Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hutch Doors

Tonite I cut the rails and stiles for the door hutch doors. I bought a kit for my rail and stile bits so that I could make the cuts to accomodate glass instead of a raised wood panel. So first I made those mods to the bits, then got them "setup". By setup, I mean you have to get both the rail and stile bits at the correct height, so that when the joint is together all surfaces are flush with each other. The picture to the right shows what sort of cut the rail bit makes. I make two passes: on the first pass, the rail is kept 3/16" from the bearing on the bit. On the second pass, the rail butts up against the bearing.

After the rail cut is made, the stile cut is done. It's a similar process. I use a fence with a piece
of 1/4" plywood on one side which keeps the rail a 1/4" from the bearing on the stile bit. On the second pass, I reverse the fence which allows the stile to run against the bearing. This is done to minimize chipping, which is often the result of trying to remove too much wood in one pass. Do you know why the rail cut is done first? It's done first because there tends to be more chipping when cutting across the grain. The chipping that does occur will be removed when you make the stile cut, which runs with the grain.

The next step is to dry fit the parts and check measurements. I set up my clamps, make sure all the parts are aligned and clamp them together. Once everything checks out, I disassemble the parts and apply glue to all the mating surfaces. I usually use whatever wood glue happened to be on sale last at one of the box stores or the local Woodcraft store. Right now I have extra Titebond III (waterproof) available, so that's what I used. Once the door is glued and clamped, I use a damp rag to wipe away any excess glue. After that, I use a 23 gauge pin nailer and 5/8" pins to secure the rails to the stiles. You can hardly see the pins, and besides they are shot from the backside of the door. If you never made cabinet doors, check out the ones in the big box stores the next time you are there. You'll see them; they allow the cabinet maker to secure the door and allow it to unclamped before the glue fully dries. Otherwise, you'd need lots more clamps or a lot of patience!

The Hutch

I am currently building a hutch for my mom's kitchen. I completed her kitchen cabinets last year, and had two remaining cabinets to build: a food pantry and a hutch. The pantry is pictured to the right. Aprroximately 6 1/2 feet tall, 30 inches wide and 15 inches deep. Made from red oak, and has four doors, one drawer, and four shelves.

Unlike the "formal" kitchen cabinets, these two will be free standing, and not connected to any other cabinets. I finished the pantry cabinet in January, and I am about half-way through building the hutch. I'll post some pictures later, but the hutch is basically built with two parts: the lower section and the upper section. At this point the lower section needs a final coat of finish and the top and doors need to be attached. So far, I have built the face frame and side panels for the upper section. Tonight I hope to start on the door frames. I decided to use glass instead of raised panels (used on the doors of the lower section). I'm thinking of that stuff called "water glass", which you can see through but things look sort of blurry.

Time to get this thing going!

I've always taken pictures of my current woodworking project, send them a link to the album. I'd get comments from my friends and relatives, and then a few questions from my woodworking friends. So I decided to try documenting the projects in a blog, with pictures and hopefully some videos.