Sunday, April 12, 2009
Moving On to the Cherry
Finally! Time to work on the leg system of this Elm Cabinet. This Euro Cherry is wonderful to work. I've had these block cut and sitting around for quit some time. This week I finally brought them out to have a more serious look. Two beautiful pieces of at least 8/4 rift-sawn material with mild fare curves. One was a bit over a foot long and the other verging on two feet each about 7" wide. Why am I going on describing these? Because it was pretty hard for me to do what I did. I was thinking of getting the two short stretchers of on the one shorter plank and hanging on to the bigger one for another project another day. It was big enough that I could have done a whole small cabinet out of! super nice drawer stock or box or frames or whatever. Especially coming from a comercial cabinet school my first reaction is to get the most efficient use of the material. But this is not what I'm here at IP for. I thought about it and knew that the graphics of the two stretchers cut from the same length side by side would not match. Even if it was a slight difference as this Cherry is more mellow than other woods. I thought this is part of what separates a good piece from a great one.
So after a little more thought I marked the two separate pieces. I knew I was going to cut them on a curve and wanted a subtle curve in the grain to flow with it. so I aimed for a very mellow rift cut heavily on the quarter-sawn side.
This is what came out. I approved with a little chuckle to myself at the band saw.
Back to the legs. The cabinet has notches cut out of the corners to integrate the legs. The five sided legs offer a few slight difficulties over a four sided one, for one holding it has you work. There is a 45 degree cradle under the leg so that I can hit the back sides of the leg with a hand plain to fine tune the fit to the cabinet notches.
Then I flipped the cabinet upside down and clamped the stretcher peices where I wanted them and scored them with a knife. A sharp knife can offer a finer line to work to though it's harder to adjust than a pencil of course.
Here I'm working to those knife lines on the table saw using a quickly put together yet ACCURATE 90 degree cross-cut sled. the riser block props the work piece to help find the angle and to act as a contact point so the angle of the cut doesn't change as more matireal gets cut.
Thanks to the accuracy of the knife marking, cross-cutting, and the human eye there really wasn't a lot of fitting to do. It was a bit stressful work. The integrated legs at another side of complexity and need for accuracy than a separate stand especially on a curved cabinet such as this where there are no repeating angles. The next steps are equally, if not more critical. The preservation of the joinery location without repeating mortise alignment.