Monday, October 5, 2009

Shop Talk - Cabinet Parts

Red Oak is a fabulous wood. Amazingly strong with grain ranging from simple and straight to dynamic arching. One of the great advantages to Oak is that Oak plywood is readily available. Below is a shot of the side pieces for the cabinets I am currently building. Most are Oak, but some are Birch. All the visible side pieces will be oak, but for the hidden interior pieces, we decided to go with Birch to save some money.

Here is a picture of some face frames pieces prior to glue-up. The chalk markings on them are called "Cabinet Maker's Triangles". These keep the pieces organized and properly oriented during the milling and joinery stages.

This has been my first project using loose tenons. I built my own horizontal mortising machine (more on that below) to make the matching mortises. This has been working great. It is so much fun to learn new methods of joinery, and I know I will be using this a lot in the future.

Here is the machine. The router is a Craftsman model and is the exact same one that is in my big router table. The lower table moves toward the router on ball bearing drawer slides. These have plenty of travel, and are smooth and secure. The upper table moves left and right on aluminum track riding in grooves cut in the bottom. These are tight fitting but slide nicely when waxed.


And look closely, please.

David J. Ulschmid
Designer / Craftsman
~ Wisp Woods ~
Arlington, SD 57212
Posted by Picasa


Jerr Dunlap said...

Holy cow! I built a mortiser like this, too! Frankly, though, a Festool, if you've got more money than sense, does the same job a zillion times better. Oh, how I wish I had more money than sense! Thanks for the blog and I'm looking forward to following you. Great pics!
- Jerr

David said...

Thanks for your comment Jerr. I'll take sense over dollars any day :).

Jerr Dunlap said...

Me too, David. Something I picked up on second read is your wax - I stopped that when I discovered two products, made by the same company - TopKote and DriCote. TopCote gives a much more slippery surface, is a ton easier to apply (spray and quickly wipe) and doesn't build up. BladeKote prevents pitch buildup and they're both great products. I've effortlessly ripped huge beams this way. Here's a link to them on Rockler ( ) but they're widely available in professional woodworking & woodworking equipment stores.
- Jerr