Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (33)

The build has been continuing steadily. The past month has been characterized by thinking I am nearly at the final assembly stage, but then finding yet more details to attend to first. Time just gets eaten up in the most amazing ways. A month ago I confidently told the client that the cabinet would be done in 2 weeks. Hah!

Some may wonder why haven’t I been blogging about the build progress of late? Uhhh…

Well, having a reduced schedule due to fatigue and other cancer-related symptoms does play a role, as does dealing with machinery selling and moving, cleaning up and moving out of the shop, making new plans for the basement shop, and dealing with a side project to put a laundry room enclosure in my basement. Plus all the medical appointments and attendant driving time. My life is less busy than a lot of folks, but I wish it was less busy all the same. Isn’t the saying something to the effect that ‘life is what goes on while you are busy making other plans’?

The largest reason for the hiatus in blogging though is that for this last portion of the project, instead of snapping progress pics, I have been taking a lot of video, which do not lend themself so well to daily updates, except of the (now defunct) Vine variety. I now have nearly 120 minutes of raw footage that looms large in my editing/composing ‘to do’ pile. This brings up the matter of how long is ‘too long’ for a video like this? What sort of attention span is the one to aim for? You tell me.

Anyway, I’ve got the odd pic I can share now, modest though they may be. The cabinet has been all apart and is just starting to come back together, and all of the sub-assemblies have been fitted, glued up, and cleaned up. Nothing bad has happened, no disasters to report.

Drawer stops are fabricated and installed. I opted to cut 1/8″ (3mm) housings into the drawer slides and then glued in jatoba stops with rounded tops:

I feel these are simple and strong and should be effective.

Another view:

Stops are also installed on the outer drawer carriers (not shown).

Getting quite close to final assembly now, with the drawer frame rail sub-assemblies I glued up just a couple of days back:

The spear-pointed drawer frame stile is at last in place between the rails – this pic was taken just after glue up:

Both the upper and lower frame and panel assemblies are now all together. Here’s a look at one of the upper frame corners after the joint has been cleaned up some:

A back corner of the same framework:

If the pics are a little weird looking it might be due to the fact that I took pictures of the frame when it was resting upside down, then rotated the pics 180˚ so the corner joints would be in their normal orientation.

I can see looking at the picture that some minor attention is yet required on a couple of those corners yet, and they came out pretty much as planned so I’m happy with them.

Looks to me like final assembly is pretty much all I am left with at this point. I’ve eliminated all the bugs I think, though I am still having the odd nightmare vision come to me, imagining some sort of assembly scenario where things have been glued up and then one then finds a peg mortise which has not been cut out yet, etc..

Here are some of the sub-assemblies, starting with the lower frame and panel:

The underside of the same lower frame, with the semi I-beam form of the battens in view (a view that one will never have when the cabinet is done mind you):

Look for video soon showing the assembly of parts such as this.

Here’s the back frame and panel assembly:

Shown next is the frame and panel top of the cabinet, here flipped upside-down, along with some assorted frame pieces:

I took a bunch of video of the final assembly process, begun yesterday, however I managed to snap yet a few more photos along the way.

Here is a view of the top corner of the cabinet (note that the cabinet is upside down in the photo, and this is a view of the underside of the frame where the post meets the corner):

A shout out now to Brian Holcombe, who machined the hinges for me. I designed the hinges, after finding nothing the same available commercially, and was planning to make them with some nickel silver plate I had ordered specially for the task. However, in the interest of time management, given my health stuff and reduced shop work opportunities, I asked Brian if he would tackle the hinge fabrication and take it off of my plate. I bartered him some tools for the work and am very pleased with the outcome. Unlike a lot of machinists one comes across in these parts, Brian, a woodworker, seems to care about what he does and executes the work to a high standard in a timely manner. What more could you want?

A brass pin serves as the hinge pivot, and was made from what was once a shouldered screw. The pivot has an Allen head broached in the end, to allow for easy removal.

The tenon you see poking through the top of the post will be trimmed back some in the near future:

I like to see the hexagonal shapes from the sunlight peeking through the lattice and thought readers might like the same sort of thing, but my imagination does run away with me sometimes:

So, getting very close to the finish line with this project. Look for a video in the near future. Hope you enjoyed the teaser.

8 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (33)

  1. Chris, The cabinet is coming along beautifully. Those molded corner joints are incredible.

    Glad the hinges are working out, thank you for the kind words! Happy to be of assistance.

  2. Chris, thanks for the update. I can’t imagine juggling all that. But, from here it is nice to see the progress. And props to Brian for his contribution. Making hardware is whole ‘nuther skill to have in your pocket.

    And as I tell my wife when she asks me how it’s going on my projects: “I’m 90% done so I’m halfway there.”

    1. It’s so funny how this always seems to happen once you cross the 90% mark in a project: one’s estimation of the time required for the last portion of the work is invariably under the time actually required. And when things don’t move along as fast as envisioned, then it is easy for a little frustration to creep in, and stress about having to ‘get things done’ comes into play and that is when mistakes can easily happen. The problem s of course that the last portion of the project work seem to carry with it the greatest share of how cleanly the project turns out in the end. I’ve learned at this stage of a project to slow down a little and resist temptations to rush things for the sake of completion.

  3. Chris,

    Any time you squeeze out for updates is appreciated and enjoyed. It’s nice to see the progress and is immaculate as always. As far as attention span for your work, I’ll speak for myself and say I would love to watch all of your videos, there simply isn’t anything else out there that I know of to the caliber and style of work you produce so every part is of interest to me. Seeing how you go about things and how the parts are assembled in video is very interesting, so to answer your question about how long is too long? I don’t think I can, I’d love to see it all πŸ™‚

    Thanks as always for bringing us along,

    1. I appreciate your enthusiasm!

      When editing a video though and I have a 5 minute section in it of planing a panel, well, one wonders if many in the audience, who might not be as personally familiar with hand planing, might find such a long section a bit boring after a spell. And if are not bored for that one section on panel planing, then what about the 2nd or 3rd or 4th section like that?

      Of course there is an art to editing. Does one speed up portions of an extended piece to cut the time down, or use lots of transitions between short mini clips? Or some other approach? I myself do not enjoy video clips with extensive use made of fast forwarding 2x sped-up sections, though they are common to a lot of videos where people are making things step by step.

  4. I say full length video. There is always something that you would take for granted that I would say “…. wow, why didn’t I think of that…..”. I have picked up and employed a few work habits that you have blogged about it. Your level of craftsmanship is something I aspire to reach someday.

  5. The more the merrier. I think with a bit of editing even the potentially ‘boring ‘ bits could be quite informative. Explaining technique and methodology can be quite enlightening even to the non novice audience due to everyones perspective being unique. Granted, repeating a near identical procedure could wear thin but if initially the first were to be covered in some detail and then the rest edited down without the cartoonish speed sessions I think it would be quite accessible . Maybe having someone of whose opinion you value to look at it first before unleashing on the public eye would help πŸ™‚

  6. Chris,
    Ever aspect of this build (and all the others for that matter) are highly enlightening in every respect. I wouldn’t miss a single part no matter how small. That being said we all appreciate what you do here and the trouble you go to to share all this with us while continuing to deal with all the other things life has thrown at you.
    We look forward to what ever video you can produce and I saw the longer the better (makes for less editing, Ha, Ha). Those of us who truly appreciate your work will watch every minute.
    But above all do take care of yourself, spend time with your family and do everything you can for your own health and well being.
    We all love you, brother, and only wish the best for you and your family

Anything to add?