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Shawn Pixley

Refinement, the dilemma

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When I am constructing a project I look for elements of refinement along the way. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending upon what is discovered. LOML is an artist / silversmith, so I ask for her opinion along the way. I don't always take it but it allows me a sounding board to consider a design. For the base, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to accomplish. When it came to the box (carcass) I also knew the fundamental idea, but augmentation raised an ugly question, "how did i want to handle the joinery at the corners of the four planes?" I considered dovetails, miters, rabbets / rebates, and mortise & tenon. In the end I decided I would go with a rabbet / M&T combination. I decided the contrast of the base to the simplicity of the cabinets side should be emphasized. While dovetails would show skills, they would lower the focus of one's attention and detract from the overall piece.


I had to agonize on this, while I prepared stock for the carcass. I also needed to consider how I would treat the drawers both in aesthetics and in function (AKA - glides). I decided that I wanted to use bottom mount Blum glides with Blumotion since two of the drawers would hold guitars. I also wanted dust covers inside for the same reason. The drawers would be set back from the "face" to emphasize the planes of the carcass. Typically, I would taper the inside edges of the carcass, but this project is very large and I want the construction to get lighter as your eye moves vertically. These choices I consider can be frustrating. While prepping stock, you are free to "not decide" but at some point, you hit the wall and a decision must be made.

The building actually goes pretty quickly when you have made the decisions...


The dust covers and final dry fitting took a day. The next day was gluing and truing. I needed an extra hand or two to align all the tenons with their respective mortise. While I was assembling and then waiting for the glue to dry overnight, I considered the top which will go on top the carcass. I got my son to help me move the carcass upstairs and out of the way. The shop (read "Garage") is too small to keep components in while building other portions, so up three floors we went. I set it on its base to get it out of the way and to ascertain how it was progressing aesthetically.


Next I need to finalize what I am doing for the top and the upper case. I wasn't perfectly clear about the top when designing it. Questions such as materials, walnut, maple, or both? Does the display cabinet fully abut the top or do the tapered legs get emphasized? Here is where LOML comes in. I can have a tendency to overwork things where the better becomes the enemy of the good. Decisions, decisions...

Next - What was chosen?
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