Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (30)

The 2019 Book Sale continues on, with many items added in the past couple of days, so please check back there if you are interested.


It’s been a while since a post appeared on this topic, my current build project. I’ve been dealing with a lot of, er, distractions, as readers here know, and through it all I’ve been chipping away, most every day, on this project. Progress, slow as it has been, has thankfully has occurred without any setbacks, so I feel good about that. I haven’t been taking pictures as things have crawled along these past few months, so today’s photo-exposition is one of the ‘this is how things stand as of now’ variety.

Speaking of standing, the cabinet is for one:

Keep in mind throughout this set of pictures that the cabinet is currently resting upon it’s upper framework, in the upside-down position in other words.

At the connection between rear post and lower frame, the post tenon runs extra long so as to connect to a yet-to-be-fitted sill framework:

Another view, different corner:

The corner joint is slightly open, but I’ve checked and it does seem to close up well with some modest clamp pressure. A little work to be done tidying up afterwards to be sure.

This corner (same one as in the first picture) is looking more together however:

The above two pictures shows the front posts, which, in the previous entry for this thread, had been milled to their bevelled form a while back.

The frame for the cabinet is in a dry fit assembly as I need to have final dimensions between posts, so I can fit both the back frame/panel framework, and the doors.

Here are some of the frame members for the back frame/panel framing:

The next image shows some of the joinery that is occurring with a back frame stile:

Dado width in the above picture is 0.1875″ (3/16″/@ 5mm) or thereabouts.

A look now at the connection between central stile of the back frame, employing a spear point so as to let the arris chamfer flow around the opening:

Another view:

The sawn surface you see on the side of the middle stile is the inner wall of the panel dado, and will be covered over by the panel tongue. I regret that it is not perfectly clean, but it is at required dimension.

This is the upper end of one of the back frame stiles, where you can see the incorporated stub tenon, serving as a locating pin to the upper cabinet framework:

At the connection of middle stile and lower rail, the tenon is flush more or less:

The connection of middle stile and upper rail, however, is detailed differently – the tenon from the stile comes right through the rail and protrudes about 1/4″ (6.3mm):

Another view shows the end grain abutment is fully seated, the trick with these sort of joints having the end abutment and the spear point abutment coming together equally well at the rail junction:

The tenon will, like the stub tenons on the top ends of the other two back frame stiles, serve as a locating pin:

Another advance of late concerns the drawers, the parts for which are all cut out and have been dry-fitted:

The tenons on the drawer sides and rear wall were a perfect task for the Hofmann mortising machine. The rear drawer wall is the leftmost piece:

These are the ‘Mark III’ version of these drawers, and in the above view you can observe one of the principal improvements realized this round: the construction of drawer side board and runner in a 1-piece fashion, milled from solid. This connection between what was formerly two parts is much stronger especially with the filleted transitions and allows the drawer side wall to be pushed off center relative to the runner so as to maximize drawer interior volume.

The drawer fronts remain long, waiting for the confirmation for final width that will happen once the drawer framing elements are fitted to the framework. Once the fronts are trimmed and fit to their openings, I can finish the drawer fronts and glue the assemblies up. That should happen soon enough.

Back to the bigger picture – in the next slide you can see the most recent step, namely that of seeing how the central rail’s stub tenon/locating pin fits into the upper frame (which is seen at the bottom of the cabinet in this instance). It went in smoothly, no fiddling required:

A closer look at the back framework in place, and please note that the picture has been flipped 180˚to (hopefully) improve the presentation to the viewer:

I think that junction will look sharp, especially once the 4.5mm peg is fitted and the panels are in there. It is the back of the cabinet however, and may end up against a wall for all I know, not that it matters to how the work is done.

At this juncture, I have to complete the fitting of mortises and tenons for just one of the back frame stiles, and then I can move onto the battens. They will have some entertaining joinery. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.

11 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (30)

  1. Hi Chris, Great to see the progress, nice close-ups showing the details, love it. I am interested in seeing the drawers completed, its all quite fascinating.

    1. Mark,

      so glad you’re still enjoying the progress updates on this build. I hope to start moving the drawers further along later this coming week, though once the front are trimmed to length, then finishing the fronts will likely occupy a week of finishing work before the drawers can be assembled. At least there are only two drawers to build this time, unlike the previous project.

  2. Chris
    Sometimes work is the only respite, but seeing the progress you are making must be heartening as well. Charles Hayward wrote: ‘lt’s dogged as does it.’

  3. Beautiful piece, fantastic craftsmanship! Really interesting joinery, the spear point looks superb, well done! Looking forward to see the project completed.

    1. Pascal,

      most kind of you. I figure I have about 3 weeks worth left, but with a week-long visit of a friend coming up, followed by a vacation in early August, completion will be pushed to sometime around 3rd week of August I would expect. We’ll see….

  4. “It’s the back of the cabinet however, and may end up against a wall for all I know, not that it matters to how the work is done.” I love that attitude! Do your best work whether it’ll be seen or not! Really glad you’re able to continue with your work, considering all you’re going through. I’m sure it’s very satisfying for you.

    1. Yeah, I always regretted an early piece where I used plywood for the cabinet baks or a piece that was always going to be against the wall, and since then I’ve managed to avoid any use of plywood in furniture pieces.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  5. Chris;
    Coming together nicely! Thanks for sharing and caring! All the best to you!

Anything to add?