Hello and welcome again to my blog. In this post I am in the beginning stages of building a door which will enclose my medicine cabinet. I’ve chosen white cypress for this cabinet and have continued along with white cypress for the door as well.
This door may like quite unique to many, I’ve decided that rather than rely upon an outside frame that I would build dovetailed crossmembers which will act as supports as well as batten the door panel. The outside frame will then be made quite thin so that I can retain the aesthetic I would otherwise create with plywood and veneer. If this is successful I will again use this format in the future on many other projects.
I begin by resawing 10/4 stock to attain three identical panels. I’m taking the long approach here as I actually expected the board to yield two panels, I lucked out and received three.
I’ve decided since I have three panels to trim them down to the straight grained material in the hopes that it will achieve a subdued look. First I true the edge, then use my panel gauge to set a line.
After setting up all three I rip them down to size.
Now that these are roughed out, I am giving them a ‘skip planing session’ where I remove highs with a jack plane. I don’t want to take off much as I want to leave most of it for when it is a full panel.
Finally I true up the edges to make them parallel and prep them for glue.
I’ve set my panel aside and have begun creating the tapered dovetail battens. These may seem a bit tricky to make, but they’re actually quite straight forward. I use some of my recently sawn material to make the battens.
I prep the stock on one side then rip to width. After which I fine tune the thickness and determine the amount of taper I would like.
I’m now ready to create the ‘dovetail’ portion of these battens. I’ve clamped my dovetail plane in a vise and will carefully run my stock across the plane. I will then smooth the sides with a smoother to ensure that they’re flat and true.
The panel is setup and ready for me to begin working on it. I start by working crossgrain with my jack plane to level out the board and remove any ‘wind’. I check for wind with my winding sticks and ensure I have removed it from the board. Wind in the panel will cause the door not to seat properly in the case.
Next step is to flatten the board with my Try plane and then bring it to thickness.
Finally I apply my finish strokes to finish leveling out the surface and remove any lingering tearout with my Kanna.
And here is the resulting finish…and hopefully you will agree that sandpaper is not needed.
Onto inserting the battens. I like to batten a panel straight away so that it does not have time to cup. It may stay flat, but I would prefer not to take the chance if time is on my side. I begin cutting the receiving grooves with a dado plane, making two channels. The waste in between is then removed with a router plane.
Now onto making the angled sides, I do this using a dovetail plane. The trick to this is that because of the taper it is quite easy to get the batten fitting tightly the entire way across the panel. As I approach the completely fitted joint I will keep adjusting the channel with the plane biasing my efforts toward the loose sections. I’m testing for a loose fit here.
And now two are complete.
A third is now finished and I’ve decided to bring the panel to size. First I take the ends to size, cutting them and planing them. If anything blows out at the edges I will have some meat left to make that disappear.
Now onto the sides, I use a plane set for a heavy cut to take off 1/2″ of material in a hurry, here is what the shavings look like.
And finally narrow down to my finished width. I’m working from center here to ensure that my glue lines are equidistant from the edges.
I’ve finished my panel and chamfered my edges and now I’m applying a base finish of shellac by wipe-on method. I want to protect the panel and seal it.
Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you will comment on my efforts.