Making a Penn spice cabinet using mostly hand tools. #6: Turkey for you?

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 10-10-2011 07:00 PM 3548 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Making the stopped dados for the drawer blades. Part 6 of Making a Penn spice cabinet using mostly hand tools. series Part 7: A series of unfortunate events. »

Since everyone knows that this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada… which basically means two things. Hockey season has started, and its going to snow soon. So while the family was busy making turkey and stuffing and all the fixin’s, I was able to sneak away and get a few pictures taken and rest of the drawer blades and dividers done and installed. Since the last entry, I cut dado’s in the horizontal blades for the vertical blades using the same method that I used in the previous entry. I did not picture this, as the process is the same, and its quite repetitious.

First thing of course, measure what was going where and all that. I again used dividers to do most of the measuring. I used my old Stanley mitre box and saw to cut all the material to length. (I had to sharpen the saw first, and I forgot to take pictures of the process. Sorry, next time I sharpen a saw I will take some pictures.)

Then I used my jack plane and my shooting board to square everything up so it would fit into the dado’s.

Now, since I am going to have some interesting drawer variations here, in the 2nd and 3rd lower drawers, I have them split, so I have a vertical blade running the height of two drawers. Here I am using my dividers to find where I need to make another dado for a smaller horizontal blade.

But before I can transfer that measurment, I need to know where to measure from, so I had to reinstall the vertical blade and mark a referance point.

Once I have the referance point, I can use the dividers to measure, and the other set to mark the thickness of the drawer blade.

Scribe the lines and cut out the dado using the router plane.

For the smaller horizontal blades, I cut all the dado’s in the vertical blades first. I just took my material and put one end into the dado and marked the other end, cut, squared it and fit it. Once I had everything cut and fit, this is what it looks like. I have settled on 14 drawers. Well, ones that you can see anyways, more on that later.

There are a few little features that I have not mentioned before until now. The three smaller drawers in the middle are graduated. Using the same method as before. I think it adds a nice touch. Also, the spacing of the top drawers, and the mixed bank of drawers. I used the golden ratio for the spacing. I used the same method as the graduated drawers. But this time on the horizontal instead of the vertical. The idea is the same, but there are a few differences. Because there are two blades, I stepped off 2 with the smaller dividers. Then with the larger dividers, I set them so there are 7 equal steps. The drawers on the sides will be 2 steps wide, and the middle ones are 3 steps wide. I made a scale to show what I mean.

The next process is to make the figured maple blades that will be the front inch and half or so of all the drawer blades. I guess I could have planed it all first and edge gluded it to the secondary wood before going about this process. But I decided that I would want them joined in different ways. I wanted the secondary wood to be dado’d, but I want the vertical maple to be v-grooved into the horizontal blades, so I will be doing them seperatly.

Thanks again for reading, and I will leave you all with one last picture. Veritas (Lee Valley) released a mini router plane late this past week. How could I pass that up? I am generally not one to buy tools for the sake of buying tools. But this is just too cool not to. But don’t think that it is just going to sit there and look pretty, oh no. Every tool of mine has to earn its keep, and this little guys is going to get some serious work and is going to come in really handy when I do inlay.

3 comments so far

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4605 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 11:52 PM

This is a very interesting blog … thanks for the great level of detail.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View kevinw's profile


199 posts in 4659 days

#2 posted 10-12-2011 12:58 PM

I notice you have an identical mitre box to mine. I have had trouble with square vertical cuts in recent years. Ever have that problem? If so any suggestions?

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View JeremyPringle's profile


321 posts in 3394 days

#3 posted 10-12-2011 04:17 PM

Hi Kevin. I have only been using my mitre box for a short time now, but now that I think about it, I have never checked how square the cuts are. I always leave myself about 1/16 and then it goes to the shooting board where it gets squared up and I sneak up on the line.

Have you checked the posts that the saw guides run on? Could it be how you are holding the saw? I will use some scrap tonight and make some test cuts and see what I get and let you know.

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