Craftsman Bungalow Restoration #26: Making Solid Cabinet Panels and Preparing Ply Parts

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Blog entry by gizmodyne posted 01-17-2010 07:27 AM 7870 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 25: Face Frames for Beginners Part 26 of Craftsman Bungalow Restoration series Part 27: 165 Mortises (Domino-ed Cabinet Boxes) »

My cabinets will have two visible solid panels. In this blog I will show the process I use in panel glue up (for bettor or for worse).

Stock Selection
Although the face frame stack is quartersawn, most of the original end panels in our house are plain sawn.

About a year back a neighbor game me some old growth fir.

This wood was beautiful and will become the most visible panel. I also resawed some old beams to create the stock for the second less visible panel.

I left the stock stickered for a few days before further surfacing.

I always lay my stock out with stickers. Never leave it laying without good air circulation, unless you want a cupped board.

Panel Layout
I set the rough length panels out and played with them until I got a grain pattern that pleased me.

The two center boards are from the same board and the outside boards are from the second board.

I marked a triangle across all four boards to preserve my layout.

I also mark “i” and “o” on the edges. This is a code for jointing. I hold the “i” sides inside towards the fence and the “o” sides outside towards the fence. If the jointer is off from 90 degrees this will create complementary angles that must add back to 180.


Glue up
I have been doing my glue up on my table saw covered by plastic. I only have giant clamps and really need to get some 2 – 3 foot parallel clamps.

Cleaning Glue with a beater chisel
I try to get as much glue as possible. It is a boring step, but easier than cleaning rock hard glue.

I left the panels to dry overnight.

I unclamped the panels and spent some time scraping and sanding them to the following result.

I think the panels will look great in the context of the cabinets.

Preparing Plywood Parts
In order to conserve plywood I drew out a quick cutting plan to conserve the plywood.

A friend came over and helped me support the plywood for the rips. he is interested in learning how to build cabinets and made a few of the crosscuts.

I use a panel sled for all of my crosscuts.

The panels are surfaced and jointed, but I treat each panel like a fresh board by jointing it, ripping to final width plus 1/8”, ripping to final width and then crosscutting to length.

Here are the panels cut to size.

Incidentally I finally tried out the blade that came with my SawStop. I had stored it two years ago without realizing that it was an 80 tooth plywood blade.

The cuts are perfect: splinter and burn free.

I will be using this for all of my ply cuts from now on. Who knew?

*Final Plywood Part Sizes.”
Instead of working from my original drawings, I am working from the face frames. To determine the length of the plywood rails and bottoms. I clamped plywood and solid panel offcuts to the face frame to represent the panels. I used my folding rule to take an exact measurement.

Then I cut all the rails to the correct length at the crosscut sled.

All of the parts are sitting waiting to be joined.

Next time:
Joining cabinet parts.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

6 comments so far

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 01-17-2010 01:15 PM

Nice blog! Love crafts style. Looking forward to the next installment. Thanks for the great photos and your time doing the blog.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1590 posts in 4078 days

#2 posted 01-17-2010 01:31 PM

Coming along nicely. I just went back and viewed this entire blog, WOW! what you and your wife have accomplished with this restoration is amazing, you should be proud, very proud. Thanks for taking the time to show us all the process.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4335 days

#3 posted 01-17-2010 03:31 PM

It looks like this project is coming along nicely, Giz. It is great to see you get some help in there as well and “share the knowledge” in the process.

I am looking forward to seeing the next installment in this series.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4603 days

#4 posted 01-17-2010 04:57 PM


Thanks for reading.

I know that much of this is basic stuff for most woodworkers, but I try to document for the first timers and for myself once I have forgotten what I did in the first place.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4186 days

#5 posted 01-17-2010 10:33 PM

Looks great!

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4603 days

#6 posted 01-18-2010 05:03 PM

Thanks CJ

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

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