Monday, September 23, 2013

Doors for the planer cart

I got to work today on building the doors for my planer cart. I figured I'd do this before the drawer because I can make drawers without many problems. The difference here is that since I've never done a face frame type build, I wasn't exactly sure how to size up the doors so everything would fit right. I'm pretty comfortable with making doors for a frameless build. I wanted to try a 3/8" lipped inset door, so I had bought a couple sets of cheap hinges that would accommodate that. Of course, it cost me $7 for all the hinges I needed. I consider that to be much better than the ~$30 I usually spend for concealed hinges. Maybe next time I'll build them with completely inset doors and I'll mortise the hinges into the frame and door.

I've made frame and panel doors before fairly often, but I've always just done a stub tenon and groove type construction with a flat panel. This let me use plywood for the doors. Since I obviously can't be making doors out of plywood forever, I got a couple router bit sets from Yonico. I got these sets because I didn't want to spend $150 on a door making set I might not use that frequently. I paid about $100 for two sets of bits. I got a rail and stile bit with a roundover profile and a rail and stile bit with a panel raiser with a beveled profile. Considering that some panel raising bits cost close to $200 by themselves, I consider these bits to be VERY price-friendly for us cheap frugal woodworkers.

I've only made samples out of scrap wood with these things so I've never really got a good chance to use them for real. This time I decided I'd try out the bevel profile set. I ripped the pine to width and crosscut them to length so I could build the frames. After doing some setup and layout, I coped the rails first.

Rails are coped. Works great.
After coping the rails, I then set up the stick bit to mill the groove on the rails and stiles. That worked out really well, and my dry fit of my doors worked out great.

Doing my dry fit showed that it all worked out pretty close to perfectly. I'm sure that a set of higher quality bits would give me better and smoother cuts, but I'm sure that I can just sand the slightly rougher spots smooth. It's not like I don't have to sand the rest of the project. So, I can't really justify buying a set of bits that's 2-3x the price if this gives me the results I'm looking for. Of course, since I'm cutting pine, I'd expect these bits to work well. I haven't built doors with hardwood yet, so I can't say how they'll handle coping and sticking something like maple. I'm sure I'll get a chance to do that. I'm guessing that will come when I finish this cart and I can buy some rough hardwood lumber that I can plane to thickness. Then I'll get to really give my equipment a test to see how it handles harder wood. I know that what I have cuts poplar like it's butter and it handles oak pretty easily too, but anything harder than that, I don't know.

Dry fit is good. Now can make the field.
All I have left to do for these doors is to make the panels for the field. I have some pine that I can use for that. I'm going to try the panel raiser to make the field, and so we'll see how that turns out.

Once I get this put together, I'll build the drawer and cut the associated front for it. I think I could use my tenoning jig to raise panels on the table saw for the drawer front, but I'll have to think about that when the time comes.

Still have more work to do today on this stuff, so I guess my break is over for now...