying, I set up my rail and style bits in my two big routers. I have some set-up blocks, that I made a while back. I have instructions written on them so I don’t have to remember how to set everything up. I don’t do raised panel doors that often, so leaving notes, on the blocks  really helps.

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I did the end cuts first. That way, if there is tear-out, it may be cut away, when I cut the groove in the long side. I also clamped all the end cut boards together so there would be less chance for tear-out.

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Then I cut all the long, inside grooves.

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By now, the glue on the panels was dry enough to plane the boards flat and smooth.

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I also set up the raised panel bit and cut all four sides of the panel, then sanded them smooth.

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I applied glue to the ends of the short, horizontal pieces.

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Then I cut some spacer foam to install in the groove that the panel will go into.

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After I inserted the panel, I applied more glue and clamped it up.

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Both panels are done and drying.

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After about an hour, I pulled the clamps and sanded the faces at the joints.

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I set up my door lip bit, in the router table, and cut three sides of the door. This bit under-cuts the side, to give you a place to grab, to open the doors. On the hinge side, I just did a 3/8″ round-over to match the radius of the other sides. This side is not under-cut, to leave room for the hinges.

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As you can see in the picture below, the left is under-cut and the right is not.

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Last step in construction is to drill out the hinge pockets.

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Adam likes the natural tone of the wood, so we are trying some water-based polyacrylic finish from General Finishes.  I haven’t used it on a project before, so we will see how it goes. I disassembled the entire cabinet to try pre-finishing the project before the final glue-up. My shop is too cluttered, at the moment to set up a spray booth, so this should make brushing easier. I made sure to mark the areas where glue would need to be applied, and tried to avoid finishing them.

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Well, the first coat is on, and the first few boards were nearly dry, by the time I finished the last piece. Hopefully, I will get a chance to finish the second coat tomorrow.

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