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Ben Arnott

My Shakashima Media Cabinet Conclusion Part 1

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Well, I was on the home stretch. I had the two doors to make, the shelves for the three bays, the top and finish left to do.

I wanted inset doors with book matched straight panels to match the sides and to give the piece its Shaker inspiration. I followed the same preparation and construction practices as the sides, trying to be conscious of the grain pattern in the Cherry and Maple. After gluing up the doors, I cut the stiles to length and fit the doors by shimming them until I got a consistent reveal around the door. I then mortised out the tops and bottoms for the pivot hinge hardware and drilled the holes for the pin sheaths in the top and bottom rails of the cabinet. The swing is nice on the pivot hinges.

I installed two small door stops I made of Walnut. I used Walnut only because it's dark and doesn't show through the reveal when the doors are closed.

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I decided to biscuit joint the table top. I shot myself in the foot with the materials I selected for the top. One of the 5/4 x 9 1/2 x 10 ft sticks of curly maple i picked out to make up two of the three pieces of the top was warped beyond all hope. Don't know what happened... I guess its possible I could have overlooked a board that had a lot of wave to it, but I'm guessing most of the bacon happened in my shop while acclimating. So I had to either get more material and wait for it to dry, which wasn't an option, or use what I had and change the top out if I didn't like it. So I decided I would mix the species on the top. The two outer planks would be Curly Cherry, and in between them would be Curly Maple.

It wasn't bad... I could live with it. I may swap out the top for Birdseye Maple in the future. Time will tell.

Once the top was glued up, I surfaced it with across grain jointing, and then smoothed it with a number 4 1/2 smoothing plane, and finally card scraped it for hours. Before cutting it to length and width, I made a test piece with the cove profile on it to determine the exact overhang I wanted. Then I cut it to length and width and routed a cove underneath.

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I applied a gentle chamfer edge on the top side to create another point for light to catch the curl on the Cherry.

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The top was fastened with wood buttons I made from scrap maple. This is the traditional way of fastening a table top. They are little clips that attached to groves I routed in the top rail. The clips provide room for movement by not bottoming out on the front and back grooves.

Updated 01-28-2011 at 10:56 AM by Ben Arnott

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