22 April 2010

Cabinet making - 2

This is part of a series of posts, inspired by the New Yankee Workshop (NYW) presentation Oak Bathroom Vanity - Program #106, about alternative cabinet design and tools use.

After one week program #106 is gone from the website replaced by program  #203 Butler's Table.  Interesting is that in #203 the biscuit joiner is introduced to help glue up wooden panels.  After some research I discovered a site (normstools.com) fully documenting the tool usage at the NYW.
#111 introduction Pocket holes
#203 introduction Biscuit joiner
#301 introduction Bessey K-body Clamp
The sequence shows that techniques that I proposed as alternative (biscuits and pocket holes) are not available yet for #106.  The Bessey K-body Clamp reference is to remember that gluing panels without a full set of those clamps is a (two seasons) possibility.

Gluing up panels.
I already discussed Step 1 Fixing the bottom to the side panels,  now I go one step backwards,  I look at the panel.  My first reaction is to use veneered plywood.  But,  it is not a certainty that it is cheaper to find the right amount and colour of plywood.  If I want to make panels,  I will probably need to straighten the boards as I will have bought cheap wood and will have to pay the price afterwards.

I probably need a jointer to straighten boards before gluing them,  but it is not in my toolset.  Thinking about it I see some possible alternatives:
  •  Re-cut the joint with a (guided) saw.  For example fix the two boards and run the circular saw over the joint. Or even use a hand saw,  the joint must not be straight but just parallel.  (The NYW proposes the table saw as an alternative to a jointer in #204)
  • Use the router completed with a long stiff fence as a narrow 20 mm  (<1") jointer
  • Hunt the internet for a jointer-less solution ....
As I miss good clamps,  using biscuits to glue up boards seems a good idea.  And maybe it even helps when warped boards are used.

Planing the panels
The NYW uses a belt sander in episode #203 when planing boards,  but it can be done with a random orbital sander, and that is in the toolset. Or after seeing the fww Surface prep: power sanders against handplanes where power tools where not at their best,  I am tempted to add as an alternative a #5 handplane and a scraper (with burnisher) to the block plane of the toolset.