There is a lot of wooden furniture and other wooden objects that were designed hundreds of years ago that just do no have much functionality in today's world. This doesn't mean they aren't attractive, just that the uses for them have passed. For example, candle boxes, these are smaller wooden boxes used to hold a small supply of candles. Most homes don't need a small warehouse of candles so a box to hold them is not much use.
This is partially true with many things, and even this antique designed bathroom vanity. Some people could have a problem finding a place for it in their home. 100 years ago, most homes had one. I had a large bowl on top and often some sort of a pitcher with water and was a place to go and wash your hands. Now we do that in a sink with hot and cold running water. Still, I love the designs of these old wash stands and have been wanting to make one for years. I really am not sure what you I will be able to put it to, but we will see if we can fit it into modern living in our home.
The challenge with this build was to make the entire cabinet, and doors using only my doweling jig so that we could compare the differences with the build we made entirely from a pocket hole jig a few weeks earlier.
The design of this cabinet is such that it could be used for a multitude of things including plants on to and storage inside, it could be used as a small library cabinet. I could be re-purposed as a very trendy looking bathroom vanity or it could even be uses as bedroom storage and decor.
Part 2 of this build is making the doors, and to keep to the theme of this build, we needed to make them using our dowelmax jig, just as we made our past video using only pocket hole technology.
As a rule, when making doors, I prefer to make them using the router and router table, it's quick and easy, and just something I have become accustomed to doing. I found making the doors using the doweling jig worked well and for anyone who does not have a router table and the associated door bits, using a doweling jig is a great alternative.
The dimensions for this unit would be about 14 inches deep, 24 inches wide and the customary 32 inches high. The cabinet would consist of a front and rear rack the would be made up of 3 inch wide, 3/4" boards. Normally I would be using mortise and tenon joints for this but with my new Dowelmax doweling jig, I am able to make these joints in a fraction of the time. The one thing you do need to make sure is that the crosscuts are absolutely square otherwise the entire frame maybe assembles askew. The only other thing you need to make sure is that the doweling holes on each of the styles both upper and lower, line up perfectly. This sounds difficult but really is not.
The manufacturers of the Dowelmax have designed a methodology that works very well and if you follow it, it's an easy tool to use and gives outstanding, quick and dead-on joints. It has changed the way I do woodworking, which is a lot for me to admit after all these years.
I assembled the front and back racks, glued them up and allowed the glue to dry and harden. After the glue was dry I selected the back frame and set up the router to cut a rabbet around the inside and back of the frame in order to hold the plywood back of the cabinet.
I then needed to concentrate on the sides. It would be easy to simply glue a couple of boards together and cut them to size, then glued them to the front and back racks, but I wanted to do a bit more. I decided to make the sides out of the same 3 inch material, but with a middle floating panel, similar to a rail and stile door.
It's important to try and think ahead when you are makes certain parts and panel doors or frames are a good example of this. The center panels are never glued because they need to float in the dados cut in the rails and stiles to allow for wood movement cause by the middle panels absorbing and releasing moisture. This wood movement is a concern for the wood finishing which means the panels and the rails and stiles, if they are going to be stained of dyed, needs to be done before assembly. For coloring the wood, I decided on a dark walnut dye the completely changed the color or the wood to a very dark brown. For a top finish I went to my favorite Saicos product, a German made hardening oil and wax formula that I have grown to love.
The assembly of the sides is pretty simple with the exception of the center panel. There are a couple of options, you could do like I did and cut the panels from solid piece of wood, or you could use a plywood element for this center panel.
The final assembly of the cabinet is simply gluing the side panels to the back and front frames. Because we are gluing lung grain to long grain there really is no need of dowels in this section unless you want to use them as guides, or as I did, to use them as a third hand to help out with the assemble. After the sides are glued and clamped and the glue allowed to dry and harden, the cabinet will be rock solid and extremely rigid.
We are stopping the build at only the carcass this week, next we will be building the door so be sure to come back to see what surprises we have for that ...
Building the Doors
Making doors is not difficult, but understanding the basics even before you begin is important, such as the size of the door or doors. If a door is too large and anyone opening it has to step back in order to open the door, it's probably too wide and should be 2 doors not 1.
The next thing of course is to determine the type of door you want, in our case we chose a simple rail and stile or cope and stick type door. Because our entire build was using dowels, we wanted to make the doors using dowels as well. In determining the size, that is width of the wood we would be using for the doors, we tried a few different sizes and finally settled on a 1 3/4 inch width for our stock material, and or course 3/4 inch thick.
We decided to use some of the Birdseye Maple veneer that we received from Oakwoodveener.com several months ago, as this would add an amazing contrast to the look of our cabinet.
We used the oakwoodveneer method of using the gel contact cement to bond the veneer to our substrate, which then meant we would need to cut dados all along the inside our our door frames. We decided to cut the dowel holes first using our doweling jig so there would be no interference with the dado when we cut that later.
We prepared the veneer panel, cut the dados and assembled the door with no hitches, then check the doors for square ... they were perfect. In deciding what hinge hardware to use, we opted for an exposed brass hinge to help contrast from the dark dye we used. We also happened to have some brass door pulls that matched the hinges and gave the finished cabinet a great look.
Copyright - Colin Knecht