Beginning to build cabinet web frame

Jay Oyster's picture

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Just sharing another update on the project to build my wife a jewelry cabinet. I've posted on this a couple times, but I'm slow as molassas in January in the world as it was before climate change. I am making slow but steady progress. This is the first cabinet I've built, so the number of parts is a new challenge for me. The last time I mentioned it, back in January, I had finally gotten the case and legs cut and dry fit together.

Since then, I've been working on the cabinet top, which is the only major piece in cherry, the drawer top, which sits down from the cabinet top by about 4", the arched apron parts, and the web frame. I did the aprons first, using a new tool that I just received as a gift from my sister: the set of 6 Narex mortising chisels. I have to say that I've really settled into a true hybrid woodworking pattern. I always do the tenons on the table saw, but then I always do the mortises by hand. I don't know why, but that seems to work for me. Getting the four aprons joined to the legs was a good first use for the Narex chisels. It highlights what a wonderful thing is the right tool for the right job. Never again will I try to use a router to cut a mortise. Actually, I doubt I'll ever use a drill for that either since the mortising chisels work so well. 

The apron curves were cut on the band saw. I did create 1/8" plywood templates for the curves, but I just marked the lines using the template and cut and sanded to the line. Since there were only two of each part (front/back, and sides) I didn't bother using a router and pattern bit. I'm pleased with the way they came out.

Next, I fit the internal cabinet top, which is again quarter sawn sycamore to the stopped dados about 4" down from the top of the case sides. Lots of back and forth to get that fitted correctly. I've found I like to use a medium shoulder plane to fine tune the fit of shelves and parts into these long dados. I just use my finger tips as a quick fence to guide the plane to shave down the part so it fits nicely into the dado. I know, these are long established techniques, but many of them are still fairly new to me.

I cut the cherry piece for the top to dimension and rounded it over just because I could do it quickly and I wanted to see how the whole piece looked, with a hat, so to speak, for the first time.

Finally in the last few days, I've started cutting and fitting the parts for the web frame. As I mentioned, this is my first multidrawer cabinet, so this is new for me. The front rails are sycamore, the drawer runners and rear rail are out of poplar. Fitting the front rails to the stopped dadoes for the frames was fun, and when finished, I finally got a good sense of how the progressive drawers will actually look in the finished piece. 

The most recent work was to cut the 18 drawer runners to dimension (2 for each of the 9 web frames), and then cut their tenons, and finally cutting the rear rails to dimension. 

Next up, I need to cut the mortises in the front and rear rails. I'm just about ready to smooth plane the entire assembly, prep it and glue it up. This will be, by far, the most complex initial glue up I've ever done. Yes, I plan to work in stages, and pay particular attention to avoiding glue squeeze out. I keep telling people as I work on this that it becomes more apparent to me all the time that cabinet making is the same skill as doing a jigsaw puzzle . . . you just have to cut out all the pieces yourself. :-)

Web frame parts cut
Web frame parts cut
Woodworking