Cabinet in Ash and Walnut Continued
Posted July 5 2019
Drawers and Doors
The 3 upper drawers sides and bottoms are made from ash and through-dovetailed together. The drawer fronts are from some claro walnut pieces that
were cobbled together from a previous project. The idea is to provide contrast between the light ash and darker walnut woods.
The 4 lower drawers are made also made from ash and walnut. I used thicker than normal boards (~1/2") for the drawer sides in order to get
larger pins when hand-sawing the dovetails. In another change, I made the drawer fronts the tail-boards instead of the sides of the drawers,
so as to give a more distinctive contrast between the different woods and the geometry of the dovetails. The rough-cut dovetails are shown
before hand-planing to fit the openings.
The top drawers are carefully fitted to the openings before attaching the walnut fronts. The drawer fronts are then added and allowed to be a little
oversize for the hand-planing that will all me to sneak up on the perfect fit. This Ash accepts a plane very nicely and I've tried to orient the
grain on the fronts in order to compliment the other grain and grain direction in the piece.
Before glue up, 1/4" dados are added to the inside bottoms of the drawer sides for the drawer bottoms. On the drawer back, all the material
from dado to the bottom will be removed on the table saw to allow the bottoms to slide into the grooves from the back. The small blocks that
are glued on the drawer backs are carefully planed when fitting the drawers to adjust the depth in the cabinet. They are planed until one corner
of the drawer front is perfect flush with the case and the other 3 corners are proud. Then the drawer front is hand planed until all
of the corners are flush with the case.
The door frames are made from quarter-sawn ash, or as close as I can get to it. This hopefully adds some stability to seasonal wood movement. The
pieces are joined with standard bridle joints. The mortises on the ends are cut with a tenon jig on the table saw and the tenons made with a dado stack.
Cutting them this way allows the tenons to be cut a little over size and then planed to fit. The insides of the door frame have a 1/4" dado cut to accept the
rabbets cut around the edge of the walnut drawer fronts.
I find it easiest to fit doors with the cabinet laying on its back and temporarily stops inside the door compartments to hold the door flat.
The knife hinges are temporarilly put in place with a single screw and the door rough fitted. Fine tuning the fit (if needed)will come after
finishing the cabinet and the hinges can be attached permanantly. Knobs were made on my lathe from some scraps of Gabon Ebony.
The cabinet is finished with several coats of a wipe-on/brush-on polyurethane (General Finishes), sanding with 400 grit paper between coats.
One of the things I like about this cabinet is that it fits well in either a light or dark corner of a living space, as it has a nice contrast
between woods in either situation.