Sep 242007

I picked up 34 board feet of cabinet grade alder from Emerson Hardwood and got started on the bathroom cabinetry (the vanity and linen cabinets).

Step 1: Plane the material to a uniform thickness. My neighbor was kind enough to lend me his planer – again. We put brand new blades in it and it did a fine job taking everything down to 3/4″. Rough lumber can be tricky to rip to width for a couple reasons. First, it doesn’t have a straight edge to start with, and most of us don’t have jointers with 8 foot beds. Second, the full width boards still have some pretty powerful internal stresses that like to come out as you’re ripping them into narrower pieces. To address the first issue, I simply ran each board through the tablesaw with its concave side sistered up to an 8 foot long straight piece of cedar I had lying around, with a little stop at the leading edge to help make sure they pushed through together. For the second issue… well… there isn’t a lot you can do except rip things a little wide and hope you can take out any new twists with the planer.

Once ripped to a 1/16″ oversize, I ran all my stock on edge through the thickness planer a couple times. This removed all the saw marks (which I think are inevitable on rough lumber) and made all the like pieces exactly the same width. I then took a moment to make sure my miter saw was setup at an exact 90 degrees, and started the process of cutting the pieces for the face frame to length, starting with the longest ones, and finishing up with the short ones.

I decided to follow the advice I have heard so often and assemble the face frames with pocket screws and no glue. I figure worst case I can add the glue later. Having planed everything myself, made using pocket screws a lot easier than trying to use pre-planed lumber (which isn’t always all the same thickness). The vice grips held the pieces tight, and it went together pretty quickly. The end result was square and nearly perfectly flush on all joints. Unfortunately, I didn’t account for quite enough waste, and will have to rip 6 more feet of 2″ stock for the face frame of the linen cabinet. The vanity face frame however, is done!

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>