Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (24)

I’ve been working on these latticed frame and panel assemblies, which comprise the two narrow sides of the cabinet, for what seems like forever now. Still not done, but getting closer to the line…. Today I’ll share a few more steps.

With glue-ups complete, and the miters cleaned off, the next step I chose to do was to joint the edges of the frames with a plane to get them as straight as I could:

Working to have a 48″ Starrett straight edge sit on there so as to have no light gaps anywhere:

Next up was to fabricate the liners for the pentagonal opening in the middle panels. The cross section of these pieces looks like this:

A little difficult to tell from the above photo perhaps, as the view is not of a square cut on the piece but along the miter, but the inner corner of the ‘L’ is square, while the outside, which is the viewed surface, has a taper which opens the hole up from front to rear.

Here’s one done:

Compared to the mock-up done earlier, these lines have a profiled outer edge, a rounded transition from front to inside faces, and considerably greater depth.

Another view:

I applied glue to the interface seen above, as well as to the mitered abutments between pieces, but none was applied on the contact surfaces around the pentagonal hole in the panel. This, to forestall any possibility that panel expansion/contraction seasonally might upset the glue bonds.

One more:

The two panels were then completed to the same point:

Another view- here you can see the beginnings of the next step in the process, which is the making of close-fitting floating tenons for the bottom surface of the frames:

The mortises to which the aforesaid floating tenons connect are in the lower frame. Switching gears a bit, I decided it was time to complete the profiling of the outer face of the lower frame, a task which is conveniently done on the shaper.

The corner joints have portions of end grain exposed, and thus one has to approach these sort of task differently then if the corners had miters meeting at the front faces. I decided to employ the overlapping through-mortises in these corner connection so as to form a temporarily connected unit. For this, I made opposed wedge sets:

A closer look:

The wedge pairs were tightened up, and then trimmed off with a flush cut saw, kugi hiki nokogiri as the Japanese call them.

I clamped a sacrificial block on the single corner in each of the two long runs to protect the one spot vulnerable to tear out, then ran the piece through on a climb cut:

With the two long sides done, the narrow edges were then run:

The result (this is a view of the undersurface of the lower frame):

With that step out of the way (another chamfer remains mind you, but I need to order a cutter), I continued fitting work on the floating tenons which connect the latticed frame and panels to the lower frame. Once I reached a suitable fit, the entire works was trial fitted:

I’m trying to reduce trial fitting work where possible, but this one was of minimal concern due to the nature of the connections.

A look at the inside of the middle panels shows how far in the liners travel:

The fit on the bottom looked pretty good I thought:

A while later, the other side was similarly trial fitted:

This gave me my first sense of the overall mass of the cabinet. It’s big.

Though this view would normally be blocked by cabinet internals, it seemed like a fun opportunity to take this pic:

That’s where we be up to in this build. Two steps are left on those latticed frameworks. One is the fitting of the 24 floating dovetailed keys, to both the latticed frames and the connecting parts. The other is to fit spline reinforcements to the frame’s mitered corners. Those tasks will take a while to complete I’m sure, however I plan to work on the drawer parts at the same time to break things up a bit.

Onward and upward then. Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way on your travels. Post 25 follows in this series.

6 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (24)

  1. Chris
    The peek through the pentagon is very cool, but the sub-assembly is looking vastly more interesting than the initial drawings. And the re-entrant corners are so nice.

    1. Tom,

      your comment is greatly appreciated. I’m glad the differences in the fabricated pieces from the concept sketches are pleasing. I like to work most everything out in the drawings but still leave room for a little creative variation down the line in the build.

  2. I love this piece and the detail. But for some reason, I pause at the pentagon. With a dominant hexagon and secondary trigon for repeated forms, together with rectangular frames–parallel to hexagonal sides–I want the accent to be sympathetic in some way. Perhaps, a shape like the four petaled tsuba. Maybe, I am too dull and boring.

    1. Bruce,

      thanks for the feedback, which I found intriguing.

      I would have done the lattice with pentagons instead of hexagons, however the pentagon does not tessellate, so it was not an option.

      As it is, I do not find the various polygonal forms to be at odds with one another somehow, and I can add that the numbers 5:6 do have a association to Japanese aesthetics in various areas, so that is kind of a hidden message. Hopefully, when you see the purpose for the pentagonal openings it will come together a bit more for you, but if not, well, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, especially not in this day and age.

Anything to add?