This post continues a series in which I’m building a butler’s desk of American black walnut. In the previous post interior sliding doors, known as hikido, were created and installed. With much of the interior work now complete I can seal up the case. I’ve set aside a panel in preparation for this work.
When resawing stock experience has taught me that leaving it to acclimatize is critical to success. With that in mind I often plan out my panels as early on in a project as possible, in this case I had planned a book matched back panel and set the stock aside for exactly that purpose.
I begin work on this stock by cutting it in half….well nearly in half. The panel is now broken down into two individual panels which will fit into separated sides of the case back.
These individual panels are first jointed. I’m checking the accuracy of my work with a pair of winding sticks.
With the panel now jointed flat, I can mark for thickness.
I’ve taken a video of final stages of thicknessing and finish planing the panel. A point of note: when a panel is book matched, the grain on either sides of the book match are exact opposites. In the video you may notice my paying close attention to grain around the center of the panel, which is going in opposite directions, as the process unfolds.
The panels, now finish planed, are just a hair thicker than the grooves they are intended for. Rather than cut a rabbet around the outside of the panels, which will look quite ugly inside the case, I decided to chamfer the panels. Unlike a raised panel, with a distinct ridge around the raised section, this will have a very subtle appearance inside the case.
The panels can now be seated in place and the bottom cut and installed.
I chose to have the grain continue from one end to the other.
The interior view, without doors.
Then with doors. You can barely notice my efforts in the completed assembly.
With the cabinet backs now installed, important aesthetic considerations are now becoming defined. In order to accommodate my interest in having the full thickness of the case surround showing in the exterior view, I had to create blind dados to hold the web frames and have them install inside the case, however that does not become apparent until the case back highlights it.
Thank you for visiting, I hope you have enjoyed!
The Butler’s Desk – Drawer Building
Looks great so far!
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