• Woodworking - Media Cabinet - Part 2

    This project has finally come to a close. It was a fun project and I am glad to see what was once on paper now ready for delivery.

    Last we left, the doors had just been formed. Now to round over the edges. I used a roundover bit on the router table.

    With the doors, I plan to make working shutters. There really isn't a cheap way of ordering custom shutters. The cheapest way is to do it yourself. I wanted the shutters to be removable in case a shutter breaks down the road. If one does break, I'd hate to have to bust the door a part, so I made a chassis. First I needed to route out rabbet's in the doors for the side bars to set in. The side bars will hold the shutters. You'll see.

    Now to make the side rails. I didn't photography the process of cutting 1/2" by 1/2" strips out of the red oak becasue it was a scary process on the table saw. I still have all my fingers.

    Once the pieces were cut, I cut them to length on the radial saw.

    Once the strips were cut, I rounded them off on the bandsaw to match the routed rabbet. Rounding these is easier than squaring off the rabbet with the chisel.

    Now to drill the holes. This took some time to space and measure out. They make jigs, but I don't see myself making these often, so I can't justify buying something that will collect sawdust most of the year. Once measured out, I was able to knock out all of it with the drill press.

    I got the small hardware pieces from Rockler. These little pieces were a must for me.

    I also ordered long shutter basswood strips from Rockler. I thought about making the shutters out of red oak, but changed my mind.

    Here's the back of the door with the shutter chassis inserted.

    After the first door was together, I set it in the cabinet. It's finally coming to life.

    I wanted the bar in the front of the shutters rather than hidden in the back to help add more dimension to the cabinet. Each shutter needs to have a small hole drilled at the bottom and holes drilled in the bar. Rockler makes small clips that connect the two.

    Now that all the shutters are cut and installed, it's time to hang the doors. I put shims all around the doors to hold it down while I maked my pilot holes.

    I lucked out. Every door closed perfectly.

    Now to disassemble everything to putty and sand for the stain.

    Once the doors and cabinet were ready, I brushed the cabinet down with wood conditioner. This soaks into the wood for even staining. This usually keeps the wood from accepting and holding stain in some parts creating splotchiness. 

    The only parts I didn't condition were the shutters. I liked how the stain soaked into the wood without it. The top is with conditioner and the bottom is without.

    Staining was a beast. I only used one coat of stain on everything and 2 coats of polyurethane.

    Here's a better shot of how the shutters went together in the chassis.

    Once everthing was stained and polyurethaned, It felt really good to put everything back together.

    Drilling the holes for the door pulls was a nerve wracking process. Everthing is done and if I screw this up, I don't know what I would do. Actually, I do, but I don't want to do that.

    The best way to drill through is to place a scrap piece behind to eliminate wood blowout from the drill.


  • Woodworking - Media Cabinet - Part 1

    I really enjoy woodworking. My dad has been a cabinet maker for most of his life and over time, I've been able to learn the basics from him while learning the extras from experience and Google.

    Most of my woodworking has been utilized by building odds and ends around the house, but this month, I am building my first piece for income. It's pretty exciting to make something that will last a long time and make someone happy.

    Cabinet making is easy in the right hands, I love reading through step-by-step blogs on peoples building projects. So here is my contribution:

    For this project, I am building a media cabinet. As of now, the client is still deciding whether they want to paint or stain. usually, the finish determines the type of wood you use. Even if it were to be painted, they still wanted the structure to be hardwood. In this case, I will use sandwood plywood with red oak trim.

    Here's my drawing. Client approved. The numbers to the left are the materials list. This way I can give me an accurate estimate on what materials and hours will add up to.

    I then made my cut sheets in the plywood and pieced them together. I didn't use any specific joinery such as dado's or sliding dovetails but rather pocket screws with my Kreg jig set. Those joints are coming soon with other projects.

    To help keep my cabinet square, I tried to build the majority of it on my workbench because I know it is far flatter than my garage floor. The first shelf is fairly wide, so I measured my marks and placed my quick clamps right at the lines and rested my first shelf on those so I could drive the screws. I had to have measured 25 times on this part.

    Once I screwed my first shelf in, I measured my internal cabinet upright dividers and screwed those in. I used my small framing square to help keep everything straight. I also measured the full distance of the width and divided by three to find my exact divider placements.

    Now that the main cabinet was built, I went ahead and put the feet (process not pictured) on. I cut out 4x4 pieces of plywood, glued and nailed them to the 4 corners, then screwed the feet on.

    For the face. I measured everything out and transferred that to my red oak hardwood pieces. I used pocket screws here as well.

    Putting the face on helped bring this thing to life. I clamped it down and used glue, pocket screws and my nail gun to attach.

    I knew what kind of trim I wanted, but couldn't find it anywhere, so I used my homemade router table to make my own. Here I also used red oak. Here's the bit I used.

    Here's the trim on top and bottom. It really finishes the cabinet. I'm not totally happy with how far in the feet are, so I may find a way to push them out, but for now, they're ok.

    For the doors, I'll do open slot mortises. This will leave a clean opening in the middle of the doors for the shutters I intend to build later.

    I placed the boards flat on the table saw and cross cut the depth of my tenon using my sled.

    To cut the rest of the material off the tenons, I made a tenon jig to accomplish consistent cuts. You can find out how to build one of these on Google and YouTube.

    After they were all cut, each piece still needed to be cleaned up with the chisel because of the small bump left by the blade. This was the easy part.

    I used my jig for the mortises as well. They fit with a tiny bit of play. This leaves room for the glue.

    I dry fit the pieces together and set them in the doorways to make sure there's enough room for the hinges and shifting. All good.

    This is where I am now. I'll have a lot more done in the next few days. Stay tuned.