Friday, September 2, 2011

Visible Signs of Progress

     After my whining about the weather and not being able to do any large scale glue ups due to the heat, I've finally been able to accomplish them.  Must admit, it always feels good to see the progress once you put things together.  Most projects, and this was no exception, have lots of preliminary ground work before a project actually takes shape.  One of the things that took a good deal of time was cutting and shaping all of the profiled moldings.  The other thing that has taken time was cutting the carcass sides to size as well as  the dados required for the shelves.  Pretty much like making your own jig saw puzzle to get a well constructed project.

Dry Fit and Pre-Drilling of Upper Unit
The first piece assembled was the upper unit, it was small enough and basically only had six long joints.  The process was to locate the screw holes on the inside of each dado then clamp the pieces together.  Next I could drill and countersink the holes from the outside of the case.  It was no problem gluing and attaching the shelves to one side, one at a time.  My concern was attaching the other side and having 3 shelves to glue/screw into the opposite side at one time.  With careful planing and keeping cool and calm this went well.  No matter how many glue ups or assemblies I do, it's always a time of stress.  All of your work up to that point can be wasted if things go wrong.

Jig Used to Support Side Molding

     After the glue set (over-night) it was time to miter and attach the moldings which finish off the case.  The front pieces are reinforced with several biscuits, the side piece conceals the screws used to assemble the case.  I made a simple T-square to hold the molding in place on the sides.  Always difficult to hold and nail a piece that's covered in glue but this went without a hitch.
     Creating the crown molding was another custom part of this project.  The existing media niche that the unit will fit into limits how big of a crown we can have.  Although a crown is not normally found on a barrister bookcase it works all for this design.  Simple, yet "crowning" and it mimics the side molding.  Molding of a similar design will be used where the two cases sit on top of one and other.  This will hide the seam.

Crown Molding
Cutting all of the miters can be tricky and since I want them to be as accurate as possible I always clamp them down on the miter saw, sure it takes a little more time this way but there's no chance of the wood creeping forward as the blade cuts it at an angle:
Close up of Miter Cutting with Clamp
     Two days ago the weather cooperated and I was able to assemble the base unit.  I laid it flat on the torsion box assembly table and used the same process used on the upper unit.  Only big difference here is that instead of there being 3 shelves, this unit has one more and is about twice the size!  After joining one shelf to a side I clamped it squarely onto the table and added the next ones.  Little tricky putting all 4 shelves into the opposite side with glue and all but things went well.  The large clamp running across at a diagonal is there to insure everything dries as squarely as possible.  There is a 1/2" plywood back that will fit into the rabbets on each side of the case to maintain the integrity of the entire unit.
Base Unit

Door Frame for Turntable Area

     Last of all, this afternoon I was able to glue the five doors together.  Did these one at a time on the kitchen island; know what?  I could get used to working in air conditioned comfort!

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