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Office Cabinet #9: Doors and Design

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Blog entry by Tom posted 05-11-2021 03:17 PM 599 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Some Assembly Required - Slow progress Part 9 of Office Cabinet series Part 10: Door Frames and Sawing Tenons »

I have entered a sensitive period in my cabinet build. This is the first time that I am making inset doors with hand tools. My previous door builds were very basic, overlay style doors with flat plywood panels. Those were rather forgiving. The inset doors will need to be carefully dimensioned and they will need to be flat, square and true.

So I am working through the process with selecting the stock, sizing the doors, trying the joinery and deciding on the panel design. I go through some periods of analysis paralysis and I have to noodle on the steps in the process and the design. When I come out of it, I do some trial and error. The frames came out fine, but I would make a tweak or two if I could go back.

Now, I am experimenting with the raised panel. I get closer with each step and I think I am closing in on my final decision. But I still need to sleep on it. I should have the doors done in a couple weeks and then I will be on my way again. This is a hobby for me, so time is not much of a consideration. It will get done when it gets done. I am enjoying the process.

Stayed tuned, more to come… :)

-- Tom



10 comments so far

View Arcola60's profile

Arcola60

119 posts in 3628 days


#1 posted 05-11-2021 03:36 PM

Thank You Tom for sharing your, knowledge, experience, technique of how you approach each piece individually, and collectively. It really helps me to focus on all aspects of any project, simple or complex.
Beautiful work! as always.

Ellery Becnel

View Tom's profile

Tom

294 posts in 1136 days


#2 posted 05-11-2021 03:45 PM

Thanks Ellery. I get a bit stuck on my design, but I don’t really work from plans very often. I like to design on the fly, I guess. I find myself laying in bed sometimes and processing the steps with hand tools. Also, I only have time in the shop for the project about one day per week, so there is a lot of time to think about the project.

-- Tom

View Arcola60's profile

Arcola60

119 posts in 3628 days


#3 posted 05-11-2021 04:46 PM

Lol! That sounds just like me. I have recently retired and I am in the early stages of finally building my shop. The plans are in my head, and eventually end up on paper for clarification. Sometimes it helps to see it to scale.

Ellery

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

2158 posts in 971 days


#4 posted 05-11-2021 05:31 PM

Nice work, More patience than I ever would have.

How do you treat the outside edge of the raised panel?
Do you flatten out 3/8” or so to go into the dado of the rails and stiles?

I can’t tell by the picture but it looks like it’s flat?

View Tom's profile

Tom

294 posts in 1136 days


#5 posted 05-11-2021 06:04 PM

LeeRoyMan – this is just a preview. I’ll show how i did the panel in another post. But basically, the outside edge is angled into the groove on one side and flat on the other. It works pretty well and makes a nice press fit, but takes some careful trimming with the hand plane.

-- Tom

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

2158 posts in 971 days


#6 posted 05-11-2021 06:26 PM

Thanks Tom,
The reason I ask is because I did some once (not by hand) but cut the angles on the table saw.
I must have made it to tight. It had no room for expansion.
The doors (with cabinets) were made in a dry climate, then shipped to San Francisco, and it swelled up so bad it broke the joints of the door apart.

View Tom's profile

Tom

294 posts in 1136 days


#7 posted 05-11-2021 06:29 PM

LeeRoyMan – That is a worry. There needs to be a gap between the edges and the base of the groove. I plan on leaving about 1/8” on each side. I don’t really know if that will be enough, but the panels are only about 10” wide, maybe 1/4” is enough expansion?

-- Tom

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

2158 posts in 971 days


#8 posted 05-11-2021 06:36 PM



LeeRoyMan – That is a worry. There needs to be a gap between the edges and the base of the groove. I plan on leaving about 1/8” on each side. I don t really know if that will be enough, but the panels are only about 10” wide, maybe 1/4” is enough expansion?

- Tom


Yeah, I had no gap. It was the first door of the bunch.
I adjusted the others, but left the one thinking it would be ok. wrong…lol

I’m sure you will be fine. You know what you’re doing!

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3323 posts in 3435 days


#9 posted 05-11-2021 11:43 PM

“analysis paralysis”, been there, done that. Usually I get to the point that I just say what the heck, I can always make a second attempt if the first doesn’t come out right, following the old philosophy: what us the worst that can happen.
I’ve had the habit of making inset doors the same size as the opening, then trimming them down to fit via hand plan. This has worked for me, and eliminated the worry of trying to mill the frame components to a high tolerance level for the perfect fit.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Tom's profile

Tom

294 posts in 1136 days


#10 posted 05-12-2021 12:02 AM

Oldtool – I sometimes remind myself that if I screw up, I like woodworking and I can make it again. I oversized my door frames just a tiny amount so I can plane them down. Will see how it turns out when they get glued and clamped. Deciding on the panel design and method is really occupying my mind. But I’m close… :)

-- Tom

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