Wood Magazine Glass Display case - an upscale adventure #2: It's all about the base ... and the top frame

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Blog entry by Woodbutchery posted 07-07-2018 02:50 AM 1692 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: In the beginning - there was a model Part 2 of Wood Magazine Glass Display case - an upscale adventure series no next part

Since the article/plans are copyrighted, I will give you the dimensions I’ve been able to come up with on my spreadsheet. This is the upscale, and as we go through the build we’ll see how accurate everything is.

For the bottom panel I’m using a luaun plywood. The rest will be red oak (vs. mahogany. While I LOVE to work with mahogany, my pocket book says red oak is more affordable).

So. Cut the bottom to dimensions. Check. I had 2 boards of 3/4” red oak. One board was 44” x 3 1/2”, the other was 47” x 3 1/2”. I managed to rip to 7/8” and got six sticks out of that (note that I wasn’t worried about the length of each stick, as I knew I’d get everything I needed from the two boards).

Next – out comes the handy-dandy miter sled.

I know that the left side is exactly 45 degrees, while the right side appears to be a degree or so off. So we use the right side. Because this upscale may not work, my plan was to cut one angle, measure it against the panel, and use the measurement to determine the second cut. After getting this all done, I took a measure from furthest tip to furthest tip: 40 1/2”. That puts my initial spreadsheet measurement off by 1/4”. The spreadsheet WILL be updated, but for now, we continue!

The rest of the banding around the bottom panel was done in the same manner (cut, measure, check, measure again, check, and cut – on the long pieces I have only only one shot per stick, and I need 4 long pieces, 4 short pieces (band around the panel, top band same dimension as bottom band for later assembly). Each piece was glued to the panel as it was cut. I’m not out to prove I can measure perfectly, I’m out to build a nice cabinet).

For the long strips there was a bit of a bow (it’s wood, it’s been cut, sometimes it gets curvy – and it’s happened with the mahogany I’m using for my desk … but I digress). To get the band on straight, I put the panel into my vise clamp and used clamps to hold the wood to the panel, then used Miller step dowels (what can I say, I’m a fan – if you’re interested, take a look here. Four dowels for each long strip of banding. Drill the holes, clear the holes, apply glue to the banding, back onto the panel, and dowels into the holes, then clamps because I got ‘em. Wash, rinse, repeat.

At the end, I get something looks like this.

Fairly easy! Do a little glue cleanup, and re-measure the bands to start working on the top frame bands.

Several measurements later, and I’ve got the pieces cut and ready for glue up. What I SHOULD have done is invested a little time figuring out how to set this up as a half-lap mitered joint. I’ve got a sled to do the cuts, but I didn’t, so these are mitered joints. The first two corners were put together with a little help of a Miller dowel. The other end was done with straight glue and clamps and blocks and … ya know. There are several ways of gluing up mitered joings, I worked through two variations. The next case (and there WILL be a next one, just as there WILL be another model or so in my future) will use half-lap mitered joinery. But eventually, you get … this.

Both the bottom bands and top bands have a 1/8” dado 1/2” deep along all four sides. The panels (when they are built) will rest in these slots further in the assembly. I’ve got a Freud 8” dado stack (love that thang!) where the main blades have alternating flat and angled rakes. So. Single blade in, height adjusted to 1/2”, sacrificial fence in place with 1/8” of the saw blade “exposed”.

I’ve always taken the more difficult task first, so instead of starting with the base, I started with the top frame. With it being mitered joinery and all I figured it would more difficult than the base. Turns out they each had their challenges, but a pass along each side, and the dado is completed.

Then the same with the panel. Here you can see one of the dowels used to help keep the banding straight during the glue-up.

... and that’s it for now. I need to figure out how many more sticks of red oak I’ll need to complete the panels, etc. My plan is to try to get this done in the next couple of weeks. Additionally, I need to find out about glass prices around me. The project calls for single-strength strength glass for the panels, but for the larger panels I’m considering using double-strength due to the size of the panel (roughly 40” x 31” pieces of glass). If anyone has suggestions concerning glass thicknesses (or for that matter, glass vs. plexiglass), I welcome any advice.

Wow! That’s probably the longest blog as far as words and explanations go, that I’ve done so far. I can’t promise every entry to be like this, but hope those who’ve read this far have enjoyed the ride so far. As always, comments, suggestions, and knowledge sharing are ALWAYS welcome.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

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