Jewelry Cabinet

 

This cabinet is to be used by Cindy to hold jewelry.

It will sit next to the side table in the master bedroom.

The cabinet and base will be Shaker style in appearance.

Design

Wood Selection and Primary Milling

Raised Panel Construction

Carcase Joinery

Top with Raised Panel Edging

Drawers

Cabinet Base Construction

Surface Prep and Finish Application

Final Product

Design

 

Some Sketchup design looks...

The cabinet will have 5 drawers. Each drawer front is 3 inches high and 15.25 inches wide.

Drawer blades will be 1/2 inch. They will be let into the side panels in 1/4 inch dados.

 

 

 

The sides of cabinet will be Shaker style raised panels...the rails and stiles will be two inch...with coped joinery.
The raised panels will be 22.5° with 7/32 edges that will be let into the rails and stiles into 7/16 grooves.
Side panel...full view...

The top will be made from a glued up panel...there will be a 3/8 lip with a 25° bevelled edge to emulate the raised side panel angles.

The top will have 1/8 inch shadow lines at the juncture with the cabinet carcase.

There will be a base for the cabinets so that the cabinet is high enough for use while standing.

The base will elevate the cabinet about 21 inches.

The base will be constructed in maple. The top will be padauk...so the look will be something like this...

Wood Selection and Primary Milling

 

Cindy and I were at Picken's Hardwoods to buy cherry for her cabinet.

After she saw some milled Padauk in the showroom she wanted to change to this wood.

This is African Padauk, Pterocarpus soyauxii, which when freshly cut is a very bright red/orange.

After exposure to sunlight and aging it turns to a darker brown.

Glues well, finishes well, but care must be taken with dust.

The padauk was purchased in two slabs of 4/4 lumber, about 9 inches wide and 84 inches long.

After a design change and a rough layout, it was determined that I needed another board...so back to Picken's...

The full complement of padauk...
Ready for jointing...
Cindy and I wore masks to keep down dust irritation...orange dust is very fine particles...
James and I took the padauk to the planer...
And then double checked that one edge was squared...
All the padauk, surfaced, ready for the next cuts...

The base of the cabinet will be made from maple...both the legs and the aprons.

The sides of the upper cabinet drawers will be 1/2 inch thick by 3 inch maple.

There were numerous maple cutoffs around the shop and I had an 8/4 slab in the attic.

All this maple came from Picken's.

Oops...the slab above turned out to be oak...I had to go back to Picken's for some 8/4 maple...turns out they only had one overly huge, wide slab and a poor, pitiful wonky 12 foot board. It was so ugly, they made a deal on it and I felt like I could get the legs out of it, no problem. Got some 4/4 for the aprons as well.
At the bandsaw, I sliced the outer edges to get decent grain pattern for the leg blanks...and then I jointed two sides to get a square edge. Each blank will yield two legs.
These blanks for the aprons were 4/4+ and were jointed and planed to 3/4 inch.
A number of maple off cuts were resawn, jointed and planed to 1/2 inch thick for the drawer sides...these boards will yield 10 inch x 3 inch blanks for two sides x 5 drawers.
Secondary woods for the runners in the drawer frame system...will be 1/2 inch oak, I bought these 5 pre-milled 2 foot long runs at Lowe's.
The rear of the cabinet will be a piece of 1/2 inch Baltic birch ply. The drawer bottoms will be 1/4 inch MDF.
 

Various milled pieces...padauk blades, drawer fronts, rails and stiles,,,oak drawer runners....even some mahogany for rear runners...

Raised Panel Construction

 

I recently purchased, from Ameitech South, a Sommerfeld 3 piece raised panel router bit set.

It is the Shaker panel set.

Video

The padauk rails and stiles were two inches wide, 3/4" thick...

The cope cutting router bit was set to a height that we had already tested...using a CTD piece of radiata pine.

 

The cope is only done on the end grains of the rails...a sacrificial push block minimizes spelching...the end were done in a couple of passes...all of these router cuts are made with the show side down.
Here is the coped end...dry fit into a CTD piece...easy to really see the joint...
All of the long grain inner edges were cut with the second bit...producing a 7/32 inch dado.
Testing the groove alignment with a CTD panel...
The third bit is the raised panel...22.5 degrees...cuts the front and rear profiles...this is a big chunk of metal...slowed it down and ran all edges in three passes. End grain was done first, then long grain, end grain and long grain.
Third pass...
Dry fit...looks good...had to take a little off the back of the raised panel to make it lower that stiles and rails...
Shaker raised panel glue up...
Both done...
...after pulled from clamps.

 

 
Carcase Joinery

Dry fit mock up of panels to get a overview of how the cabinet will look...

 

Front and rear rails will connect the panels to form the carcase of the cabinet.

The joint will be held with Domino mortise and floating tenon joinery and glued.

Here the rails and stiles are being laid out for the Dominos.

Using the shop-built Domino production jig the mortises for the floating 5 x 30mm Dominos were bored by referencing the body of the machine to the tabletop...the mortises were bored to be a tight fit.
Mortises in the end grain of the rails.
Then the mortises on the inside of the stiles of the side panels were bored...they were placed on the other working surface of the Domino production jig...the bottom plate of the machine was registered on the jig surface...the mortises were bored in the medium loose mode to make alignment easier.
A dry fit of the side panels and front and rear rails.
The backside of the cabinet will have a 1/2 Baltic birch plywood rear panel...at the router table we let in a 1/2 x 1/2 rabbet to accomodate that panel...the rails were through routed in a couple of passes...using an upspiral 1/2 inch bit.
The stiles had stopped rabbets...the board was put into the fence to make the stop...then after routingthe rabbet the router was turned off to form the stop at the other end...
Dry fit with a look to the rabbet...
The rabbet needed to be cleaned up a bit on the short rails...used the small LN shoulder plane to square it up...
Here the padauk upper rail is finished...used the bird's mouth batten...worked great...
On the stiles with the stopped rabbets, I used bench chisels and paring chisels to square up the ends.
The end grain, while chiseling, split out around the mortise...clamped it off to finish the chisel work.
I worked the split open so that I could put in some glue...
...glue squeeze out...
How the rear panel rabbett looked...
We planned to route the dadoes in the interior sides of the end panels on the MFT3 table...to facilitate keeping the panels square to each other and to keep the backside of the dado from spelching, we put edge boards around the two panels...screwing them into the top and bottom of the panels.
In the middle of the two panels were the rabbets for the back plywood panel...we dropped a sacrificial board into the space to prevent spelching.

We then laid out all of the dadoes...carefully marking the center of the 1/2 inch dado because that is the how we line up the router.

The morning of the router work, James had a moment of clarity and realized that the top and bottom stopped dadoes would be let into the groove that holds the Shaker panel...we quickly redid the design and decided to just route for the four "BladeRunner" assemblies.

To accomodate the panels and the frame assembly, we had to relocate the Festool MFT3 fence...and then carefully square that fence up against the Qwas dogs...here is the first pass with the router...using a 1/2 inch up spiral bit and cutting a 1/4 inch deep groove in one pass.
The last dado...
After pulling the panels from the temporary frame the front edges were put side by side to check how well the grooves lined up...they lined up pretty well...
The blades had all been machine planed to be a little fat...so each blade was then hand planed to fit its dado...
...a tight fit...
Dry run with blades and rails...
Checked for drawer opening heights with a 3-2-1 block...a tad tight on one opening...but each drawer front will be planed to fit.
The side runners will be oak...a test fit into the groove...

The BladeRunner assemblies are to be joined with glue and Domino mortise/floating tenon joints.

These will be 4mm x 20mm tenons.

The 1 1/2 inch wide material was marked at 3/4 inch.

A quick alignment and support setup was made at the MFT3 table for the mortises on the end of the runners and rear supports.

The end mortises were made tight.

The setup for the side mortises was done at the production jig. The side mortises were bored loose.
The setups were time consuming but once started the production went quite quickly. Here are all of the blades and runners.
A quick dry run to check alignments...all went well. The blades are padauk, the runners are oak, the rear supports are mahogany. The boards were all 1/2 inch thick.
Prepping to glue and clamp.
A clamped BladeRunner assembly. Main pressure was from the Blade to the Runner. An additional clamp kept the rear tight.
All four clamp ups...
Pulled from the clamps...ready for a little planing and sanding.
A quick look at fit...dry run...
All components are ready for the cabinet carcase glue-up.

The BladeRunner assemblies were secured to the workbench and worked with planes to make sure the runners were coplanar with the drawer blade to assure that drawer entry is smooth.

The padauk blades and oak runners were also sanded 80x, 150x, 220x and 400x for smoothness.

 

The glue-up began with the front and rear rails being attached. The left end panel was laid on the assembly table and the rails were connected with 5mm x 30mm Domino floating tenons.
Then the four BladeRunner assemblies were fitted...glue was used only in the outer rails of the panel. The rest of the assembly will float in the dado.
After all of the assemblies and rails were in, the right panel was glued and prepped to be placed on the top of the glue-up assembly.
All of the BR assemblies and the rails were carefully aligned and then the panel was tapped into place.
The entire carcass was then rotated to stand upright.
Clamps were applied to put pressure across the assembly from outer panel to outer panel.
Then the clamped up carcass was rotated onto a side while the glue set.
the carcass...

The bottom drawer runners had to be attached to glue blocks rather that have an assembly like the other four drawers.

The oak runner and the oak glue blocks were made to be coplanar at the front edge and have ample room at the back.

They were glued and nailed...18g, 1 1/4 inch brads.
The bottom oak runner...similar oak blocks with mahogany runners were placed above the top drawer to be the kicker.
   
Top with Raised Panel Edging
Top panel was glued up...edge to edge with clamps and cauls...

Top panel blank out of the clamps...
Used a 25° raised panel bit to put a bevelled edge on the top piece.
Put a sacrificial fence on the router table and slowed down the RPMs due to the size of the bit.
A CTD was used to test out how the angles matched and how much of a shadow line...zeroed in on about 1/8 inch.

The glued up padauk blank for the top was examined for appearance and then sanded through 100x, 150x, 220x and 400x on the 150mm sander.

Wore a breathing helmet to hold down dust consumption.

After determining the show top side and locating any flaws, the slab went to the cutoff sled and was crossut square on the right end.
The right end and the front will be routed first. The first cut in on the end grain of the right edge...this routing will be done in three passes...
...slowed down due to the size of the bit...routed the long grain of the front.
Dry fit the top on the carcase to make sure exactly where the left end would be cut...cross cut this at the sled on the P66.
 
Dry fit for appearance...looks pretty good...the depth is way fat...this will allow the back edge to be ripped after working out all of the top / carcase connection issues. This fat depth also allowed for spelching on the back side of the last router cuts...any tear out will just be removed.
After dry fit, the fat rear edge was crosscut to 11 7/8 inches...still slightly fat leaving some leeway for final adjustments after figuring out how the top will be secured to the carcase.

To secure the top to the carcase...on the front and rear carcase rails we attached a ledger with elongated washers countersunk at 3/8 inch (to accomodate 3/4 screws into the rails).

This elongated washer, along with the elongated screw holes, will allow for seasonal wood movement.

These ledgers were glued and screwed to the rails...
...in tight quarters (used a right angle attachment).
In the center of the oak case kicker side rail we drilled an angled hole for screw insertion...the screw will be driven from the underside into the top...because it is in the center of the side it will be secured to the longitudinal center of the top and it will have virtually no seasonal movement, thus this point will be fixed.
It had to be countersunk on an angle from the inside of the carcase...used extensions and Centrotec countersink.
On the corners of the side rails we placed figure eight hardware into the kicker side rails...this made the hardware coplanar with the paduak rail...the design will allow for movement.
A look at the top of the carcase with the ledgers (front with two screw slots and the rear with one centered slot), four figure eights, and 2 centered side fixed holes...

 

Drawers
Drawer fronts were originally milled at 3/4 thickness...now the blanks were ripped and chopped, slightly fat...
...and then custom fit to each opening.
Drawer front height adjustments were made on the bench...the bird's mouth batten being ideal for this planing task.
LN 60 1/2 was the perfect block plane for the long grain...
End grain was trimmed at the shooting board, but for some reason, the LN 51 was struggling on the grain...went back to chop saw with final end grain touch ups done with a block plane...used a sacrificial backer board to hold down spelching.
Drawer fronts in the carcase...custom sizing...dry fit...
The drawer sides are maple...they were all ripped to match for height with the custom fit fronts. All drawer side blanks were then chopped to lenght and then had a rebate ledge put in them at the tablesaw. The Infinity 1/4 inch blade was set up along with the tenon jig to cut this rebate in one pass.
The rebate was only about 1/16 inch...
The edges of the rebate were cleaned up with the small LN shoulder plane.
With the Infinity 1/4 blade, a groove was made for the MDF drawer bottoms...
...1/4 x 1/4...
...same in the sides...also a look at the rebate.
The rebate ledge is used to align the boards to mark out the dovetails...but it also makes for a really clean line in the corner of the inside of the drawer.
The layout line for the rebate was extended to the other three sides...
Ready for markout and sawing...
The 1:4 angles were cut with Bad Axe Stilleto...lubricated with a bit of mutton tallow...very smooth...

The waste in the middle was removed at the Jet scroll saw...this is a new saw in the shop and we really liked how well it made this cut for us in lieu of a hand fret saw or coping saw.

Blade is so very thin.

End shoulder cuts were made with Stilleto...
Chisel work was mainly paring as opposed to chopping...maple worked well.
Lining up to mark out the hidden dovetail sockets...clean rebate made the line up easier.

Angle cuts for the dovetail sockets made with the Bad Axe Stiletto.

 

...another view...
Finishing off the sockets with a cabinet scraper pounded into the kerfs to square up the back ends of the socket.
Closeup of the scraper...
Chisel work...chopping...
...paring...
corner clean up with skew chisels.
Dry fit...first drawer...
My best fitting dovetail in this project...
Making the drawer parts...rear section was ripped down radiata pine...
...bottoms were 1/4 MDF...crosscut to length at P66 with crosscut sled.
Pins were glued up...
Fronts were clamped...rear was screwed.
Drawers were planed to fit...top edges were worked with LN 60 1/2.
Sides planed with LV low angle jack.
When the drawers were placed into the cabinet there was an issue...the rails on the inside of the side panels were 1/16 of an inch proud of the raised panel center panels. This meant that a drawer was comfortably tight at the front edge of the rails...then there was space in which to go wonky...and then, if the drawer was skewed into the space, the back edge of the drawer would bump the proud back rail.
To attempt to keep the drawers on the straight and narrow, I ordered some UHMW PE that was just a wee bit shy of 1/16 inch thick by 1 inch tall. I trimmed the pieces to 6 1/2 inches long at the Jet.
Sanded the ends with 220x.
The strip fills the space and provides plenty of smooth to help the drawer along.
With the strip in place and with the back edge of the drawer sides slightly chamfered, the problem seemed to go away...

Drawer stops were made from some mahogany stock...used 5 inch pieces...the shadow line on the left side of the drawers were made at 1/8 inch.

Then the stops were glued into position from the backside.

Stops from front view...
   
   
Cabinet Base Construction

After the carcase assembly was complete, I tweaked the cabinet base design.

The padauk cabinet will sit into a lipped frame on the top of the base.

The overall height will remain the same...the lower base will be slightly larger and this should make the cabinet more stable.
The lip on the apron will be 1/4 x 1/4 inch and there will be 1/4 removed from the top of the legs...
The back edge of the base will be coplanar with the back of the cabinet since it will contact the wall.
Maple blanks for the legs were milled to oversize blanks, allowed to settle for a few weeks and then final milled to square 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 inches...
   
Surface Prep and Application of Finish

Sanding was done with 150mm orbital at 120x, 220x and 400x.

The top was padded...Super Blond shellac, 2 lb. mix

Contrast of of untouched padauk and a coat of shellac...
Because of all the crevices in the carcase, the shellac was applied with a brush rather than padded on...this image shows application on the drawer blades...the lighter wood is the mahogany drawer stop.
   
   
   

.

Finished Product
 

 

Return to Shop Index