Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Small bookcase pt. 7

With the door assembled and mostly flattened, it was time to fit it to the case.

I needed to take about a millimeter off each side, and still lacking any kind of vise on my temporary workbench rigged up a couple of clamps for workholding purposes.

I needed to run upstairs to check the fit a couple of times, and then hit all the edges with the block plane a couple of swipes.

And smoothed the faces with a cabinet scraper.

And gave my new purchase a workout: a much-needed small dustpan!

In situ. Time for a hinge, and to do some final smoothing of the whole case.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Small bookcase pt. 6

So the whole bookcase was designed around the space for which it was destined, the material I had at hand, and a single decorative element: this plastic bead panel of a rose I planned on using in a door in the upper-right cubby. My daughter made the panel using a set of 30 different plastic beads and software converting a digital image to the constraints of the kit. It's about 15cm square, and gets sealed with a household iron. I like this modern decorative element, and see it as a sort of 21st century version of a pie safe tin door, or much-simplified decorative marquetry.

Until now, this project has been accomplished with a bare minimum of tools: a single chisel and saw, a mallet, and a no 4 plane. For the door, an optional addition to the project, I've moved into my basement workspace (now lit with a rechargeable worklight) and will use some more elaborate tools.

For example: the small plow plane. I used this to groove the stock I had for the door to accept the panel. The stock had nice straight grain and was just long enough (about 90 cm) to make four sides. If I screwed one up, there wasn't any extra to play with.

Once the groove was finished, I used my homemade miterbox to cut 45 degree angles to length.

And then the shooting board to trim to length and perfect the angles.

I thought I got the corners just about perfect.

But the glue up complicated things, and in the end a couple of the miters are a little gappy.

Also, I need to flatten the face and the back, as the corners were a little off. Miters are notoriously difficult to get right, and I suppose I got a little cocky after the relative success of my first attempt, and didn't have anything to specifically clamp the corners down. I think it will be fine in the end, but it's a skill I still need to hone.